This paper describes the Bureau of Mines investigation of the use of polyethylene oxide (peo) as a flocculant for a variety of mineral wastes. As part of this investigation, the hydrodynamics of the flocculation process were studied. It was determined that to obtain optimum dewatering results, the factors of energy input into the stirrer, polymer concentration, and polymer dosage must be considered. It was found that at a given polymer concentration, there was an optimum stirrer speed and polymer dosage. With excess peo, the amount of water removed in the trommel decreased, but no evidence for steric stabilization was observed.