Secondary containment systems are a key part of a strategic safety strategy to prevent an accident or an industrial spill from spreading and making the situation worse. These are the backup line of defense for containment when the primary containment system fails or leaks. If there is any risk of chemical and/or oil leaks this requires secondary containment protection to be in place because it is very easy for chemicals and oil to escape from primary containment.
Berms Used As Secondary Containment Systems
Berms are effective for secondary containment. They can be permanent installations such as a collection pond or temporary collection areas such as a connectable spill berm or a portable spill berm.
Portable spill berms can be placed under trucks or roll-off containers to collect anything that drips or escapes from the truck tanks or containers. Temporary connectable spill berms are placed around a spill in an emergency situation to prevent the spill from dissipating further, such as spreading across land, water, or flowing into nearby drains.
When looking for secondary containment systems, consider the following:
- The viscosity (ease of flow) of the oil or chemicals to be contained.
- Hazardous nature of the containment flows including corrosiveness, flammability, and toxicity.
- Temporary or permanent containment requirements.
- Protection of containment space from damage caused by heavy equipment or trucks moving across it.
Protecting Collection Ponds and Land Berms from Damage
When ponds are created by digging and leveling of land without using any concrete or other reinforcement to keep the structure intact, there is a need to protect them if any vehicles will transverse through them.
In order to allow trucks or heavy equipment to pass over the berm, it can be useful to place a strong removable ground cover over the berm area and/or to use track guards to prevent tire abrasion when vehicles move through the berm.
A drive-through foam berm may also be called a foam wall duck pond. They are easy to use and deploy quickly. They can be driven through without needing to remove any brackets or other barricades. The side wall of this type of berm is constructed with CFC-free foam that can be driven over and then it will automatically spring back into its protective wall shape after the vehicle has passed.
These berms are reinforced with durable PVC fabric that is available in chemical resistant types as well. These foam wall berms are very useful to place under vehicles, trucks, storage drums, tanks, water storage systems, or any other things that may experience a leak.
Using berms as secondary containment protection is a wise choice because this avoids the costlier problems that can occur when leaks are not properly contained. Since many styles of these berms are portable and reusable, it makes sense to have them readily available for use in many types of industrial, chemical, petrochemical, construction, and other job sites. They are a wise investment to help mitigate the risks of a potentially costly spill or accident.