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What Does A Hydrocarbon Flow Rate Of 0 Gpm, Really Mean?

Hydrocarbon flow rate has nothing to do with how well an oil solidifying geotextile barrier performs and should not be confused with non-detectable oil level quantities in the soil or water that the barrier is designed to protect. Oil levels are measured in mg/L or parts per million (ppm) and can only be accurately determined through laboratory analysis.

Although there is nothing technically wrong with the statement “Hydrocarbon Flow Rate of 0 GPM”, it just doesn’t make much sense to use it for a containment system. It’s like saying, “This car has great breaks when it stops. Its speed is 0 km/hr.” A proper oil containment system that works should technically have a flow rate of zero hydrocarbons through its system.

Gallons per minute (GPM) make sense when referencing a plug-like device. How many gallons of water does it allow to pass through in a minute? However, even here, one must state a pressure (or water head) about the plug device as flow and pressure are interconnected.

It’s important to note that older electrical equipment could contain or may have contained Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) regulate PCB concentration, which must be below 50 ppm. However, in North America, the standard for petroleum hydrocarbons in soil and water is less than 15 ppm.

Independent lab testing and “real environment” third-party testing verification was conducted on the SorbWeb™Plus Transformer Oil Containment System product line. Results have shown oil levels below the OilMat after it has been exposed to hydrocarbons and sealed were not detectable and therefore met the 15 ppm limit in North America. To our knowledge, no other oil-solidifying geotextile fabric offers this kind of performance.

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