For the first time in 15 years, the intake pipe for the Lake Source Cooling project — a low energy system that channels deep water from Cayuga Lake to cool the University’s chilled water cooling network — will be cleaned. Since the pipes were first put in place in July 2000, so many zebra and quagga mussels have covered the pipe’s surface that the amount of water flowing into the plant has significantly decreased, according to Lanny Joyce, utilities and energy management director. To tackle the cleaning, Cornell hired engineering consulting firm Makai Ocean Engineering and diving contractor Global Diving and Salvage, Inc.
The Lake Source Cooling team plans to clean the pipe from Thursday to Oct. 19, pending the weather, by forcing a brush through the pipe and pushing any debris that has accumulated out into Cayuga Lake. This method pushes the mussels back into the lake and it causes no adverse environmental impacts, Joyce said.