Spill Containment

Spill containment berms are used to prevent undesirable spreading of liquids resulting from spilling. Spill berms are made from plastic, rubber, concrete or a material that is resistant to the effects of the liquid being contained. There are many styles available for different applications.



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Spill Berms for Vehicles
Spill berms for vehicles typically come in both a hard(plastic) and soft(rubber) variety. The soft variety provides a drive over capability where vehicles can drive directly over the side. The hard variety will require assembly of the drive up side after the vehicle is parked on the platform. These are often required by law when loading and unloading certain liquids from vehicles.

ENGINEERING.com Spill Berms for VehiclesCollapsing Wall Berms
Collapsing wall or snap-in-place berms can be quickly deployed with one or two people. The steps to set up the berm are to unroll it, fold up the walls, and then insert steel stays to support the sides. To allow vehicles to enter the berm, the steel stays can be quickly removed from one wall. The vehicle then drives onto the berm and the steel stays are re-inserted to set the wall back up again. Typical collapsing wall berms are made to resist chemicals such as petroleum. Look for ones that have heave duty material. 30 ounce is recommended.

Drive-in Berms
Drive in berms have foldable or foam sides that allow a vehicle to drive in and out. This feature is very useful as compared to collapsing wall berms since there is no operator required to take down and set up the side wall. The key to making these berms effective in the long term is that the material must have a memory foam side. Otherwise the sides will compress over time due to repeated vehicle passage. Other items to look for include have appropriate radius on the corners to reduce stress through multiple use.

 


Secondary Containment
Secondary Containment can be used for transport, storage(drip control), or spill containment. Very quick to assemble these versatile berms are available in many configurations and materials to suit every spill containment application.

ENGINEERING.com Spill Berms for ContainersSpill Berms for Containers
Spill berms for containers are similar to the vehicle type set out above, with many offering similar features. The most popular are PVC fabric construction with removable or collapsible sidewall stays that allow the sidewall of the berm to be flattened. This allows containers to be rolled onto the berm or driven on with a forklift. These berms are a low-cost solution for applications such as industrial containment or decontamination.

Spill Containment Pallets
Spill containment pallets are the right solution for managing chemical drums that have to be moved frequently. The top-selling pallet systems are made of polyethylene plastic that can survive most chemical spills Look for removable grates for easier cleaning and side colors that will show any leakage.

 


Concrete Washout
Washout berms are used for cleaning jobs that are often required by the EPA for applications such as cleaning concrete mixers or boats. Simple to use, these devices allow for easy capture of waste water allowing for safe disposal after the job is complete.

ENGINEERING.com Washout BermsConcrete Washout
Concrete washout berms allow you to maintain EPA compliance when cleaning up your concrete, paint, drywall mud or stucco jobs. Look for berms that are readily portable, since this application requires frequent repositioning of the berm. Also look for a washout berm that will fit with your pump trucks, mixers and wheel barrows.

Wash Down Pads
When you are using portable mobile washing devices, such as pressure washers, local and federal regulations may require you to capture the effluent for proper disposal. This prevents contaminants such as paint chips, gray water, grease and invasive fish species from entering the regular sewer system. Look for a lightweight quick to assemble device that is large enough to match your application. Similar to vehicle spill containment berms, many wash down pads are made with heavy duty (22 oz) PVC fabric to permit vehicles or trailers to drive over them.

 

Video Transcript

Today we’re talking about spill containment berms, those handy unsung heroes of environmental protection. You can consider this to be a buyer’s guide of what to look for when specifying or buying spill containment products.

Spill berms are used to prevent undesirable leakage of liquids into the environment surrounding a leaking container or a chemical spill. They are made to contain chemicals such as petroleum in the event that there is a leak in a container, like a truck or a drum. You’ll see spill berms wherever drums and trucks are being loaded with chemicals because they catch any spillage that may occur in the transfer.

Spill berms are required under many local environmental regulations. For example, you may need to equip each truck in your fleet with it’s own portable spill berm and to train each operator on how to use it. Be sure to check the OSHA regulations as an overview and then follow up with local authorities to find out exactly what you need.

Spill berms are made from plastic, rubber or any other material that is resistant to the effects of the liquid being contained. It’s important that the material be resistant to the chemical being contained so that the spill berm itself doesn’t begin to leak.

You can find spill berms for all sorts of specialty applications. There are spill berms for vehicles, spill berms for containers like drums, and there are washout berms that are used to capture the grey water from power washing or other portable devices. Spill berms for your application may be either portable or fixed. To learn more about what to look for when buying specific spill berms, take a look at some of our related videos.