Drain covers can stop a drama turning into a crisis

Spill Control Centre guides you through how spill drain covers are effective and easy to deploy. The drain cover is a valuable tool in any company’s spill control toolkit. It’s a suitable investment for an industrial business because it protects you from the considerable cost of a fine and prosecution for damaging the environment.

The old adage says it’s no use closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. I’d beg to differ. My reason is to be found in a concept that’s been around since the late 1920s, created by Frigyes Karinthy, and popularised by Pulitzer Prize winner John Guare in a play in 1990.

Drain cover




I wouldn’t expect you to know about Karinthy*. (In truth, I hadn’t heard of him myself until I started writing this blog). But I’m sure you’ve heard of John Guare’s explanation that everyone is connected to everyone else by no more than six degrees of separation. In its broadest sense those connections take many forms, but they’re not all obvious. They even include the drains, because what you spill or pour down them is then well on its way to making all those connections, and travelling a substantial distance from where its journey began. And that’s why I contend, it is possible to close the stable door after the horse has bolted.

In the event of a spill, quick thinking and the instant availability and deployment of drain covers can stop it in its tracks.

How a drain cover works

The drain cover is a simple concept – an instantly-deployable flexible pad forming an effective seal, or drain protector, to prevent spilled chemicals and oils from getting into the drainage system and causing environmental damage stretching many miles from the source of the spill.

By sealing off the drains, and being used in conjunction with other spill containment equipment including absorbent booms and socks, they make sure any spill is restricted to the smallest possible area, simultaneously minimising or even eliminating environmental damage and simplifying the clean-up process.

What are drain covers made of?

The most common materials are polyurethane, clay and neoprene drain covers, but whatever you choose will be resistant to all but the most aggressive chemicals. A polyurethane or neoprene drain cover will be resistant to tearing, and their extra heavy-duty properties mean they can be used a number of times. The latter are a single-use option, but can be very effectively shaped to cover awkward shapes.

Between them, they are available in a series of sizes to suit all common drain openings, and have accessories to make storage as convenient as possible.

It’s also worth pointing out that if you have to use a drain cover several times, then it might be worth examining your processes to see why spills are being caused. The more often they happen, the more likely the next time, someone won’t be fast enough with the drain cover and to return to where I started, the horse will have well and truly bolted.

In worst case scenarios the chemicals or oils will be in the drains, and you might find yourself being prosecuted by the Environment Agency, leading to a very hefty fine. In that context, paying for a selection of drain covers and teaching people how to use them would prove to have been money very well spent.

* For the record, Karinthy was a Hungarian-born writer. The ‘six degrees of separation’ notion appears in his 1929 short story called Chains.

 View our range of drain cover products to protect the environment.