Secondary Containment

Secondary Containment Systems & Coatings

Secondary containment is a system of “hedging one’s bets” in the case of a chemical leak. The primary storage drums of any hazardous fluids are housed within a chemically resistant secondary containment area with the cubic volume necessary to contain said fluids in the event of a primary storage failure. Curbing is most often employed and designed to contain a volume of at least 110% that of the chemicals being stored in the area.  Furthermore, the system is designed with an appropriate chemical resistant coating. This allows us to leave facilities with a strong plan for SPCC (Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure).

These types of systems are very popular in the chemical processing, intermediary and pharmaceutical industries. These types of facilities often have a large amount of chemical storage. In many cases, the chemicals being stored are highly acidic, alkaline or otherwise corrosive. A chemical drum failure or operator error resulting in spilled fluids could result in damage to the facility’s infrastructure, create environmental contamination or workplace safety issues. A major reason that facility managers and safety directors find so much value in a good secondary containment system is that it avoids much more costly damage control further down the line. These systems also bring a great deal of value to compliance officers who, in many cases, might be forced to institute a workplace shut-down if found to be non-compliant with certain regulatory bodies. EPA, OSHA & third-party audits could potentially cripple a facility’s production and result in very expensive last minute fixes and/or costly fines to pay.
In hiring an experienced design/build firm such as High Performance Systems, you get a number of services. Firstly, you have the consulting power of a highly experienced industrial engineer to advise on regulations with which you must comply and on possible solutions to potential future issues. The same engineer is also highly experienced in the commercial flooring industry, allowing him to draw on a vast knowledge base of products and techniques necessary to achieve your goals. Finally, you have an integrated team of installers to ensure that your project is executed with no hiccups and with minimal interference in your day to day operations. Such a firm provides a “turnkey” approach toward your facility improvement project without having to coordinate and manage many different architects, designers, installers, etc.
The main factors at play in secondary containment coatings are chemical resistance and impermeability. Our primary concern is that we leave you with a system that will not be damaged if the floor comes into contact with corrosive fluids due to spills or leaks. To this end, we collect data on each of the chemicals that are likely to be stored in your facility and match these possible contaminants with an appropriate flooring material. The epoxies, cement urethanes and vinyl esters that we use are rated on an internationally standardized scale of chemical resistance called ASTM. In most cases, these ratings will determine the general chemical resistance of each product at our disposal. We want to ensure that our coating is 100% impermeable to these types of spills. A less adequate floor could open up the possibility of your entire slab becoming contaminated, which would require costly and labor intensive remediation.
To determine the volume necessary for your secondary containment system, we audit your storage practices to determine the greatest amount of liquid volume that might be saved in any given containment area. We then surround that area with curbing sufficient to contain 110% of that volume and coat the entire area with a chemical resistant secondary containment coating. In the event of a complete failure of your primary storage, the secondary containment area that we leave you must be able to contain all errant fluids so that the rest of your plant is unaffected. Finally, we want to address your physical usage of the secondary containment area. We consider issues of access for forklifts or load-in areas. In many cases, we install an elevated ramp that allows for easy access without compromising the containment properties of the system.
See some of our secondary containment system case studies below. If you would like to begin the process of planning out a secondary containment solution, please contact one of engineering representatives at (800) 928-7220.



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