Evaluation of a Polyacrylamide Soil Additive to Reduce Agricultural-Associated Contamination


Polyacrylamide is an effective water treatment product used to reduce suspended sediment and associated contaminants. An anionic polyacrylamide-containing product was tested for sediment and associated contaminant reduction and potential toxicity in agricultural irrigation and rainfall runoff. The product effectively reduced turbidity, total suspended solids, and phosphate concentrations in the field when compared to the untreated runoff waters. Acute survival of Ceriodaphnia dubia and Pimephales promelas was not decreased compared to laboratory controls. No significant increases in toxicity were measured in 10-d sediment toxicity tests with Chironomus dilutus. Product applications were effective in controlling sediment and nutrient contamination without increasing measured toxicity.

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We thank the National Science Foundation (NSF) RISE Program, Dr. Robyn Hannigan, Dr. Carolyn Dowling, Naresh Kanderi of Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corporation, and Judd Hill Foundation. The authors also acknowledge J. Adair, E. Ashcraft, N. Enger-Luster, J. Farris, M. Gopalan, S. Greenway, T. Hudson, T. Masingale, I. Mundali, and J. Stegall for their assistance.

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Correspondence to J. L. Bouldin.

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Krauth, D.M., Bouldin, J.L., Green, V.S. et al. Evaluation of a Polyacrylamide Soil Additive to Reduce Agricultural-Associated Contamination. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 81, 116–123 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-008-9448-z

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  • Agricultural runoff
  • Polyacrylamide
  • Acute toxicity
  • Water quality