Primary Containment

Secondary Containment

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Spill containment is basically where hazardous liquids, chemicals, pesticides, etc. are contained in a spill containment shield or drain system and not being absorbed in the surface. One way to do this is to employ an inflatable spill containment stopper insert which is inserted in the outflow of an underground drain system to build a spill containment shield. Another way is to build spill containment barriers either below or above ground. A spill containment barrier can be made from a variety of materials such as concrete, polyethylene, solid vinyl, polypropylene, or vinyl. The first step is for the spill containment barrier to be firmly applied to the ground in a protective fashion.


There are many benefits associated with spill containment barriers. The first being that it reduces the contamination of landfills by cutting down the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill. It also reduces the cost of cleaning up contaminated landfills. Most importantly, however, spill containment reduces the risk of worker exposure to dangerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which is produced as a result of chemical processing. Studies indicate that worker exposure to VOCs is more common than worker exposure to other VOCs such as methane and carbon dioxide.

Spill containment liners can either be primary spill containment liners or secondary spill containment liners. A primary spill containment liner is one which is used in the primary spill containment or is a secondary containment liner which is used in the event that no primary liner is available. One example of a primary spill containment liner is the concrete spill containment liner. A concrete spill containment liner is just like a concrete slab but with an additional plastic liner used to absorb spillover of VOCs. Other spill containment liners include: poly vinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene (PS) and polyurethane (PU) spill containment liners.


There are a number of spill containment solutions including concrete sheets, poly bags and poly sheets. The concrete spill containment solution is more effective than other spill containment solutions. However, these concrete sheets tend to be quite large and thus absorbent and might not be appropriate for certain applications.

Poly bags and poly sheets are preferred spill containment solutions in the United States. The material acts as an absorbent and does not contaminate the ground as does the concrete sheets. However, they are not as effective because they cannot handle chemical reaction that might occur in case of hydrocarbons present in soil. They are more suitable for containment of oil-water mixing systems.

Chemical spill containment liners are useful spill containment solutions in case of spills involving hazardous chemicals. They form a chemical seal around the spill area. This form of protection has greater effects than the other forms. These liners have low odor and color emission rates and are suitable for use with a variety of chemicals.


In case the spill containment liners do not work, there are other spill containment options that can be used in lieu of the liners. One such option is the spill containment system. This includes spill containment liners as well as spill containment booms. These are elevated spill containment systems that are strategically placed in strategic locations to prevent spillages of hazardous chemicals. They are generally made from high-density polyethylene and polypropylene material. They provide excellent spill containment solutions and are suitable for a wide range of spill containment situations.

It should be noted that spill containment systems are not confined to spill containment solutions. They are also useful for containing water that has overflowed into lakes and rivers and for containing petroleum and other hazardous materials that might spill over a spill containment source. Thus the need for secondary containment arises when a spill containment system fails to contain the spill. When secondary containment is required, it is usually used along with the primary containment.




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