City will use mussels as natural water-treatment plants

In a first for the nation, Philadelphia officials have launched the first city-owned mussel hatchery as part of an effort to improve water quality in the Delaware River Basin.

WHYY's PlanPhilly reports the city and five organizations committed Tuesday to create the hatchery and raise millions of baby mussels to release into the water.

The hatchery has received $7.9 million in funding from the state and will be located at a . Construction is expected to begin next year.

Danielle Kreeger, lead scientist with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, says each mussel will be able to filter 10 to 20 gallons of water a day.

She says the mussel restoration project could lead to swimmable or fishable conditions in the .


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May 04, 2018
I am curious how mussels deal with toxins filtered from the water. Heavy metals and the like. That certainly would seem to be a huge problem in treating city water... and least I would think.

May 04, 2018
@Parsec despite the negative effects they've had, zebra mussels helped clean up Lake Erie from all the industrial and agricultural pollution and brought it back from the brink of death. Considering what Hooker (Oxy) Chemical dumped in there alone, not to mention the steel plant that used to be in Buffalo, I can only imagine they can tolerate a lot.

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