If you’re in the petroleum, chemical or utility industries, chances are you’ve come across the term “containment berm.” But what are they, how are they used, and what are the best ways to ensure you are following the regulatory guidelines for their use.
What is a spill containment berm?
Containment berms are commonly used to for the protection of fuel trucks, any oil-filled equipment, fuel tanks, truck washing decks, and any item that may leak hazardous liquids.
What are containment berms made of?
Spill containment berms are typically made from a heavy duty 30 mil chemical and fuel resistant fabric. These berms are lighter in weight compared to metal containment berms.
According to wikipedia, fabric berms are the preferred modern technique for spill prevention and containment over the older methods of catch basins which can leak, often cannot be moved, or easily cleaned.
But as the old adage goes, buyer beware. There are options on the market for cheaper PVC fabric for spill containment which can break down when they come into limited contact with any petroleum-based chemical.
So make sure your fabric has both puncture resistance and high tear strength like you find in the popular XR-5 or Cool Guard fabrics.
How are containment berms used?
Containment berms should always be deployed on a flat surface free from debris and sharp objects. If the berms are going to be used frequently, you should also make sure to use Ground Mats to lay underneath the berm and Track Mats, which help protect the berm from tire abrasion.
What are the EPA guidelines for containment berms?
If you store or use large quantities of petroleum products, you already know that the EPA Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) guidelines require you to have a plan in place to contain a spill and to prevent the pollution of our natural resources.
How can I learn more?
Chemtech offers a variety of spill containment berms. We have drive through berms that require very little set up and can be deployed in less than 30 seconds! All our berms come with bulk head drain plugs and free repair kits.