In situations where there is a fairly high volume of liquid involved in a leak or a spill, it may not be possible to go right into “absorption mode.” Before you can begin the work of “picking up the spill” you need to contain it. It’s important to stop that spill from spreading over a larger area that will make the cleanup job even more difficult later. That’s a job for a berm. But what is a berm, and how do you know what kind to purchase? We’re glad you asked.
What Is A Berm?
Berms are products that can be used to block, contain or direct liquids. The SpillBlocker-series berms and Build-A-Berm systems are our most popular products for directing liquids. Although they both may be referred to as a berm, they have very different applications. Knowing your application will help you decide on the right one for you.
Berms for Spill Response or Emergency Applications
Urethane berms are very popular for potential spill applications because they don’t require an adhesive to seal to a smooth, dry surface. That means you can quickly deploy them when needed during an emergency, and they’ll start working immediately. These products are mostly used indoors but sometimes can be used for limited outdoor applications. SpillBlocker urethane berms are an important part of a spill response plan and are typically used in short-term deployment or in emergency spill situations. They come in many different sizes and configurations. These berms can be as small as the ¾” SpillBlocker Tabletop Dike or as tall as the nearly 7” High-Volume SpillBlocker. New Pig also offers specialized urethane berms such as the DoorBlocker Dike, WashBlocker Strip, and the Vacuum SpillBlocker as well. We even offer a Rough Surface Dike for outdoor, non-smooth surfaces.
For extended outdoor use and unlimited drive-over protection from traffic, the PIG Drive-Over LeakBlocker Dike should be used. This product is recommended for applications that will require long-term deployment. These dikes feature the same HogHyde covering made famous by the PIG Drive-Over DrainBlocker products. This cover is puncture resistant and will prevent degradation of the urethane by the sun’s ultraviolet light. It’s a perfect fit for the entrance areas to wash bays or garages where high traffic and liquids will both be present.
Berms for Regular Maintenance Applications
If your plant has equipment or areas that always have leaks or drips, it may make more sense to install a semi-permanent berm around your machinery to continuously contain the liquids that drip. PIG Build-A-Berms is the right type of berm for that scenario. Due to their method of deployment, they are not intended for spill response or emergency situations. Unlike urethane dikes, these PVC-covered foam berms require the use of an externally applied adhesive to bond them to the floor and make a tight seal. BAB sections are joined together to create a secondary containment perimeter area that liquids cannot pass. This system may also help you meet containment regulations where containers are stored. All BAB pieces can be cut prior to installation to fit any desired length. BAB corners and wall ends are available to make the installation easier. The BAB line comes in a variety of sizes from 1.5” to 6” tall. The PVC outer covering provides good UV protection that allows the berms to be used outdoors for long periods of time.
You tell us: Which type of berm is better for your purposes? A SpillBlocker or a Build-A-Berm?