Secondary Containment

Secondary Containment on Construction Sites

One of the requirements of the Florida  CGP, Construction Generic Permit, that seems to elude many of its permittees is secondary containment. Maybe you’re not even aware of it. Come to think of it, what does it even mean?

Let’s start from the beginning. What is containment? Primary containers hold a liquid medium. An example of this would be a drum, gas can, paint bucket, generator or a mixer. These containers usually keep their contents in check without issue. Because primary containers on a construction site contain liquids that could be an environmental pollutant, and because they can fail, the EPA requires them to have secondary containment.

The EPA does not specify what secondary containment must look like. The good news is that this allows construction crews to be inventive and use items on site to contain potential spills. As long as the structure or device can hold the volume of the liquid in the primary container, you are in compliance. Best Management Practices (BMPs) don’t need to be fancy, they just need to work.
So, how can you start using secondary containment on your construction site? When using a stucco or cement mixer, you may place a large tarp below to catch any liquid waste that falls out of the mixer, as seen in the image above. You may also reduce the need for secondary containment by keeping items like gas and paint cans stored off site when not in immediate use. However for ease of use, secondary containment for gas or paint cans can be as simple as a large cardboard box lined with plastic or a kiddie pool. Already have a cement pad poured on site? That’s another good option.

We know – it’s often hard to contain your excitement when thinking about secondary containment. Consult KCI to share in our enthusiasm. Our expert stormwater inspectors can evaluate your current needs for secondary containment and can provide helpful tips that specifically fit the needs of your site.

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