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Corrosion Resistant self-priming pump for spill containment

Corrosion Resistant self-priming pump for spill containment

In this case study, we’re discussing a new horizontal self-priming spill control pump we recently supplied to an industrial client. They had several silos and tanks on site and needed an effective and reliable pump to minimise potential damage from any spills.

So what is spill control?

Spill containment pumpObviously, it’s what you do after there’s been a spillage: clear it up quickly and reduce the possible damage.

At home, we might spill some milk, a cup of tea or coffee, or even some paint on the carpet. As you can clearly see, different spills can have significantly different levels of damage and potential cost!

The same goes for businesses.  So let’s look at spill control on a larger scale. What if you’re a business that has something on site that could have a major environmental impact if there was a spill? 

Examples could be paint, chemicals or harmful materials that could leak into the drains, and on into a river or stream. It could cause harm to people, fish, wildlife and damage the wider natural environment.  The cost of clear up and potential fines could soon mount up, as what happened to a company in Derbyshire, UK as a result of an accidental cyanide leak which posed a risk to workers, and was estimated to have killed 100s of fish in nearby waterways.

The biggest oil spill in history

On 20th April 2010, there was a massive explosion on the BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, just 41 miles off the coast of Louisiana in the US.

Before the rig sunk two days later, over 4.9 million barrels of oil had leaked into the gulf and formed a slick covering more than 57,500 square miles of the Gulf.

After the disaster, a temporary halt on offshore drilling enforced by US President Barack Obama left an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 local people temporarily unemployed.

Why is it important that spills are cleared up quickly?

In the UK, the accidental spillage of oils and other chemicals from industrial sites causes a significant amount of pollution every year.

Many spills can be prevented with rigorous production processes and strict monitoring. But if there is an accidental leakage, it’s important to act quickly to:

  • Minimise possible damage: spills can spread rapidly and seriously harm the environment

  • Avoid prosecution: court fines and clean-up costs after a spill can be expensive

  • Reduce negative PR: a spill can mean very bad publicity for a company, its directors and clients, as BP discovered in the US after the Deepwater Horizon incident

What’s the difference between spill control, primary and secondary containment?

Spill control tactics are designed to reduce the amount of contact the spilled material has with people, property and the wider environment.

Primary containment is the actual vessel or container holding a substance - solids, liquids, chemicals or waste. It’s the first line of defence against spills, leaks or accidental releases.

Secondary containment serves as a back-up in case the primary containment is breached.

It is a regulatory requirement for any primary container if the contents are hazardous, and a breach of that containment would endanger life, soil or water around it.

By law, the secondary containment system, ‘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.’

What’s the current legislation?

Strict legislation is in place to protect people and the environment from accidental spills of hazardous liquids, oil, fuel or chemicals that can cause serious health and safety and environmental problems.

If spills aren’t controlled and damage does happen, then severe penalties can be issued to any business.

In fact, the Health and Safety Executive has Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations created to ensure that businesses:

  • Take all necessary measures to prevent major accidents involving dangerous substances

  • Limit the effect on people and the environment of any major accidents which do occur

Our specification for this client

Here at North Ridge Pumps, we can supply an enormous range of pumps for a variety of industrial applications.

What’s more, we’re not limited to just one pump technology. Our unrivalled expertise enables us to offer a tailor-made solution, not something picked off the shelf. So we always choose the most cost-effective pump for any specific client, project or application.

Corrosion Resistant self-priming pump for spill containment

Hardwearing stainless steel

For this project, our client asked for a pump which would be corrosion resistant to a number of types of fluid, and from long-term exposure to air and water which can be common with pumps manufactured from Cast Iron. For this reason pump material needed to be carefully considered to ensure that there were no issues with pump corrosion during its operation lifetime.

We specified a 3’ horizontal self-priming pump made from cast AISI 316 stainless steel. This material is widely used in industrial applications and is well suited to harsh environments as it has greater corrosion resistance.  Additionally, as stainless steel has more tensile strength, it is ideal for operating at higher temperatures.

Our stainless steel self-priming pump was specially designed for spill containment at the client’s site where there are several tanks and silos housed within a bund – this is a type of embankment or wall of stone or earth, built to stop the area being covered by a large amount of water.

Flexibility across different applications

The client also required the pump to be used for tanker loading, and to feed discharge into a sewage plant. If the silos or tanks ever leak, the pump will evacuate the bund of any wastewater, milk or other low viscosity liquid. 

We supplied the pump with a built-in control panel so that users had convenient local control of the pump’s operations on site.

A key feature of this spill control and tanker loading pump is the self-priming function which primes the pump in just 45 seconds – vitally important when a spill has to be contained quickly. In addition, it can handle solids up to 30mm and dry run for up to 30 minutes once the head is filled with liquid.

If you’re looking for a spill control, tanker loading or sewage plant feed pump, and are unsure which pump right for your needs, speak to North Ridge Pumps to see how we can help.