Date of Award

Summer 1995

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering


The efficacy of high voltage electrostatic (DC) fields for preventing attachment of adult zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) was tested using static conditions with a parallel plate electrode configuration. Electrodes used in the experiments were circular with a diameter of 10 em. Both the positive and negative electrodes were coated with an insulating epoxy which reduced the electric current to the nanoampere range. The electrodes were separated by nylon spacers of varying length and connected to a variable high voltage power supply to allow the electrostatic field strength to be adjusted. Results from the experiments indicated that high voltage electrostatic fields (E > 1 kV/cm applied) had a significant (P < 0.05, t-test) effect on zebra mussel movement. The effects of the electrostatic field caused the experimental mussels to move faster and more often than in the non-powered control group. The data indicate that the electrostatic field can potentially be used as a cost effective and environmentally safe method of proactive control.



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