Secondary Spill Containment System

Comparing Concrete Pads Against Modular Containments

Concrete Containment Pads vs. Modular Spill Containment

For centuries, humans have built roads, highways, bridges and entire cities out of concrete. When taking this into consideration, it may seem natural and logical to use concrete for industrial applications, such as SPCC secondary spill containment. Concrete containment pads have been in use for a long time, but that doesn’t mean their design is full-proof. Modular spill containment (a more recent form of secondary containment) may be far more beneficial to meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

This article will briefly discuss the limitations of using concrete containment pads as a secondary containment system and offer a better solution.

The Limitations of Concrete Containment Pads

Concrete containment pads, structures and systems have long been the traditional solution for adequate secondary containment for various industries. Generally speaking, concrete containment pads consist of a poured concrete foundation, combined with vertical concrete walls, enforced with rebar. Once the concrete is poured, the interior is typically coated with epoxies, tars and polyurethane to prevent spilled chemicals from eating away at the structure.

So, what’s the problem with concrete containment pad design? While it may seem like a perfect solution, concrete secondary containment systems come with some serious limitations and weaknesses. Common limitations of concrete containment pad design include the following:

  • Concrete naturally develops cracks over time
  • Concrete requires expansion joints to allow fluid to seep downward.
  • Concrete decays over time.
  • Concrete is inflexible and cannot be moved once poured.
  • Concrete containment pad design allows rainwater and debris to collect in the overspill space.
  • Concrete coatings are inflexible once cured and can crack along with the concrete.

A First-Hand Look at Concrete Containment Pad Design Flaws

Let’s look at a real-world example of how concrete containment pad design can be flawed. To the left is a concrete secondary containment system built in early 2000. This concrete containment pad was constructed to the highest standards and with the latest technology.

A concrete containment padThis 80-foot-long, 14-foot-wide system cost well over $80,000, with a major site disruption of six weeks from start to finish.

Cracked concrete containment padLet’s take a closer look.

Functionally, this concrete containment pad is entirely ineffective for SPCC purposes, as the concrete has cracked in multiple locations.

This secondary containment system has developed cracks that run the entire width of each section, rendering it completely useless. That’s six 14-foot-long cracks!

Polystar containment pad solutionA better, truly effective solution is a pre-fabricated Polystar Containment Pad that can be installed in just hours. It can be re-located as needed.

These surface-mounted secondary containment systems wonā€™t crack & offer years of performance in the most extreme hot or cold conditions.

Modular Spill Containment: A Better System

If concrete containment pads are ineffective, what else can facilities use as secondary containment? A better, more effective solution comes in the form of prefabricated modular spill containment dike systems from Polystar Containment. Triangular blocks create modular spill containment walls that fit together and form a structure that won’t crack or deteriorate over time.

Modular spill containment creates a barrier inside the walls to contain liquids and prevent fuel and other hazardous chemical spills from contaminating the environment. Because the pieces are modular, you can easily reconfigure the size depending on the needed application.

You can install modular spill containment in just five hours and relocate it as necessary. These surface-mounted secondary containment systems won’t crack and offer years of performance in extreme hot or cold conditions.

Polystar Containment can deliver and install (in the lower 48 states) a comparable 80-foot modular spill containment pad system for approximately 60% of the cost of the failed concrete containment pad system above.

Tanker Truck on Containment Pad

In this picture, you can see Polystar’s heavy-duty, drive-on Containment Pad™ ffor secondary spill containment in action.

Take a look at Polystar’s modular, heavy-duty drive-on containment system ā€“ the Camel Tri-StarĀ® for industrial spill prevention in use at a military base.

Don’t Settle for Ineffective Concrete Containment Pads ā€“ Choose Polystar Containment Today

Are you ready to bring your SPCC compliance into the 21st century? At Polystar Containment, we offer affordable modular spill containment solutions designed for complete reliability. Our selection of industrial and military spill containment solutions won’t crack, leak, decay or crumble over time. More importantly, unlike concrete containment pads, our products can be moved as needed for years of reliable secondary spill containment everywhere you go. Contact Polystar Containment today for truly effective spill containment.

Railcar Transloading Containment Plan spill containment for transloaders Pad
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