How to choose the best secondary containment berm for spill prevention and control
Spills are always accidents. Which, by definition, means that you can’t control when and where they’re going to happen. If spills are bound to happen wherever you go, wouldn’t it be nice to have a berm handy wherever you go, too?
Well, we’ve got some great news for you — you can! There are several spill containment berms available designed with portability in mind. Whether you’re containing drips from commercial trucks or catching an emergency leak. There are plenty of berms out there that you can easily take wherever you might need them.
A portable containment berm doesn’t mean compromising on durability or capacity, either. For instance, berms are capable of handling small to large spills from 10 up to 7,000 gallons, or more. Which is essential for workplaces with large vehicles or containers like tankers and frac tanks. Importantly, these portable berms offer excellent durability. As well as being easy to clean-up, store, and re-use.
What is a spill containment berm and why is it necessary?
A spill containment berm is a secondary containment solution that prevents hazardous liquid leaks from polluting soil and water. Essentially, a berm acts as a large basin to catch different types of harmful chemical spills.
Typically, spill berms uses are for temporary applications. Such as collecting hazmat liquids in decontamination stations, or truck washing decks. Or, emergency catch basins under vehicles and equipment during fueling or maintenance operations. Alternatively, they can replace spill pallets when storing oil drums or chemical containers.
Berms help compliance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) guidelines. Which require workplaces to have a plan in place to contain a spill, to prevent the pollution of natural resources.
Spill berms come in many styles, materials, configurations, capacity, and footprint sizes. This ensures berms are able to accommodate a wide variety of containers and equipment in different use situations. For instance, smaller spill berms are capable of housing one or two 55-gallon drums. Meanwhile, the largest berms will handle spills from high capacity containers or vehicles such as tanker trucks.
In short, containment berms are a great way to help meet your job site’s EPA and SPCC requirements. And therefore are popular for businesses that store or use large quantities of petroleum products.
With all that said, here are some common scenarios which may help you pick the right berm for your needs.
Small secondary containment berms
Scenario one: You need a small containment berm for an emergency fuel spill. Or, to contain liquids during short-term projects.
For these situations you may want to try one of the lightweight and portable spill berm models. Such as a Portable Drum Berm, which come in a variety of sizes up to 500 gallon spill capacity. Because these compact models use either snap up or foam walls, they’re very quick and easy to set up and pack down.
Similarly, Emergency Pop Up Pools are lightweight, convenient, and resistant to chemicals. Thanks to their smaller size, economy models can fit into a convenient storage bag or cab-mount container. These spill berms are great option for your on-the-go containment needs, with capacity from 20 up to 400 gallons.
Spill prevention berms for temporary container storage
Scenario two: You require a spill containment product for temporarily storing frac tanks or other large totes.
Consider the Flexible Wall Containment Berm that easily unrolls and doesn’t require assembly. Its two-way hinge side walls ensure easy in/out access for vehicles or hand trucks. However, you may want to use heavy duty ground mats or track mats to prevent tears or holes to the berm liner.
Available up to 66 feet long, this berm is ideal for containing even the largest frac tank spill. In addition, it’s a great choice for IBC tote storage. Best of all, this berm helps you comply with EPA Container Storage Regulation 40 CFR. That is to say, it can stop a container’s hazardous waste leak from entering the stormwater system, and prevent pollution.
Drive-in and through spill berms
Scenario three: You need a large containment berm for a truck. It must be able to be rapidly assembled by a single person.
You’re probably looking for the Drive-Through Secondary Spill Containment Berm, which can be set up in minutes. Tanker trucks have easy access by driving the vehicle into the berm. If a spill happens, the low-profile walls rise automatically as the berm fills.
Other great options are the Throw N’ Go Secondary Spill Containment Berm and Self-Rising Containment Berm. These no-assembly berms’ walls also rise automatically as they fill up. In other words, simply unfold and they’re ready for use!
To increase the service life of these heavy-duty spill berms, an optional ground mat can help reduce vehicle tire wear and tear.
Larger containment solution berms
Scenario four: You’re looking for a more efficient way to contain large spills or leaks for trucks and other machinery.
Look no further than the Spill Containment Berm Snap Up, which features sturdy collapsible sides and is easy to set-up. Tie-down straps on the sides and corner grommets allow you to securely position this berm in place. The largest 54 foot long model has more than 5,500 gallon capacity.
Or, the minimal setup Foam Wall Containment Berm has low-profile 2 or 4 inch wall heights with lengths up to 72 feet. Choose from either Copolymer-2000 or more affordable and lighter PVC liner materials.
Finally, try the Secondary Spill Containment Berm — this economical model is a top-seller! At 66 foot long, the largest model has a 7,406 gallon capacity. However, this berm does require some assembly using L-bracket wall supports. Therefore, it doesn’t offer quite the same level of convenience as some of the other single-piece models.
Have a different spill containment scenario in mind?
Don’t worry if the situations above don’t fit your specific containment needs, or if you even need a berm in a custom size. There are plenty of spill containment solutions and berm accessories available.
Absorbents Online is here to help!
We understand. No one wants to deal with a spill when they’re on the go. But having a portable spill containment berm can save you from a big mess. Or, even bigger consequences when it comes to non-compliance with spill regulations.
Talk to your spill containment and clean up experts
Whether you’re traveling with a full-on commercial truck or transporting machinery, it’s always best to prepare by having a spill berm on hand. Then, once you’ve got a spill under control, be sure you also have plenty of the right hazardous waste absorbents for efficient cleaning.
Have questions about which spill containment products or absorbents are right for you? Contact Travis Zdrazil at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 869-9633.
This is a revision to a blog post with an original publish date of May 12, 2015