Zebra Mussels: What you need to know

Greenville Water has not experienced zebra mussels in any of our reservoirs. Still, it is important to be aware that zebra mussels are prolific, and once they get established in the water supply, management becomes a huge task.

Zebra mussels, small, fingernail-sized mollusks native to the Caspian Sea region of Asia, are regarded as one of the most troublesome invasive species in North America.

Zebra mussels have been found in an aquarium product called Marimo Moss Ball Plant Grab and Go and Mini Marimo Moss Balls, which has been sold in retail aquarium stores in North Carolina. Zebra mussels can drastically change the ecosystem in the reservoirs. They can also severely impact all types of water intakes, piping, and filtration and greatly impact public recreation.

In addition to being illegal to possess in North Carolina, zebra mussels clog pipelines used for water filtration, render beaches unusable and damage boats. They also negatively impact aquatic ecosystems by harming native organisms.

The zebra mussel is a small shellfish named for the striped pattern of its shell. However, color patterns can vary to the point of having only dark or light-colored shells with no stripes.

Visit ncwildlife.org to learn about proper disposal of moss balls, decontamination and more.

Thank you for helping to protect our waters from invasive species!

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Greenville Water provides service to more than 500,000 residents of the Upstate region of South Carolina. Recognizing that water service is critical to the health and well-being of its customers and for the growth and economic vitality of the community, Greenville Water ensures the reliable delivery of high-quality water through careful stewardship of its resources. Greenville Water is committed to providing exceptional service and utilizing safe and effective methods for providing water, while adhering to and surpassing health and safety standards. Governed by an elected Commission of Public Works, Greenville Water is the state’s largest water utility.