Israeli tech chosen to kill off invasive mussel species at Hoover Dam
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Israeli tech chosen to kill off invasive mussel species at Hoover Dam

Atlantium's Hydro-Optic UV system helps prevent biofouling, which threatens to clog piping at the dam and interfere with power production

Lightning strikes over Lake Mead near Hoover Dam at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Arizona, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
Lightning strikes over Lake Mead near Hoover Dam at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Arizona, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Water purification technology developed by an Israeli firm has been chosen for use at the iconic Hoover Dam to prevent an invasive species of mussel from interfering with the dam’s electricity production.

The North Wind Group, a US company selected by the US government to work on piping at the Hoover Dam, chose Atlantium’s Hydro-Optic Ultraviolet technology to use for non-chemical biofouling control at the dam, Israel’s Atlantium said in a statement last month.

Biofouling is the buildup of plants and animals on wet surfaces such as the hulls of ships and piers.

Atlantium’s technology is designed to prevent fouling at Hoover Dam by the quagga mussel, which threatens to clog the turbine’s water cooling system and thus interfere with the dam’s electricity production.

Over the past decade, the mussel, which is believed to have arrived in the US from Asia, has made its way to Lake Mead, the large reservoir created by Hoover Dam.

Atlantium said its non-chemical UV water purification technology will help prevent biofouling at Hoover Dam by damaging the repair systems of the microorganisms that have accrued in the dam’s piping and thus killing them off, allowing the Hoover Dam to continue to producing electricity without interference.

The company said that 16 of the Hydro-Optic UV systems will be delivered in October and installed by the North Wind Group.

Atlantium is headed by Benjamin Kahn, an Israeli marine biologist who in 2007 was named by Time Magazine as one of its “Heroes of the Environment” for working towards preserving the coral reefs in the Red Sea next to Eilat, and advocating for clean water through his NGO Zalul.

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