Enquiry: The 101 of Spill Containment Booms

As someone who’s been in the industrial textile manufacturing industry for more than 30 years, I have had the chance of working closely with major names in Australia’s spill control industry, and they all tell me the same thing. Spill containment booms are some of the most useful, most versatile – and therefore very much necessary – spill control solutions available.

Fence Boom by DR Tarps

Fence Boom by DR Tarps

If you’re not familiar with them yet, here are some basic information on what they are and how they work.

What are Spill Containment Booms?

Spill containment booms are floating barriers used to control oil and other chemicals and hazardous materials that spill at sea or in an inland waterway. It works by first containing the spill, thus preventing its rapid spread and facilitating faster recovery. After containment, it deflects and diverts the spill to a designated collection area, where it can easily be vacuumed or pumped from the water. This way, booms can significantly reduce the time and effort it takes to control spills. No wonder it’s a contractor’s favourite!

Another reason why our spill containment booms are key elements in your spill response plan is that you can use them to contain liquid spills of any form, as well as silt, turbidity and other debris.

Why Invest in Spill Containment Booms?

Liquid spills at sea or on inland waterways are some of the hardest to contain, with the wind, waves and the water currents making the task extra challenging. The success of response operations, therefore, is greatly affected by how fast you get there, how well-planned and coordinated your response is and how effective your equipment is.

But if you have a versatile and expertly produced spill containment boom, you can confidently respond to any spill emergency in significantly less time.

This is also why it is important to scrutinize carefully the kind of boom that you invest in. Since we cater to the leading businesses in the oil and maritime sectors, I make sure that our booms all meet the highest standards in the industry.

Top 3 Spill Containment Booms to Consider

GP – General Purpose Booms – The GP Boom is our bestselling spill containment boom so far. Identifying problems and shortfalls with other floating booms, we use special engineering to keep our booms effective, even when used in harsh conditions. They have a round floatation log made from closed cell foam thus maintaining the freeboard required for containment of fluids. As waves and currents increase, many booms become ineffective as contaminants wash over the top of the boom. Our special design, incorporating a splash over flap, ensures that this won’t be a problem when you deploy our BP Boom.  We also use only high-strength materials and non-corrosive fittings that deliver guaranteed impermeability and reliability to contain all chemicals without fail.

Fence Booms – This is a great option if you’re in search of a light and easy-to-use spill containment boom.  Fence booms are essentially floating fences that stay visible on the surface of the water due to rectangular shaped closed-cell foam block that provides ample freeboard. To maintain stability, they a chain in a ballast pocket at the base of the curtain to maintain adequate draft. The importance of having fence booms is that they can be deployed within minutes so you cut your response time short.

Air Inflated Booms – Air inflated booms are cylindrical floats that are placed on water and inflated on-site. In my professional opinion, they meet two important characteristics of an efficient spill containment solution. First, they are easy to store due to their compact size when deflated. Second, they are easy to deploy. They are manufactured using high-quality abrasion-resistant fabrics that dramatically reduce the risk of puncture and therefore failure to contain a spill.

Shore Seal Booms – These Booms are designed to be used in shoreline situations where the boom needs to form a barrier on water and also extend onto land. They are a combination of 2 x water ballast chambers and 1 air-inflated chamber and due to their design and engineering will remain erect on land. These are especially suited to intertidal areas, beaches or riverbanks. These booms are manufactured using HF welded HD Polyurethane to withstand the harsh conditions they are required to work under.

We at D&R Tarpaulins have a dedicated HF welding shed and 3 HF welders. With our 6000 m2 site, we can also weld tarps and booms of up to 80 metres in length. So whether you need huge booms or large quantities, we can easily meet your needs.

All our spill containment booms are designed to work effectively in all kinds of aquatic locations. So regardless of whether water conditions are calm or moving during your spill control operation, you can definitely rely on our booms to deliver the performance that is required of them.

We also fabricate for special requirements, so whether you need UV-treated, flame-retardant and short or long-term solutions for spill containment, we have what you need.


If you choose them correctly, spill containment booms can be your biggest asset in your spill control operations. Just remember that in buying booms, look for quality, durability and versatility. Also, it is better to invest in tried-and-tested solutions such as GP booms, fence booms, air-inflated booms and also shore seal booms.

As is true with most of our clients, our readymade and custom-fabricated solutions have proven to be their most valuable equipment in many emergency situations. So if you’re looking to invest in spill containment booms, give me a call on 07 3393 3477 and I’ll personally assist you with your needs.