Erosion and Sediment Control
Planning with PAM: Design and Use Guidelines for Effective Anionic Polyacrylamide Applications
Polyacrylamide (PAM) is an effective and versatile material with a wide range of uses in stormwater management and erosion and sediment control. PAM has been used for decades in a variety of industries including agriculture, mining, oil recovery, drinking and waste water treatment, cosmetics, food packaging, thickening, and clarifying, and many others. Over the past 20+ years PAM technology and use has expanded from isolated applications to becoming a staple material for erosion control and water treatment in the construction, mining, and storm water industries. The United States Environmental Protection Agency and over a dozen states have currently included PAM guidelines and criteria in their stormwater, construction, and/ or erosion and sediment control manuals. With widespread use, it is important that current PAM users and those interested in incorporating PAM as a best management practice (BMP) in their projects are equipped with a basic understanding of PAM and its use. Correct use of anionic PAMs can provide an environmentally safe and effective means to prevent sediment and other contaminants from leaving disturbed sites and entering water bodies, as well as a means of clarifying already turbid water.
Incorporating PAM enhanced BMPs can decrease NTU’s and total suspended solids (TSS) by as much as 95% and phosphorous by 75-90%. Other benefits of PAM treatment include their ability to be used in passive systems, cost effectiveness, lack of toxicity in aquatic and terrestrial environments, as well as ease of use. However to take advantage of these benefits, planners and applicators must have a basic understanding of PAM and the characteristics that govern their use. There are many components that can influence the effectiveness of a PAM treatment and it is important to use site specific polymers in conjunction with already established best management practices to ensure optimal results and reduced costs.
This workshop is a step-by-step, how-to tutorial focused on polyacrylamide applications to meet site specific stormwater and erosion and sediment control goals. Using hypothetical and real-world examples we will walk through common PAM applications from start to finish. Topics discussed in depth will be 1) selection of an appropriate PAM product and formulation based on specific project goals and site characteristics, 2) correct application of PAM products in conjunction with standard and existing BMPs (application rates and methods will be covered), and 3) maintenance, troubleshooting and disposal of materials at project end. Participants will gain a basic understanding of PAM and how to implement it effectively, efficiently, safely, and economically.