What Is a Spill Containment Berm?

Spill containment berms are barriers that prevent liquid material, whether contaminated runoff, floodwater, or toxic chemicals, from spilling onto exposed land, private or public property, or clean water sources. 

While they are often used for diverting and containing hazardous chemicals post-spill, spill containment berms can also provide protection to coastal municipalities in the event of a flooding event. 

Traditional berms are created by piling and compacting large amounts of dirt and/or rocks in an area, though these can often be susceptible to erosion, and gradually shrink over time due to the settling of soil. For those seeking shoreline flood protection, spill containment berms made of TrapBag barriers are the superior solution. 

Water Containment Berms for Lakes and Shorelines

A durable method of flood protection is necessary for those living in flood-prone areas. Floods can be deadly as well as costly—protection is more cost-effective than paying for damages. 

Natural Types of Water Berms

While you may be considering protecting your community from lake flooding by using natural berms, such as compacted gravel or mounds of dirt, we suggest a more durable method, like TrapBag barriers. 

High winds, strong rainfalls, and repeated occurrences of floodings will weaken and wither natural berms over time, decreasing their height. This makes it easier for spillage or even total compromises of the berm structure.

TrapBags as Spill Containment Berms

TrapBags are a superior method of spill containment berms. TrapBags can offer protection in a variety of situations, including: 

  • Critical infrastructure protection: Placing berms around roadways, dams, and hazardous waste facilities ensure that those structures will be better protected in the event of a natural disaster or large flooding event. 
  • Construction site protection: Flooding can derail the tight timeline of construction sites. Spill containment berms can protect these more fragile areas, saving investors time and money in reparative costs. Due to the heavy machinery found on construction sites, chemical spills are not uncommon. TrapBags are very efficient at preventing these toxins from spreading, thanks to their accordion-style leakproof property. 
  • Environmental protection: Large amounts of stormwater runoff or flooding can cause substantial erosion. Toxic chemical spills can seep into the ground or clean water sources, wreaking havoc on the ecosystem. Keep your community environment safe, sturdy, and healthy with a reliable spill containment berm. 
  • Commercial and residential building protection: In 2021, it was reported that over 730,000 commercial buildings and offices in the U.S. are at risk of flood damage, with repair costs estimated to reach over $13 billion in 2022. Give organizations in your community more peace of mind with proper flood protection. 
  • Temporary and Permanent Berms 

TrapBags can create both temporary and permanent spill containment berms, depending on the fill utilized. 

Temporary Berms

Temporary berms can be deployed as emergency protection prior to a flooding event. If your municipality is expected to have severe weather, TrapBag barriers can be rapidly deployed and installed. In this case, TrapBags can be filled with sand or washed gravel. 

While they can easily be removed at a later date, TrapBag barriers last for five years post-deployment and can be simply stored when not in use. 

Permanent Berms

Permanent TrapBag berms can be erected by filling the high-strength geotextile cells with concrete. Once the material has completely cured, the bags can be removed, leaving a durable, long-lasting protective structure that will keep your community safe from shoreline or lake flooding. 

TrapBag Berm Structures

  • Dikes: Dikes protect land that would otherwise be underwater. They have often been used to prevent agricultural plots from flooding, saving crops and upholding economies, but dikes can be applied to protect any kind of infrastructure. 
  • Retaining wall: TrapBag retaining walls can keep water or chemicals away from certain areas by diverting the material elsewhere. 
  • Bund area: Bund areas are specifically for environments surrounded by toxic chemicals. Bunds prevent these substances from leaking out during flooding events.
  • Portable spill containment berms: TrapBags are very easy to deploy and install, making them a great temporary flooding solution. 

Benefits of TrapBag Barriers

TrapBags barriers are the ideal solution to all flooding and spill containment needs, as they are:

  • Durable & dependable: The high-strength textile exterior of TrapBags makes it almost impossible for debris to penetrate the surface, and the accordion-style structure of TrapBags makes them leakproof. individual cells are independently contained but also connected, they are extremely reliable, even if one is compromised. 
  • Quick and simple to deploy: TrapBags do not require heavy machinery to be installed, making them easy to deploy on short notice. 
  • Versatile: When it comes to flood protection and toxic spill containment, TrapBags can create any size and shape you’re seeking. 
  • Long-lasting: Created from a high-strength textile, deployed TrapBags are made to last at least five years. 
  • Affordable: TrapBags not only work incredibly well, but also are a more cost-effective solution when it comes to flood barriers and spill containment berms—they require 40% less fill than traditional sandbags. 
  • Not harmful to existing property: TrapBags, unlike some penetrative methods of flood protection like metal sheet piling, do not disturb the interior of the land. Rather, they are placed on top of the ground, and are sloped to reduce the chance of erosion to the surrounding environment. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Tall Should a Berm for Flood Control Be?

A berm should be two feet tall and at least five and a half times longer than it is tall.

Berm vs. Dike: What’s the Difference?

Berms and dikes are interchangeable terms—both are elevated ridges that run alongside a water source, preventing spillage or flooding. 

Flood Protection Berms: Are They Necessary?

If you live in a coastal community, near a body of water, or are in a low-lying area that accumulates large amounts of stormwater runoff, water containment berms are incredibly important to prevent expensive flood-related issues. 

Protect Your Community from Floods with TrapBags

Interested in getting TrapBag barriers to better protect your community’s infrastructure from water damage? Send us a message today to learn more. 



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