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Thread: Cleaning gear after Black Zebra Mussel exposure


  1. #1

    Has not set a "status"

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    25 - 49

    Cleaning gear after Black Zebra Mussel exposure

    There are two sites I really would like to dive that both have Black Zebra Mussels. Up to this point the idea of cleaning all my gear has discouraged me from diving these sites. But the visibility and shallow depth of my usual dive site has me considering the other sites.

    So any helpful hints as to how to clean gear well enough that I can go back into a non-infested body of fresh water without concern? And without missing 2-3 weeks of diving? Season here can be a bit short.

    Happy Bubbles- today and always!

  2. #2

    Has not set a "status"

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Westminster, MD
    50 - 99
    Looks like soaking it hot water is the recommended method:


    Diving gear is a well-proven means of spreading invasive species, including quagga and zebramussels. Divers swim in ideal mussel habitat and easily pick up larvae and juveniles. Thoroughly wash
    everything inside and out to remove dirt, plants and other visible substances. This includes masks,
    wetsuits, booties and gloves. Also wash air tanks, air lines, regulators, and flippers. Finally, soak all
    equipment in a bucket or bathtub full of hot water from your house. Allow sufficient soaking time for
    all components to reach the water temperature. Repeat the soak with fresh hot water. Completely dry
    all equipment, ideally in sunlight. (Remember, it’s worth it.)
    Dive shops might consider providing dip tanks filled with safe mussel-killing solutions. See the
    description above, “Internal ballast tank systems in water ski boats.” Individual divers might also
    use such solutions instead of hot water.
    Chlorine also is mentioned as being effective. Plan a trip to the pull with your gear?

    The "solution" mentioned above is Potassium Chloride:

    An effective mussel-killing solution — for each ballast tank — is two gallons of a 200 parts per million(ppm) solution of potassium chloride (KCL). Despite the fact that it will kill mussels, this solution is
    harmless to humans and to the environment. It also has extremely low corrosion characteristics and has
    been used in the oil well drilling industry for decades due to these characteristics A chloride
    concentration of 250 ppm is allowable for drinking water and the solution is below that level.
    Potassium chloride salt crystals are used in water softener systems; people drink and bath in such


    Potassium chloride (KCL) solutions in concentrations of 200 ppm can be made by thoroughly mixing
    one teaspoon of dry KCL salt crystals in two gallons of water. KCL salt crystals are available at stores
    such as Home Depot and water softener suppliers. Morton Salt Company offers KCL in 40-pound
    bags.Do NOT use any other kind of salt or solution.
    Finally "hot and dry" is indicated as killing them. Air everything out in a warm location.
    http://hydesquarry.com <- Our local place to look at wet rocks.

  3. #3

    Has not set a "status"

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    25 - 49
    Thank you for the information.

    We have a large dip/soak tank so hot water and KCl sounds like the way to go along with drying in the sun.

    I appreciate the help.

    Happy Bubbles- today and always!

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