Advancements in Flocculant Based Technologies to Achieve Optimal Effectiveness and Efficiency in the Field

Flocculant treatment systems have become common practice across the US and globally. This is due to the versatility and effectiveness of anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) and PAM enhanced BMPs and technologies. PAM has been used in agriculture since the 1950s, mining and water treatment since the 1970s, and in the 1990s was introduced to the erosion control and stormwater treatment industries. PAMs have proven highly effective in soil stabilization and water treatment applications, while being safe for the environment and aquatic organisms. Anionic PAMs can reduce and remove contaminants such as suspended solids, metals, and excess nutrient loading that contributes to poor water quality and makes it difficult to stay in compliance and meet discharge limits. Anionic PAM technologies have been used in many different forms (logs, liquids, powders), applications, and a variety of different introductory systems. PAMs have demonstrated consistent, effective results in erosion control and water clarification for over two decades. Although the PAM itself generally remains the same, there has been increased demand for varying applications and more robust treatment systems. This has led to anionic PAM and PAM based technologies that have evolved and adapted so that they are able to be used in a wider range of projects and application. In many applications, flocculant treatment systems have been streamlined to fit space limitations, to treat varying amounts of water more efficiently, and to work together more effectively as the industry has developed new and innovative BMPs. In addition to modified and improved methods for applying safe and effective PAMs, interest and research in recent years has also focused on developing and implementing even “greener” polymers and how they may be incorporated into effective flocculant treatment systems. This presentation will discuss proven, safe, and effective flocculant treatment systems and show how they are correctly applied in the field. It will highlight how flocculant treatment systems have been streamlined in multiple different applications to allow for better and more effective treatment options. Decades of projects, data and research will be included that highlight applications that have successfully utilized flocculant treatment systems to remove 95%+ of turbidity. Recent research will also be included that discuss the most recent advancements of these flocculant-based technologies.