For SRT Solutions, creating and coating secondary containment units at Fasken Oil and Ranch in Midland, Texas, was all in a day’s work. SRT Solutions specializes in custom building and lining secondary containment units with polyurea, so this job was the perfect fit. Read on to find out how the SRT crew built, prepped, and lined these units in record time, even with some less than calm conditions.
Building the Units
Providing high-quality and reliable secondary containment is a vital aspect of many industries, and the oil and gas industry is no exception. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a secondary containment system provides an essential line of defense in the event of a failure of the primary containment system, which can include but is not limited to storage tanks, pipelines, or mobile containers. “I see secondary containment as being important for three reasons: first, secondary containment protects the environment from spills; next, it acts as a firewall; and finally, a reliable secondary containment system ensures that the owner won’t lose valuable product due to a spill,” explained John Pound, director of midstream services at SRT.
For the Fasken Oil and Ranch project, SRT was responsible for building five out of six secondary containment units and lining all six with Sherwin-Williams Envirolastic CR965 crack resistant polyurea. According to Pound, the units ranged in size from 40-feet by 70-feet to 142-feet by 27.5-feet (12 m x 21 m–43 m x 8 m). The crew began by preparing the site, removing rocks and debris, and leveling the ground. They then set the 3-inch-by-3-inch (8 cm x 8 cm) structural support posts in concrete and erected the containment walls. The walls are anti-rust, primed 14-gauge steel panels. “When we’re building the containment units and when we line them, we don’t cut corners. We stick to the engineer’s plans to make sure that the units are tightly lined and the structure is going to last,” said Pound.
Once the containment units were in place, the six-man crew abrasive blasted the sides and bottoms of the units using Schmidt blasting pots. During the blasting process, the crew wore Nova 2000 blast hoods to protect the blast operators from dust, debris, and spent blast media. “Because the humidity was low during the five days we were on the jobsite, we were able to do the surface prep one day and come back and spray the polyurea the next day,” explained Pound.
With the steel panels prepped, they were ready to receive the Sherwin-Williams Envirolastic CR965 polyurea liner. “In all seams, we sprayed a layer of polyurea and then put down the geotextile fabric to ensure that the seams were double sealed,” said Pound.
At this point, it was time for the crew to lay down the geotextile fabric throughout the entire containment unit and then apply the Envirolastic CR965 polyurea directly over the fabric. The crew used a Graco HXP-3 Reactor rig to spray the polyurea liner, which according to Pound, they transport using a Ford F-550 truck.
The polyurea liner is a high-build system, with the SRT team applying 70–80 mils (1,778–2,032 microns) on the floors and roofs of the units and 50–55 mils (1,270–1,397 microns) to both the interior and exterior of the wall panels. “One of the advantages of the polyurea liner is that it can be applied in one pass, creating a monolithic, seamless membrane,” stated Pound.
According to Pound, the Envirolastic CR965 has excellent chemical and abrasion resistance as well as excellent ultraviolet (UV) stability. It also has high tensile strength, tear strength, and elongation properties. This means that the liner has the ability to move and give, making it less likely to sustain cracks due to weather and humidity changes. “The Envirolastic CR965 cures in seconds even in extreme cold or in situations with high humidity. It also has no VOCs [volatile organic compounds] and doesn’t outgas any vapors, fumes, or chemicals during or after application,” said Pound. Even so, he is quick to point out that when the crew sprayed the dual component polyurea system, they wore 3M full face masks and Tyvek protective suits.
Although the Fasken Oil and Ranch job went pretty smoothly over its five day duration, the SRT team did have to deal with a minor setback in the form of extreme wind. “One of the days we were working, the wind was blowing really hard from the south. Since the jobsite was on the north side of the plant, we had to shut down for a day to avoid overspray,” said Pound. Luckily, the crew was able to make up the time, and the job finished on schedule just as planned.
And speaking of overspray, Pound and his crew did not have to set up any containment tarps during the job. “There can be issues with overspray when applying polyurea that require containment measures, but not on this job. Since we were out in the middle of the oil field, we didn’t need to worry about accidentally spraying other buildings or cars,” said Pound.
Secondary Containment, Primary Product
Given the importance of secondary containment in the oil and gas industry, choosing the right product is crucial to ensuring a reliable and durable containment unit. Together, the expert SRT Solutions crew and Sherwin-Williams Envirolastic CR965 polyurea created a rigid, monolithic lining system that will last for years to come, even in the harshest conditions.