Complete Guide to Bunding for Spill Control

You may have heard the term ‘bunding‘ before and know it’s used for spill control and prevention but you may be less familiar with the different types of bunding available, the different spill containment purposes they serve and the pros and cons of each.

In the following article we will cover some different types of bunding available, what you need to know as far as your requirements for safe storage of hazardous liquids and installation requirements.

floor bunding in practice

What is Bunding?

Bunding is essentially a spill containment product, especially for businesses that require liquid storage including oil/fuel and hazardous chemicals. You could consider bunding in a sense as a form of retaining wall. The walled sides act as a barrier to contain spills while still being low enough to the ground in many cases for vehicle access. These bunded areas are constructed to handle the capacity of the largest possible spill that could occur in that area.

What Types of bunding are there?

There are a number of different bunding products available, made for specific applications, requiring different approaches for installation, but in all cases the purpose of bunding is to contain potential spills. The bunding products we offer are covered in brief below. For a full explanation of each bunding product click the read more link to visit the product page for each.

Bunded Palettes

Bunded palettes are essentially palettes that offer the advantage of spill containment. They are available in either 2 or 4 drum configurations along with IBC and twin IBC (Intermediate bulk Container). They are widely used for fuel and drum storage. Considered a secondary spill prevention method they are effective approach to spill risk mitigation and are a very proactive way of keeping work places tidy and safe. When not in use they can be stacked or nested for efficient storage and transportation.

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Rubber Floor Bunding

This type of bunding is suitable for any application where heavy vehicle movement is required to enter the bunded area. It’s also durable and will stand up to heavy treatment over prolonged periods of time.¬†Generally sold in 5m lengths, it’s easily installed (see here for installation advice) and you can be up and running in a very short amount of time. Its contoured edges reduce the chance of it being a trip hazard and allow smooth entry for vehicles. Rubber floor bunding great for constructing wash bays and other liquid storage areas.

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Flexible Floor Bunding

This style of bunding is popular with forklift operators as it springs back into shape after driving over and handles heavy vehicles easily due to its no bounce flex. It’s just as effective as rubber floor bunding but better suited to factories and warehouse applications as it doesn’t slow down vehicle operators while still offering effective spill containment.

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EVA Floor Bunding

EVA bunding is a softer foam product used for applications such as clean work shop floors. It has adhesive backing and easily installed by just removing the backing and placing as required. EVA bunding is not suited to constant heavy vehicle access and requires the surface to be clean and free of any contamination, oil or grease before laying.

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Temporary Bunding

Also referred to as an emergency bund, temporary bunding is an ideal short term solution for leaking drums or equipment. Temporary bunds are typically constructed from PVC and as you would expect are fast and easy to assemble. Temporary bunds are generally the least expensive options for spill control but are not considered ideal as a long term storage solution.

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Portable Bunding

Portable bunding as the name suggests is ideal for portable applications such as for temporary storage and is well suited to mining oil and gas applications that are on the move. They are constructed from heavy duty PVC combining reinforced fibreglass battens, which offer stability. AS well as fast and reliable they can be pulled down and folded away requiring minimal storage when not required.

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Which Bunding is best suited to my business?

ProductApplicationsProsConsInstallation
Bunded Palettes
Warehousing, facilities 24 hour containment.
Forklift able/reduced handling
Slow movements when moving palletsNone required
Rubber Floor BundingWarehousing, storage facilities.
Vehicle wash-bays
Easy install, Heavy duty product, longevity. Looks neat and tidy when installedRubber floor bunding is like a small speed bump and can recue warehouse speed/efficiencyModerate. Tools are required
Temporary Bunding.Short term solution for leaking drums or equipmentFast Emergency spill product.. stowableLess capacity, more temporarySimple
Portable BundingTemporary storage device, mining oil and gas, relocatable solutionStowable when not in use, large capacity, efficientRequires level ground and sometimes a protective groundsheetSimple

Other ways to minimise the risk of spills

  • Perform regular maintenance checks on all equipment used for storage and handling of hazardous liquids.
  • Ensure staffs are properly trained in spill response and all necessary spill response equipment is located nearby. Ensure your staff know and understand your spill risk.
  • Stay up to date with your responsibilities by updating yourself on guidelines for spill containment.

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Environmental Site Protection Specialists