Spill Control


Why do you need to have measures in place to contain spills onsite? 

It’s easy to think that a hazardous spill will never happen on your site, but the reality is that hazardous spills happen every day and it’s not a question of “if” one will happen, but “when.” If you use hazardous materials onsite, it is critical that you have a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan in place. These plans include spill kits, secondary containment, and more to ensure that when a spill happens it can be quickly contained to prevent it from polluting nearby bodies of water. If a spill were to happen, and not be contained, you could be held responsible and receive very hefty fines. 

Can’t I just have paper towels or rags available?  

There are a variety of types of products that are EPA and OSHA approved to contain hazardous spills. While you can use paper towels and rags to clean up everyday spills at your house, there are materials specifically designed to appropriately clean up hazardous materials.  A hazardous spill can include (but is not limited to) any of these materials: hydrocarbons (gasoline, oil), solvents, corrosive acids, chemicals, etc. 

If you have a variety of hazardous materials on-site, you may even need a variety of different types of spill supplies. As different products are designed for different types of hazardous fluids. 

What type of kit or absorbent do I need for my spill? 

There are three types of absorbents or spill kits out there, and they are each designed to clean-up different types of spills. 

  • Universal spill control kits/absorbents: These materials are designed for hazardous fluids like coolants, antifreeze, and solvents. 
  • Oil-only spill control kits/absorbents: These materials are specifically designed for fuel, grease, and other oil-based liquids. 
  • Hazardous spill control kits/absorbents: These materials are critical to absorbing acid or other caustic/aggressive chemical spills. 

In addition to choosing the right materials for your facility, it is also critical to ensure that you have enough absorbents on hand to cleanup spills as they occur in addition to enough PPE supplies to protect your team. Spill Kits are a great option to help you ensure you have everything you need versus buying all of the pieces individually. 

You can check out our spill kits here. If you have questions about which kit is right for your facility, call or email our team for assistance. 

There are many types of absorbents, what do they each do?

The following absorbents are designed to be used to clean up spills in your facility. While spill kits contain absorbents and most of the PPE equipment required, some companies prefer to build their own kits. The most common absorbents include: 

  • Pads: Pads are sheets of absorbent material and are designed to quickly sop up spills, much like a paper towel. They can also be laid on the ground to protect against possible small spills or leaks. Absorbent Rolls are similar to pads but come on a roll. 
  • Pillows: Pillows are similar to pads, but are filled with more absorbent material. These are designed for bigger spills where higher absorbency is needed. 
  • Socks / Tubes: Socks or tubes are typically used to absorb liquid off of industrial equipment. They can also be laid on the floor to help contain a spill. 

To see all of our available absorbents, click here. If you don’t see what you need, reach out to our team for assistance. 

What about spills that happen in the water? 

Absorbents called Booms are often used in the water to help soak up oil or hydrocarbon spills that may occur. BMPstore offers two different options: 

  • Shark Boom: When petroleum-based fluid spills in water are of concern, a product (like the Shark Boom) that is able to absorb the pollutant while repelling water is required. 
  • Oil-Only WaterBROOM: This product is designed to be used on water surfaces like ponds, discharge systems or storm drains to absorb and contain hydrocarbons for extended periods of time.

Are there any other spill containment kits & products that I can use to contain and clean-up spills? 

Yes, there are many products on the market that are able to assist in containing or cleaning up spills. A few other products worth mentioning are: 

  • Secondary containment products are used to contain spills in sumps before they had the chance to spread and are popular in facilities that store hazardous materials in large tanks or drums. These products include spill pallets, containment sumps, and spill berms
  • Pop-Up Pools expand instantly to contain large spills and are often used with large equipment or trucks. 

Whatever product you choose, it is important to have some sort of SPCC plan in place to protect you from large EPA fines in the event of a spill. 

What am I required to have on-site to clean up spills? 

When stocking up on spill control materials, it is important that you ensure your kit has enough personal protective equipment (PPE), the correct amount of absorbent materials for your potential spills, containment equipment to stop the spill from spreading, proper disposable containers (do not throw used absorbents out in a regular trash can), and information for your employees on what steps should be taken to clean-up and contain a spill. 

Questions? We’re here to help. 

If you have any questions about what products may be right for your facility, or if you need spill kits or other measures in place, reach out to our team for assistance - info@acfenv.com or 800-644-9223.