The transportation and storage of hazardous materials is a tricky business. There are loads of regulations from the UN, the Department of Transportation and others, and failure to meet those regulations can result in a hefty fine and property, environmental or physical damage due to a leak. Skolnik Industries takes great care to ensure that all of our drums are perfectly suited for their intended contents and meet all necessary regulations. An important and popular safety measure used for the transportation and storage of hazardous materials is a secondary containment system.
Of course, secondary containers have their own set of regulations. Here are a few of the main points of regulations surrounding secondary containment:
Strength and durability
Your secondary containment system must be impervious and free of cracks or gaps. It’s recommended that you inspect your containment system regularly (especially if you are storing materials for an extended period of time). Any damage to the sump or the containment unit itself can lead to system failure and a leak.
Obviously, your containment system should be chemically compatible with whatever liquids might come in contact with it. Skolnik can help guide you to proper materials and containment for your contents.
Sloped or draining
Your secondary containment system must include a slope or be specifically designed to efficiently remove any liquid spilling or leaking from the primary unit inside. Primary containers cannot sit in their own waste. A popular solution to this regulation is to raise the secondary containers on grates, decking or wood pallets or adding a drain to your secondary containment unit. That way, any leaking fluid can be directed away to the sump to be collected.
According to regulations, secondary containment systems “must have sufficient capacity to contain at least 10% of the total volume of the primary containers or 100% of the volume of the largest container, whichever is greater”
That’s a lot of capacity, but also a lot of math! These are just the federal containment regulations, so make sure you work with Skolnik to ensure your containment capacity meets any state-level regulations as well.
Your secondary containment system must be impervious to the weather — specifically, precipitation. If any rainwater or other precipitation can get into the secondary containment system, your capacity must be sufficient enough to contain the additional volume. Remember all of that math? If you don’t want to have to add predicting the weather to your to-do list, it might be easier to just keep the weather out.
That said, any rainwater or snowmelt that enters the sump of your secondary containment is also taking up capacity in your system. Take care to implement a system that won’t overflow.
Any waste or precipitation that has spilled or leaked into the secondary containment area must be removed in a timely manner to prevent overflow. It’s no surprise that a huge part of a secondary containment system is maintaining the cleanliness, integrity and capacity of that system.
In the end, your secondary spill containment is a safety measure. In an ideal world, your primary container will remain unscathed and strong. But, in the event of a spill or leak, you want (and need) to have your bases covered. We at Skolnik are here to help make sure you always have the most effective and compliant containers for your specific materials, whether they are hazardous materials or not.