Like us, you probably use large volumes of liquids in your operations, and those commonly come in 55-gallon drums or other large volume containers. But often we do not anticipate these containers leaking or chemicals spilling, but we should. Proper drum spill containment can come in many forms.
Below we will discuss the importance of spill containment for metal drums and other large IBCs and look at the various products and methods of containing drum spills. If you are using these containers and are not already protecting them from leaking onto the ground or down a drain, you are in the right place.
What is a Metal Drum and How Is It Used?
Metal and plastic 55-gallon drums are used in many industries and carry myriad contents – from potable water to caustic chemicals. They are affordable, common, and easily accessible, so are prevalently utilized for storing and transporting liquids and other materials.
Drums are great for containing hazardous liquid chemicals from spilling, including:
- Caustic substances
- Petroleum products
However, metal, and plastic drums can leak or spill, so they should be used in combination with drum spill containment pallets to prevent spills.
For non-liquid contents, PacTec has an alternative FIBC solution that could be beneficial for your use – the self-standing UN-rated cubic yard bag. They easily contain the equivalent of (4) 55-gallon drums and have an integrated liner for leak prevention. They are not designed for full-liquid contents, though, but are an ideal and affordable substitute for packaging household hazardous waste, lab packing, contaminated PPE, and other items where drums have typically been used.
What is a Spill Containment Pallet?
Traditional spill containment pallets consist of 2 sections – a basin and grating to allow spilled fluids to pass through into the basin. Many also utilize a drain plug in the basin to drain any caught spilled liquid properly and safely. Typically, they are constructed from metal or polyethylene and are sized to fit from 1 to 4 drums.
While these traditional spill pallets are effective and widely available, they are not the only effective drum spill containment basin. Portable spill berms are often utilized in lieu of rigid pallets to safely contain leaks, drips, or ruptures from chemical storage drums. PacTec offers many spill containment solutions that are durable, affordable and a compliant alternative.
Why Is It Important to Contain Spills Beneath Metal Drums?
Effective spill containment serves many purposes, including prevention of hazardous liquids from entering soil and groundwater, safety of your employees, and avoidance of hefty environmental fines imposed by OSHA or the EPA.
In most cases, spills or leaks are not intentional, but are due to failing valves, failure to fully close them, or removal of containers before the drum product stops flowing fully. These leaks, drips or spills can cause unsafe working conditions depending on the material, create unintended slip/trip hazards, and expose you to violation notifications.
PacTec has some great advice on dealing with spills in the workplace here – a plan we call the 4 C’s of Chemical Spill Response.
Spill Containment Pallet Types
Drum spill containment pallets are commonly available in various types, sizes, and materials, giving you the ability to choose the proper containment for your facility’s needs and space constraints. In addition to 55-gallon drum containment, the market is full of variations for IBC totes and other types of liquid storage containers. Below are the most common types:
- Spill platforms/pallets
- Outdoor drum storage units
- Economy spill pallets
- IBC (intermediate bulk container) pallets
- Portable and stackable pallets
Plus, there are many traditional spill containment berms that serve the same purposes, are often more affordable and just as easy to set up, move, and drain. Among the options available from PacTec are:
Like us, you probably have 55-gallon drums or similar containers holding chemicals, fuel, or solvents in your operation. These are excellent primary containments, but often need/require a secondary level of containment to prevent leaks and spills. These come in the form of drum containment pallets or spill berms. While there are many options on the market, evaluating them for your own needs is critical to a successful spill prevention plan. PacTec’s team of spill containment experts can help you select the right solution for you.