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Polyacrylamide application to soil reduces the movement of microorganisms in water

Entry, James A. and Sojka, R.E. (1999) Polyacrylamide application to soil reduces the movement of microorganisms in water. pp. 93-99. In: 1999 Proc. International Irrigation Show. USA-FL-Orlando, 1999/11/07-09.


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Early reports of polymer treatment of furrow irrigation inflows resulting in clarification of outflow water were made by Paganyas (1975 ) and Mitchell (1986). Paganyas did not specify the chemical polymer used, although its description suggests some type of polyacrylamide (PAM) formulation. Mitchell specified use of anionic PAM and noted stream advance time and infiltration increases. Both added PAM to furrow inflows during the advance (only) (before runoff, while water first traverses the dry furrow). Neither Paganyas nor Mitchell quantified sediment effects. Lentz et al. (1992) reported PAM-use in furrow irrigation for erosion control and increased infiltration, quantifying changes in sediment concentration and accumulation over time, sediment loss, infiltration and runoff. Lentz and Sojka(1994) reported that PAM-treatment reduced runoff water concentration of ortho-P, total-P, and nitrate, and lowered biological oxygen demand. Runoff sediment loss was reduced 94% and infiltration increased 15% in a 3 yr series of studies. Subsequently others further documented that PAM-treatment of furrow irrigation water improved runoff water quality parameters, including pesticide loads (Agassi et al., 1995; Bahr and Steiber, 1996; Singh et al., 1996). The most frequent approach in these studies involved PAM-treatment of the furrow advance stream (only). Good results were achieved with PAM application at about 1 kg/ha (1 lb/acre) applied at 10 ppm only in the advancing furrow. McCutchan et al. (1994) also reported runoff sediment load reductions, however, they applied PAM at 2.5 ppm continuously throughout the irrigation. On-farm PAM cost is about $3 to $5 per pound. Typical farmer seasonal PAM-use is 3 to 5 lbs per acre. The technology was adopted on about 1,000,000 acres in the United States as of 1998 and continues to grow rapidly in the US and overseas. The practice has received much attention in Western US states now seeking ways to meet mandated total maximum daily loads (TMDL) for various contaminants, including sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus, in irrigation runoff and return flows.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
NWISRL Publication Number: 0994
Subjects: Polyacrylamide (PAM) > Water-soluble PAM (WSPAM) > Application Strategies
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:57
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2016 17:56
Item ID: 1091

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