Choosing the Correct Spill Containment System

Spill Pallets and Decks look similar and have the same purpose in mind. So, which one is right for my application? How much liquid do I need to contain? Why should I have one in my facility? Where should I put it? Do I have enough space? What’s the difference between a pallet and a deck? There are so many options, which is a good thing, when choosing a spill pallet or spill containment deck. Depending on the area and type of containment needed, there is a spill pallet and deck for every application. Determining the answers to these questions will help in assisting you in picking out the best spill contaiment option.

Spill Containment Pallets are designed to help meet federal secondary containment regulations (40 CFR 264.175) for 55-gallon drums.  40 CFR 264.175 states that any containers like drums, tanks and IBCs that contain hazardous liquid require secondary containment units. These units must be free of cracks, gaps and able to contain 10% of the total volume of all containers in the grouping or the volume of the single largest container, whichever is greater.

When deciding on a spill pallet or deck, you first need to know what chemicals you are handling and is the containment unit going to be chemically compatible. Decks and pallets both have a chemical-resistance guide that determines which materials (steel or polyethylene) will be suitable for contact with the liquids being contained.

Steel pallets are a great choice when dedicated bonding/grounding points are required, such as when storing solvents, fuels and other flammable liquids. Steel containment pallets, unlike the polyethylene pallets, are more likely not to crack or split in extreme temperatures.

Polyethylene spill pallets and decks are used for corrosive chemicals, non-flammable liquids and in areas where temperature extremes are not a factor.

Spill pallets can come in several different sizes from low-profile to a small 1-drum unit and all the way up to 8-drum pallets. Some pallets are nestable to reduce the cost of shipping and storage space. Spill pallets that fit into warehouse racking help keep everything below dry and drip free. Spill decks, on the other hand, can be configured to just about any way you need them to be. Decks have the ability to be joined together with different sizes to achieve the size or containment capacity needed in your facility. Other decks can add a bladder system to capture larger spills and help meet regulations.

Spill pallets and decks come in black, yellow and fluorinated colors. Pallets that are black in color mean that the pallet has been made out of recycled material. Fluorinated-colored pallets and decks are most compatible with aggressive chemicals.

If you can’t store your drums, tanks and IBC units indoors, spill pallets and decks come in outdoor hardtop and shed units as well. The hardtops are available in 2, 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20-drum models. Hardtops and DrumSheds have enough room to keep your drum funnels and pumps in place while not in use.


Scott Stone Cisco-Eagle's Director of Marketing. He has over 25 years of experience in the industry.

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