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What Are the Two Types of Secondary Containment?


Secondary containment solutions help businesses meet environmental compliance and safety standards while protecting surrounding and underneath tanks from spills, leaks, or other risks. Look into the Best info about oil containment coating.

Secondary containment refers to any system or device which prevents discharges from leaving a specific area, such as drums/barrels, IBC totes, and storage tanks that store chemicals regulated under environmental legislation.

Concrete Containment Structures

Traditional secondary containment systems include large concrete basins that encase primary storage tanks. Although this option can be expensive and space-consuming, its primary advantage lies in protecting primary containers against leakage or failure with its outer, sealed secondary tank until emptying and inspection are performed before possible repairs occur.

Polystar Containment offers prefabricated modular spill containment dike systems as a more cost-effective and practical alternative based on your facility and chemical use. Their triangular block walls fit together securely for superior performance regardless of temperature, abrasive conditions, or other environmental influences, providing your tanks maximum protection from various chemical risks.

Spill pallets and their low-profile counterpart, the spill deck, are also popular choices for passive secondary containment solutions. These containers often have sufficient sump capacity and can easily connect to 30/55 gallon drums, IBC totes, or oil tanks securely.

40 CFR 112.8(c)(3) for outdoor-specific secondary containment requires you to drain any accumulated stormwater and record its results by regulations in your National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permit or local fire codes.

Spill Pallets

Your business transporting hazardous liquids such as fuels, oils, and chemicals knows the importance of keeping employees and the environment safe. That is why the Environmental Protection Agency has implemented strict policies regarding storage facilities that store liquids. Failure to abide by them could result in heavy fines for businesses as well as license revocation for individuals; to minimize these risks and implement active containment measures like drum spill pallets as secondary storage products, implement active containment measures like drum spill pallets as part of active containment measures for storage units like your facility.

A drum spill containment pallet is designed to collect leaks or spills from 55-gallon drums stored atop. It is typically made of high-density polyethylene or another chemical-resistant material with an easily accessible sump that can hold up to 75% of its volume. Furthermore, their grating design makes them easily cleanable following accidental leakage incidents.

No matter the nature of your facility – industrial plant or warehouse – bulk containers or oil-filled equipment require secondary containment for discharge prevention. While the SPCC rule doesn’t specify specific methods to implement discharge prevention measures, any facility with “bulk storage containers large or small, manned or unmanned and oil-filled equipment” must have secondary containment measures.

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To determine how much secondary containment your facility requires, first calculate the total capacity of all containers currently being used, including any sumps which contribute displacement. Subtract precipitation freeboard as necessary and volumetrically subtract other objects within your containment system, such as pedestals, tanks, or equipment contributing to removal.

Spill Decks

Spill decks are essential when storing drums of liquid chemicals, providing raised platforms equipped with a sump to contain any spills or leaks from their containers and avoid cross-contamination from other chemical materials on your work site, which could potentially cause explosions or toxic reactions.

An advantage of using platform platforms on job sites is their portability; employees can more easily access chemicals and equipment they require for work, while you can combine multiple decks to increase sump capacity as per facility or government regulations.

If you plan to use spill decks for secondary containment, it is essential to understand their EPA and OSHA requirements. These standards generally conform with good engineering practice, with some variations depending on your facility setup and operations.

The Environmental Protection Agency website lists regional offices and phone numbers that deal with secondary containment compliance, along with state EPA agencies that explain your local codes. Furthermore, UFC maintains a list of containers, such as drums and totes, with specific regulations applicable to them; regardless of which code your container falls under, it must have adequate capacity in case it suffers a major failure.


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Secondary containment is essential to the SPCC rule and may either be passive or active. Passive systems don’t need any operational deployment – they remain in place ready for leaks or spills, such as tank liners and oil-solidifying polymers – while employees deploy active ones via socks, booms, or pads that your employees actively deploy; such systems are particularly effective with chemicals that react with water and could result in fire.

Outdoor secondary containment comes in general and specific (sized). Available secondary containment includes catch basins designed to collect all the stormwater contained on an entire site. Specific secondary containment provides containment specifically tailored for an individual location or event. Specific secondary containment refers to containers, tanks, and mobile/portable containers sized to their maximum capacity. Both versions require the inclusion of “sufficient freeboard” into their design to account for precipitation accumulation. Draining of precipitation must be documented, and any oil in drain water must be either returned to storage or disposed of according to your National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permit requirements.

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