Polyacrylamide+Al2(SO4)3 and polyacrylamide+CaO remove coliform bacteria and nutrients from swine wastewater
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Animal wastes are a major contributor of nutrients and enteric microorganisms to surface water and ground water. Polyacrylamide (PAM) mixtures are an effective flocculent, and we hypothesized that they would reduce transport of microorganisms in flowing water. After waste water running at 60.0 l min-1 flowed over PAM+Al2(SO4)3, or PAM+CaO in furrows, total coliform bacteria (TC) and fecal coliform bacteria (FC) were reduced by 30-50% at 1 and 50 m downstream of the treatments compared to the control. In a column study, PAM+Al2(SO4)3, and PAM+CaO applied to sandy, sandy loam, loam, and clay soils reduced NH4+ and ortho-P concentrations in leachate compared to the source waste water and the control. PAM+Al2(SO4)3 and PAM+CaO applied to sandy, sandy loam and loam soils reduced both total and ortho-P, concentrations in leachate compared to the source wastewater and control treatment. In a field study, PAM+Al2(SO4)3, or PAM+CaO treatments did not consistently reduce NH4+, NO3-, ortho-P, and total P concentrations in wastewater flowing over any soil compared to inflow wastewater or the control treatment. With proper application PAM+ Al2(SO4)3 and PAM+CaO may be able to reduce the numbers of enteric bacteria in slowly flowing wastewater running off animal confinement areas, reducing the amount of pollutants entering surface water and groundwater.