What Do I Need to Know About Drain Closure Devices?

Our previous blogs have focused on why you should manage fire water run-off (read more here) and how you can manage it (read about that here).  This blog will focus on one of the methods for fire water run-off management and contaminated water containment; drain closure devices.

What is a drain closure device?

All drain closure devices perform one function; contain contaminated water to prevent it from entering the environment.  Although there are different configurations you can install, your device will rapidly seal a drain and can isolate part or the whole of the site, depending on installation location.  Once activated, drain closure devices will employ a water tight seal within seconds.

How does a drain closure device work?

Drain closure devices do not affect water flow during normal conditions but will quickly seal the drainage system at the point installation (e.g. outfall pipe, interceptor) when needed.  There are different configurations you can choose from, depending upon your needs, including method of activation, probe sets and power source.  Your devise can be activated manually e.g. by a push button, remotely e.g. via a control panel that is instructed via telemetry (like a text message) or automatically via your building management system, fire alarm or probes.  Your drain closure device can be fit with various probe sets, for example, pH, turbidity or conductivity probes, depending on your site activities.  Your device can be mains, or solar powered, depending on your needs.

Why should I consider a drain closure device?

Water contaminated with pollutants, such as hydrocarbons, chemicals, firewater or milk can cause significant pollution and harm watercourses and groundwater.  As part of your due diligence, you should be taking measures to help prevent pollution and a drain closure device could be a good option for fast and effective response to an incident.  All contaminated water will be contained from the point of activation, and once you have the emergency under control, you can deal with the contained and contaminated water, usually as a waste.

In addition to an emergency response function, a drain closure devise can also be used proactively.  Drains can be sealed at times of high risk, such as during deliveries or site maintenance, just in case an accident happens.  When the activity is completed incident free, drains can be opened up again and operate as normal.

Installing a drain closure device is usually quite straight forward and can be retro fitted with minimal civils work.  Proactive response to a potential incident can reduce your chances of prosecution, fines, clean-up costs and help to protect your reputation.  The cost of installing, maintaining and operating a device will give you peace of mind and is usually cheaper than the result of an incident, if one does occur.