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NPPD urging boaters to help stop spread of invasive species

Posted: 1:14 PM, May 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-21 14:17:14-04
Zebra mussels found in Lake Cunningham

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — As people get ready to head out for Memorial Day weekend, many on the water, the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is urging boaters to help stop the spread of Zebra Mussels. They say beyond damaging local ecosystems, they could even impact your power bill.

According to NPPD's release, zebra mussels can "damage boats, clog water intakes and impact the environment of lakes and rivers where they live."

As to why this important to NPPD and your bank account, they say:

"NPPD uses water in the generation of electricity at three key locations including Gerald Gentleman Station by the Sutherland Reservoir, at the North Platte Hydroelectric Plant, and at Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownville along the Missouri River. Keeping these aquatic invasive species at bay and preventing clogging of intake lines helps provide low cost, reliable electricity rather than spending ratepayers' money to control the species."

They say you can help by following these simple steps:

  1. Clean your boat to remove all visible plants, animals, fish and mud from the boat, trailer or other equipment and dispose of the debris in a suitable trash container or on dry land. Power washing the boat and trailer is another option.
  2. Drain water from the boat, motor, live wells, ballast tanks and any other equipment holding water. If draining water is not an option, using a cup of diluted bleach will kill zebra mussels.
  3. Dry your boat, trailer, and all equipment completely before arriving at the next launch ramp to go boating or fishing.

“We have been fortunate over the past few years that we have not been adversely impacted at our power plants, but we need boaters to be aware of the potential of unknowingly transporting invasive aquatic hitchhikers,” NPPD Environmental Manager Joe Citta commented.