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Zebra Mussels in 4Mile Lake Confirmed

This alert is addressed to all property owners of Four Mile Lake who take their domestic or irrigation water from the lake.

Verified samples of Zebra Mussels have been taken from all shores of Four Mile Lake this early summer. These invasive pests were first reported in 2002 (unbeknown to us!), and thus have had a chance to grow to the small adult sizes we are now finding. Meanwhile, they have most probably laid many millions of eggs.

It may be beneficial for property owners protect their home/cottage plumbing systems. Young zebra mussels are microscopic, but can be prevented from entering your plumbing system with appropriate filters over the foot valves or submersible pumps of your water intake systems. These filters are readily available from the distributor or retail outlets listed below. The filters themselves will have to be replaced, the frequency of replacement depending on the clarity and temperature of your lake water, and the type of filter you install. In cases with submersible pumps, you may want a plumber with experience to do the installation for you.

[Read the paper "Jim Russell's exclusive interview with Dr. G. Mackie, Zebra Mussel research expert at University of Guelph - Oct. 2005" for more information about Zebra Mussels and how they may affect plumbing, water, safety, etc."]

In some cases, your water pump horsepower may not be sufficient to draw through the new filter, especially if it becomes covered with algae, silt or mussels. You then have a choice of over-sizing your filter, installing a higher horsepower pump or drilling a well.

Zebra mussels may already be in your plumbing system. They will probably not have been stopped or killed by your ultra violet purifying system, and can cause dirty and foul smelling water when you turn on your taps: they can get into your hot water heater, where they are killed by the hot water. They can also get into your water pump or laundry equipment or dishwasher, causing clogging and/or damage as they grow larger. Prevention at this stage requires purging your entire system with chlorine injected at an in-line source (purification system). This is best left to a plumber who has past experience with this. Some plumbers/water conditioning firms are also listed below. You'll still need an initial stage filter system, however.

It is important that chlorine or any other chemicals NOT be put in the lake itself.

Retailers: Sanctuary Distributing Z-Eliminator filter units ( approx. $110 complete initial package for foot valves plus approx. $25 each replacement filter sleeve.) Some other models available.

Kawartha Home Hardware - Lakefield 705-652-6822 Hitchon's Pump House - Peterborough 705-745-0007 Bridgenorth Home Hardware - Bridgenorth 705-292-7667 Hubbell Home Hardware - Havelock 705-778-7983 Installers: Trent Plumbing Inc.- Lakefield 705-652-9393 Basciano Custom Plumbing - Lakefield - 705-654-5000

Retailers: Millage's Zebra Mussell Filter System ( approx. $195 initial package for foot valves plus approx. $4 each replacement filter. ) Some other models available. Millage's Plumbing, 49 Queen St., Lakefield 705-652-3062 ( Marilyn )

Retailer/distributor: Team Zebra cleanable zebra mussel filters - Zebra 40 - #7040 (approx. $249 initial package for foot valves, approx. $209 each replacement filter - every 4-5 years) Many other models available. Alex Milne Associates, Etobicoke 1-800-563-5947 (Bill )

We are trying to develop a local source of these products, and plumbers. Jackson Water Conditioning (local - 1-800-721-4921) has some experience with foot valve filters and in-line purifying systems.

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