Secondary Containment in the Utility Industry

C.I.Agent® polymer technology simplifies your SPCC plans for secondary containment.

It is environmentally friendly, meets EPA SPCC requirements and is listed on EPA’s National Contingency Plan Product Schedule.

C.I.Agent technology is ideal for new or retrofitted substations and other facilities. The C.I.Agent Barrier Boom for secondary containment allows water to pass, but prevents oil from migrating off the property in the event of a leak or spill.

Barrier Boom for Secondary Containment
C.I.Agent Barrier Boom for Secondary Containment (click to zoom in)

The Barrier Boom is ideal for containing large electrical equipment. Barrier Boom is placed in a trench and held up by rebar or stakes. Clean rock is then positioned over and around the Barrier Boom to protect it. When the Barrier Boom comes in contact with oil (or other hydrocarbons), the polymers inside of the boom instantly solidify the oil and become a perfect seal.

If the subsurface of a containment site is not impervious, a liner must be used. In these cases, a C.I.Agent Polyvinyl Blanket system is used in conjunction with the Barrier Boom technology. The polyvinyl liner is sealed to the concrete slab using metal strips to ensure that oil will not slip through and reach the soil. Bentonite® is then used to seal edges where needed.

Secondary Containment Barrier Boom
Installation of the Barrier Boom (click to zoom in)

The C.I.Agent Barrier Boom and Polyvinyl Blanket system do not require any special tools or equipment to install. A typical installation has minimal impact on substation operations, and transformers do not have to be shut off during installation. It is a bury-and-forget application, only minimal maintenance is required. The Barrier Boom will last longer than the lifetime of the contained equipment. A typical Barrier Boom installation can be completed in one day, with an average of 9 man hours.

In a nutshell, here are the benefits of the C.I.Agent Barrier Boom secondary containment system compared to outdated methods such as concrete pits, oil/water separators and sumps:


  • It effectively solidifies and contains hydrocarbon leaks, while water is allowed to flow through in case of rain or snowfall.
  • It has minimal impact on substation operations/layout.
  • It’s a cost effective EPA SPCC compliance solution.
  • It’s a bury-and-forget application – minimal maintenance required.
  • No special equipment is required for installation.
  • It meets EPA regulations at a fraction of the cost of alternative methods. The average savings range from 50-80%.

For additional information about the Barrier Boom and Polyvinyl Blanket secondary containment systems:

Please feel free to contact us for a custom quote for you project. We look forward to working with you!

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