Spill Containment

Containment – Do you need it?

Spill Containment – Why do you need it?

Spill Containment should be used as a precautionary measure to store hazmat material, such as oils and chemicals, where potential spillages can be contained. SANS regulations and municipal by laws state that your containment unit/bund must have a holding capacity of 110% of the largest container or 25% of the total volume of all containers, whichever is greater volume. This will limit your risk to man and the environment should accidental spills occur.

Bunding – What is it?

Spill Bunding refers to either stationary concrete walls or prefabricated portable plastic/steel containment units.

Stationary Concrete Bunds

Concrete bund designs can be achieved using high walls, however, for firefighting and ease of access the wall height should be limited to 1500 mm.  It should be noted that for ease of maintenance the minimum tank to wall distance should be 750 mm.  Some regulators will require that jetting failure be also taken into consideration. Most regulations state that bunds should be constructed of reinforced mass concrete (RMC). These bunds have the lowest failure rate.  Bunds built of hollow core block can leak water between and through the blocks and this is a common failure. Once in service, the integrity of bunds should be assessed regularly. This is either by hydro-static testing or visual inspection, depending on the required method.

Portable Plastic or Steel Bunds

These are prefabricated units, made from either polyethylene or steel. Polyethylene material is anti-trust, anti-corrosion and UV resistant. It is able to bund a wide variety of hazmat material ranging from fuel based products to aggressive chemicals. Most steel units are rust coated mild steel, suitable for hydrocarbons and non-aggressive chemicals, however galvanized steel or stainless steel units are compatible with harsher, corrosive chemicals. These units are forklift compatible and the advantage is in its portability. Unlike fixed concrete bunds, plastic or steel units can be moved where it is needed, on construction or mining sites, in warehouses or large production plants.