Assessment of Polyacrylamide Concentration in Construction Stormwater Runoff

Christy Manning

When used in erosion control, polyacrylamide (PAM) may unintentionally appear in stormwater runoff. This study used a large-scale ASTM D6459 rainfall simulator, a centrifuge, and a UV-Vis spectrometer to assess the presence of PAM in runoff samples from the test. High (>120 mg/L) to moderate concentrations were detected throughout the simulation. Implications suggest that caution should be used when employing PAM near environmentally sensitive areas.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Understand the potential environmental concerns of using polyacrylamide (PAM) for erosion control.
  • Understand one method to quantify PAM concentration in runoff that works for construction.
  • Understand that the large-scale storm simulation yielded high (<120 mg/L) to moderate concentrations of PAM in runoff.

Presented by Christy Manning – Graduate Research Assistant, Auburn University

Christy Manning is a Graduate Research Assistant at Auburn University with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Auburn University and a B.A. in Music and Economics from Agnes Scott College. Her interest in Civil Engineering stemmed from her time as a Construction Site Supervisor and AmeriCorps Construction Crew Leader with Habitat for Humanity. At Auburn she interned in marine construction, conducted catalysis research with the Chemical Engineering department, and assisted with Auburn's C-Analysis class. She is both a North Carolina transplant and a second-generation Auburn Tiger. She enjoys powerlifting and playing the piano.