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Factory Mutual Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets

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March 1991 Revised September 1998 Page 1 of 15

DRAINAGE SYSTEMS FOR FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS

Table of Contents
Page 1.0 SCOPE ................................................................................................................................................... 2 2.0 LOSS PREVENTION RECOMMENDATIONS ....................................................................................... 2 2.1 Flammable Liquid Drainage and Containment ................................................................................ 2 2.2 Flammable Liquid Drainage, General Considerations .................................................................... 3 2.3 Containment, General Considerations ............................................................................................ 4 2.4 Design of Drainage and Containment ............................................................................................. 5 2.4.1 Curb design ............................................................................................................................ 5 2.4.2 Drainage Flow Requirement .................................................................................................. 6 2.4.3 Wall Scuppers ....................................................................................................................... 6 2.4.4 Floor Drains ........................................................................................................................... 7 2.4.5 Trench Drains ........................................................................................................................ 8 2.4.6 Drainage System Discharge Piping ...................................................................................... 9 2.5 Drainage System Maintenance ..................................................................................................... 13 2.6 Alternatives to Drainage ................................................................................................................ 13 2.7 Related Data Sheets ...................................................................................................................... 14 3.0 SUPPORT FOR RECOMMENDATIONS ............................................................................................. 15 3.1 Loss Experience ............................................................................................................................ 15 4.0 BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................................................................................................... 15

List of Figures
Fig. Fig. Fig. Fig. Fig. Fig. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Decision tree for drainage/containment. ............................................................................................. 3 Capacity of floor drains. ...................................................................................................................... 8 Nomograph for computing size of circular drain, flowing full. .......................................................... 11 Typcial drainage system for a multi-unit outdoor facility. ................................................................. 12 Sealed inlet catch basin. .................................................................................................................. 12 Dry box catch basin. ......................................................................................................................... 13

List of Tables
Table 1. Flow in Trenches ............................................................................................................................. 9 Table 2. Flow through Pipe .......................................................................................................................... 10

1991 Factory Mutual Engineering Corp. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of Factory Mutual Engineering Corp.

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Drainage Systems for Flammable Liquids


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1.0 SCOPE This loss prevention data sheet provides guidelines for the design of drainage systems to minimize fire damage in areas using or storing flammable liquids. The design of system components not directly related to fire protection, such as flammable liquid/water separators and environmental protection requirements are not covered, except by reference. Due to the many tiers of regulations, (federal, state or provincial and local), the variance in regulations from country to country, and the very extensive nature of regulations within any given jurisdiction, this data sheet does not address environmental protection regulations, and is not intended to ensure that drainage systems are in compliance with those protection regulations. However, all recommendations are made with an awareness that applicable regulations may limit the design of a drainage system. 2.0 LOSS PREVENTION RECOMMENDATIONS 2.1 Flammable Liquid Drainage and Containment 2.1.1 Where automatic sprinklers or other water suppression systems are provided as the primary fixed protection: 2.1.1.1 Provide containment and emergency drainage as required by other data sheets for flammable liquid storage or use. 2.1.1.2 Provide containment as described in Recommendation 2.3 as minimum protection, except as noted below in Recommendation No. 2.1.1.3, where the only flammable liquids used or stored have a flash point above 200F (93C) or are water soluble, heavier than water (specific gravity greater than 1), or highly viscous. (See Figure 1). a. Water from sprinklers will float on liquids that are insoluble and heavier than water to extinguish a fire by smothering action. b. Fires in very water-soluble liquids such as methyl alcohol can be extinguished by dilution with sprinkler water. Note: To dilute one volume of alcohol to the point where it is nonflammable requires the addition of four volumes of water. Other liquids may require more or less water to make them non-flammable. c. High-viscosity liquids (viscosity greater than 10,000 centipoise) need containment only. Generally, highviscosity liquids do not flow freely and will obstruct drains. 2.1.1.3 Where containment alone (without emergency drainage) would be acceptable based on the conditions enumerated in 2.1.1.2 and illustrated in Figure 1, adequate emergency drainage should nevertheless also be provided if there are one or more of the unfavorable conditions listed below: a. High-value exposed areas or equipment where prompt removal of spilled or burning flammable liquids is needed to minimize damage or production interruption. For example, a process with extensive computerized analytical instrumentation. b. A high frequency of occurrence due to design or layout where routine spills or fires are inherent hazards. For example, some coating operations have almost monthly fires. c. Liquid damage potential to nearby equipment. For example, a paint dipping operation where water and spilled solvent could flow into an adjacent assembly area. d. Weak fire protection water supplies. Although sprinklers will eventually extinguish fires in high flash point or water soluble liquids, extinguishment may not be achieved prior to operating sprinklers over a greater area than that expected if the burning liquids were promptly drained from the area. e. Where local conditions do not allow construction of adequate containment for the anticipated spill. For example, confining the contents of a large tank inside a small room could require a curb several feet high at the doorway.

1991 Factory Mutual Engineering Corp. All rights reserved.

Drainage Systems for Flammable Liquids


Factory Mutual Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets

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Fig. 1. Decision tree for drainage/containment.

2.1.2 Where a foam water sprinkler system is provided instead of a water suppression system: 2.1.2.1 Provide containment as described in Recommendation 2.3 where installation of drainage is impractical and there are no unfavorable conditions. 2.1.2.2 Install drainage and containment where the unfavorable conditions listed in No. 3 above are present. 2.2 Flammable Liquid Drainage, General Considerations 2.2.1 Design emergency drainage systems to remove the total anticipated water flow as detailed in Section 2.4.2. 2.2.2 Arrange piping from floor and trench drains as follows: 2.2.2.1 Size the piping from floor and trench drains to adequately handle the flow collected as detailed in Section 2.4.2. 2.2.2.2 Provide traps where possible so that discharged flammable liquids will not continue to burn at the collection point. 2.2.2.3 Provide fittings and ports to facilitate inspection and cleaning. 2.2.2.4 Design and locate liquid separator tanks so that liquid does not back up in piping between the hazard and separator.

2.2.3 Arrange emergency drainage systems to discharge to a storage location for recovery of flammable liquids and waste water treatment. At medium-to-large facilities, installation of a separator tank to remove flammable liquids, where permitted by local authorities, or impounding basins to collect flammable liquids may be practical. 2.2.4 Size emergency drainage system impounding basins or collection facilities to hold the total drainage system discharge for the duration of the sprinkler operation, plus other liquids normally stored in the collection facility. 2.2.5 Provide distance, diking and drainage from open flammable liquid separator or collection basins to important structures or exposed property in accordance with Data Sheet 7-88, Storage Tanks for Flammable and Combustible Liquids, for storage tanks of equivalent size and flashpoint. If closer spacing is necessary, provide automatic water spray or equivalent protection on important exposed property and manual protection (i.e. foam capability) for the basin.

1991 Factory Mutual Engineering Corp. All rights reserved.

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Drainage Systems for Flammable Liquids


Factory Mutual Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets

2.2.6 Drainage system piping should preferably not have any valves. However, if one or more valves are necessary, they should be located so as to be accessible in the event of a fire and should be normally kept in the fully open position. 2.2.7 Drainage system piping should preferably be of steel, concrete, or tile.
Plastic piping can be used if it can be ensured that the piping will not be exposed by flames or other intense heat source. For example, if plastic pipe runs unburied through an open area below the drained area, then it should be ensured that the floor of the drained area is liquid-tight to prevent any released flammable liquid from infiltrating the area below. If plastic pipe is to be used unburied, then a reinforced thermoset plastic pipe is preferred over one made of a thermoplastic material. 2.2.8 Drainage may be provided by wall scuppers, floor drains, and/or trench drains as described in Sections 2.4.3, 2.4.4, and 2.4.5 below. Use of trench drains is preferred for the most effective drainage. Floor drains are the second preferred approach due to the limitations on the use of wall scuppers. 2.3 Containment, General Considerations 2.3.1 Confine flammable liquids with curbs, liquid tight walls sealed to the floor, depressed floors in the flammable liquid area, or grated drained trenches around the entire perimeter of areas which cannot be walled off. 2.3.2 Use watertight floors in flammable liquid areas to prevent leakage to unsafe areas. (See Data Sheet 1-24, Protection Against Liquid Damage, for design information.) 2.3.3 Use blank liquid-tight walls sealed to the floor and make all openings into the flammable liquid room from the outdoors where possible to provide the optimum containment. If interior openings must be made in these walls, they should be above the level of minimum curb height specified in 2.4.1. 2.3.4 Construct a ramp or curb, as specified in section 2.4.1, across all interior doorways from the flammable liquid room to prevent flow into adjacent areas. If ramps or curbs cannot be used construct a grated trench at each doorway. Provide drains in the trenches as described below. 2.3.5 Arrange trenches at doorways to prevent liquid flow between the trench and the wall to assure liquids cannot flow through the doorway. Contractors frequently wish to install doorway trenches several inches out from the wall to avoid footings beneath the wall. This allows liquid to flow around the ends of the trench and is unacceptable. 2.3.6 Extend doorway trenches a minimum of 3 in. (76 mm) beyond both sides of the door jamb. 2.3.7 Where both drainage and containment are needed provide a sufficient number of drains to maintain the water level from automatic sprinklers and hose streams in the room at least 2 in. (51 mm) below the top of ramps or curbs. 2.3.8 Where only containment is needed as noted in section 2.1 and perimeter and/or doorway trenches are used, install drains in the trenches. Drains should be sized to collectively handle the full sprinkler system flow and hose demand of the contained area. Any lesser drainage capacity would allow liquids to spill past the trench, thus compromising its intended use as a containment feature. The use of trenches in applications where only containment is needed will bring about the added cost of a full drainage system and safe storage location. These costs would not be incurred with the use of other containment alternatives. Four in. (10 mm) high curbs or ramps are an alternative to perimeter trenches, except that curbs should be high enough to contain the contents of tanks likely to release suddenly, such as oil filled transformers, plus two in. (51 mm) freeboard. 2.3.9 Pitch floors toward drains with a slope of at least 18 in. per ft (10 mm/m). A slope of 110 in. per ft (8.3 mm/m) is tolerable in existing storage areas previously constructed in accordance with Data Sheet 7-29, Flammable Liquids in Drums and Smaller Containers.

1991 Factory Mutual Engineering Corp. All rights reserved.

Drainage Systems for Flammable Liquids


Factory Mutual Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets

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2.4 Design of Drainage and Containment

2.4.1 Curb design


Where curbing is provided in conjunction with adequate drainage, the curb should be a minimum of 4 in. (102 mm) high. Higher curbing may be provided if additional head is desired above the drains so as to increase drainage flow rate. Where curbing is provided without drainage, design curbs or ramps to confine flammable liquid spills in accordance with the following: 2.4.1.1 Determine the largest expected flammable liquid spill as follows: a. In areas used for storage in drums or smaller container that do not contain larger vessels, tote bins, or tanks assume the maximum spill is 220 gal (830 cu dm). This assumes that four 55 gal (210 cu dm) drums on a single pallet load could be speared by lift truck forks or damaged if a pallet load is dropped. If drums are not handled on pallets and hand trucks or clamp type lift trucks are used, the amount of spill can be reduced, but no lower than the amount of the largest container (i.e. 55 gal [210 cu dm] if drums are present). b. In areas used for storage of flammable liquids in tanks, tote bins or other bulk containers assume the maximum spill is the contents of the largest container. 2.4.1.2 Determine the minimum curb height needed to confine the content of the largest flammable liquid spill using the following formula: Q12 +2=H (1) A7.48 Where, Q=maximum spill (gals) A=area of room or containment area (sq ft) H=calculated curb height (in.) 2=2 in. allowance for freeboard In metric units, Q +.05=H 1000A Where, Q=maximum spill (cu dm) A=area of room or containment area (sq m) H=calculated curb height (m) .05=.05 m allowance for freeboard Subtract the floor areas occupied by large tanks other than the chosen spill vessel and equipment from the area of the room or containment area (A). This is especially important in rooms with many large tanks. If H is greater than 4 in. (102 mm), use the calculated curb height as the minimum curb height. If H is equal to or less than 4 in. (102 mm), construct 4 in. (102 mm) high curbs. For example, a 20 ft25 ft (6.1 m7.6 m) room containing a single 1,000 gal (3785 cu dm) tank has an area of 500 sq ft (46.5 sq m). Q12=1,00012=12,000 gal A7.48=5007.48=3,740 sq ft H=(12,000 / 3,740)+2=5.2 in. In metric units, H= 3785 cu dm +.05 m=.13 m 100046.5 sq m In this example, H is greater than 4 in. (102 mm). Thus, the minimum curb height is 5.2 in. (132 mm). If three additional tanks of 100 sq ft (9.29 sq m) total floor area were added, then A=400 sq ft (37.1 sq m) instead of 500 sq ft (46.5 sq m) and H=6 in. (0.15 m). Thus, a higher curb (6 in. [152 mm]) is needed.

1991 Factory Mutual Engineering Corp. All rights reserved.

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Drainage Systems for Flammable Liquids


Factory Mutual Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets

Note: If tanks or equipment are mounted on legs that do not occupy significant floor area they need not be considered.

2.4.2 Drainage Flow Requirement


2.4.2.1 Design emergency drainage systems to handle the total combined water flow from all of the following: a. The water expected to be discharged from building and in-rack sprinklers, water spray nozzles, and other fixed fire protection systems. Where open head deluge systems are used, anticipate operation of all systems within a 100 ft (31 m) radius circle. b. The water demand for hose streams. c. Any production or domestic water normally discharged into the drainage system. d. Surface water at outdoor location (see Data Sheet 9-2, Surface Water, for rainfall intensity). 2.4.2.2 The volume of the anticipated flammable liquid spill need not be incorporated into the calculation of drainage flow requirements where the volume of the spill is negligible as compared to the total water flow. For example, the anticipated spill in a drum storage warehouse would be four drums or 220 gal (835 cu dm) total vs. a water flow of 1,750 gpm (6625 cu dm/min). 2.4.2.3 Determine the theoretical sprinkler water flow from the sprinkler system hydraulic calculations or multiply the required sprinkler density by the sprinkler operating area. Adjust this demand as noted below to assure the drainage system is not undersized where the available fire protection water supply exceeds the minimum required water supply. 2.4.2.4 Determine the actual sprinkler water flow by plotting curves of the sprinkler system water demand and water supply after allowing for hose streams on semiexponential (N1.85) graph paper. The intersection of the water demand and supply curves indicates the realistic water flow requiring drainage during a fire. (See Data Sheet 3-0, Hydraulics of Fire Protection Systems, for examples of water flow calculation method.)

2.4.3 Wall Scuppers


Wall scuppers may provide adequate drainage where local conditions, including federal, state and local regulations, allow their installation in accordance with the recommendation listed below. However, the use of wall scuppers will be impractical at some locations. If the criteria listed in the recommendations cannot be met, use another more suitable form of drainage. 2.4.3.1 Direct discharge from wall scuppers away from important facilities and neighboring properties to minimize the fire exposure. Burning flammable liquids can be carried through the scuppers. 2.4.3.2 Direct the discharge from wall scuppers onto liquid-tight surfaces arranged to drain to a safe collection point. 2.4.3.3 Limit the use of wall scuppers to narrow rooms. Wall scuppers are relatively ineffective when the liquid to be drained must travel more than 75 ft (23 m) to the scupper. 2.4.3.4 Determine the approximate number of 4 in.4 in. (102 mm102 mm) wall scuppers needed by dividing the maximum expected sprinkler and hose stream water flow rate by 75 gpm (0.28 cu m/min) which is the scupper discharge capacity. Multiply this number of scuppers by 1.25 to account for blockage and then round up to the nearest whole number. This is the minimum number of scuppers needed. 2.4.3.5 The following equation may be used to determine the approximate capacity of wall scuppers having other dimensions where the liquid depth inside the room can be expected to fill the full height of the scupper. Q=1,500 (W - 0.2H)H1.5 Q=1.1105(W - 0.2H)H1.5 (English units) (Metric units)

Where, Q=flow in gpm (cu dm/min) H=height of scupper in feet (meters) W=Width of scupper in feet (meters)

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Drainage Systems for Flammable Liquids


Factory Mutual Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets

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For example, a 16 in. (.406 m) wide, 4 in. (.102 m) high scupper could flow 359 gpm (1360 cu dm/min). Q=1,500 (W - 0.2H)H1.5 Q=1,500 (1.33 ft - 0.20.33 ft)0.331.5 ft Q=1,500 (1.26)(0.19) Q=359 gpm or Q=1.1105(.40 m - 0.2.102 m).102 m1.5 Q=1360 cu dm/min. 2.4.3.6 Consider the possibility of using a modified wall scupper arrangement where local regulations prohibit the use of wall scuppers and other drainage arrangements are impractical. The intent of such regulations may be to prevent discharge of liquids during routine liquid spills where there is no fire. For example, one location installed wall scuppers raised sufficiently above the floor to contain 10 percent of the total liquid volume of the room or the volume of the largest container, whichever was greater, during a spill. 2.4.3.7 Where modified wall scuppers are proposed, consider the following limitations: a. Raised scuppers could allow the entire room area to be covered with burning flammable liquid before fuel starts to flow from the scuppers. Where this results in an unacceptable increase in the anticipated fire damage consider use of a more suitable form of drainage or reducing the room size. b. The longer retention of burning liquids caused by raised scuppers could open all automatic sprinklers in the room. Use the entire room area as the sprinkler operating area in designing sprinkler systems and water supplies. This may not be a concern for smaller rooms as the sprinkler operating area for flammable liquid areas is usually 5,000 sq ft (465 sq m) or the entire area of the room, whichever is smaller. c. Provide higher curbs or ramps at interior doorways as needed where raised scuppers are used to assure that the minimum vertical distance from the top of the curb or ramp to the maximum expected liquid level with fire protection systems operating is at least 2 in. (51 mm).

2.4.4 Floor Drains


Design or evaluate the installation of floor drains in accordance with the following: 2.4.4.1 Standard floor drains consist of a sunken box with a flush grating. Since these drains may be easily blocked by debris, the floor gratings generally have a free area twice that of the outlet pipe. The nominal size of a standard floor drain is the size of the outlet pipe, not the diameter of the inlet grate. The most common floor drains have 4 or 6 in. (102 or 152 mm) outlet pipe connections. 2.4.4.2 In order to overcome the restriction of the grating, liquid must build up over the drain to reach design capacity. If standard floor drains are used, provide for sufficient head to allow the drains to reach the design capacity by pitching the floor toward drains or providing curbs. Locating the drain in a trench will also assure sufficient head. 2.4.4.3 Use Figure 2 to determine the theoretical number of drains needed when the expected head will be 3 in. (76 mm) or less. Figure 2 shows the water flow capacity of 4 in. (102 mm) and 6 in. (152 mm) drains with various heads. Caution: Item 2.3.8 above requires a 2 in. (51 mm) freeboard from the maximum expected liquid level to the top of doorway curbs. For example, where 4 in. (102 mm) high curbs are used, the head used to design drains will be only 2 in. (51 mm) after allowing the required 2 in. (51 mm) freeboard. 2.4.4.4 For applications where 5 in. (127 mm) or higher curbs, dikes, or walls will assure a 3 in. (76 mm) head, use the maximum practical flow per drain to determine the theoretical number of drains needed. As shown in Figure 2, the maximum practical flow from a 4 in. (101 mm) drain is 175 gpm (660 cu dm/min) with 3 in. (76 mm) head and the maximum practical flow from a 6 in. (152 mm) drain is 410 gpm (1550 cu dm/min). 2.4.4.5 Increase the theoretical number of drains needed by 25 percent to 50 percent depending upon local conditions to allow for clogging. In areas where the total number of drains is small, such as four, increase the number of drains by 50 percent for a total of six drains. The probability of all drains becoming clogged simultaneously is more remote for larger areas. Thus, use a smaller allowance (25 percent) for clogging in large areas.

1991 Factory Mutual Engineering Corp. All rights reserved.

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Drainage Systems for Flammable Liquids


Factory Mutual Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets

Fig. 2. Capacity of floor drains.

For example, a 40 ft100 ft (12.2 m30.5 m) flammable liquid room has 4.75 in. (121 mm) high doorway curbs. Sprinkler calculations indicate that the sprinkler system will deliver an average density of 0.30 gpm per sq ft (12 mm/min) over the 4,000 sq ft (372 sq m) room, producing a sprinkler flow of 1,200 gpm (4540 cu dm/min). This flow, plus 500 gpm (1895 cu dm/min) for hose streams requires drainage for a total flow of 1,700 gpm (6435 cu dm/min) (see Section 2.2). A 2 in. (51 mm) freeboard at the 4.75 in. (121 mm) curbs allows a 2.75 in. (70 mm) head over the drains. Figure 2 shows that the flow from a single 6 in. (152 mm) drain would be 410 gpm (1550 cu dm/min). Divide the total flow (1,700 gpm [6435 cu dm]) by 410 gpm (1550 cu dm/min) to find that the theoretical number of 6 in. (152 mm) drains needed is 4.15. Round this number up to the next whole number or five. Increase the theoretical number of drains by 25 to 50 percent to allow for clogging. Install seven drains.

2.4.5 Trench Drains


2.4.5.1 Use trench drains rather than standard floor drains whenever possible due to several advantages as follows: a. Trench drains maximize the flow through the drain system by assuring an adequate head above drain outlets. b. Trench drains can also be used to confine flammable liquid spill fires where the liquid should not flow beyond the drain grating or to subdivide process areas, tanks, etc. Trenches installed between rows or tanks, drum storage racks, etc. can catch runoff from a spill without exposing adjacent areas. (See Figure 4 for examples) 2.4.5.2 To determine the trench grating length needed divide the total flow required by 60 (745 for metric uses) and round up to the nearest whole number. A trench drain receives a flow of 60 gal/min/linear ft (745 cu dm/min/m) of trench with no buildup of liquid over the trench. For example, a sprinkler density of 0.60 gpm per sq ft (24 mm/min) over a 40 ft50 ft (2,000 sq ft) (12 m15 m [180 sq m]) drum storage room results in a sprinkler flow of 1,200 gpm (4540 cu dm/min), plus a 500 gpm (1895 cu dm/min) hose stream flow. The required drainage is 1,700 gpm (6435 cu dm/min). When the required drainage is divided by 60 and rounded up, 29 ft (8.6 m) of trench is needed. 2.4.5.3 Use Table 1 to assure a properly sized trench and appropriate pitch to handle the expected flow. The size of the trench and its pitch controls the capacity of the drain.

1991 Factory Mutual Engineering Corp. All rights reserved.

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Factory Mutual Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets

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For example, 1,700 gpm (6435 cu dm/min) capacity is needed for the drum storage room in the above example. Table 1 shows that a 1 ft8 in. (0.30.2 m) trench with a slope of 12 in. per ft (0.04:1) could handle 1,950 gpm (6800 cu dm/min) and would be adequate. Where local conditions would not allow such a steep pitch, a 1 ft1 ft (0.3 m0.3 m) trench with a pitch of 18 in. per ft (0.01:1) or a 2 ft8 in. (0.6 m0.2 m) trench with a slope of 110 in. per ft (0.008:1) would also be adequate.
Table 1. Flow in Trenches
Trench Capacity (gal/min)

Trench Dimensions (WD)


1 ft8 in. 11 ft 2 ft8 in. 21 ft 22 ft

Slope (in./ft)
110 1 8

850 1550 2100 4000 10,300

950 1700 2400 4500 11,500 Trench Capacity (cu m/min)

14 1350 2400 3400 6300 16,400

12 1950 3400 4800 9000 23,200

Trench Dimensions (WD)


0.30.2 0.30.3 0.60.2 0.60.3 0.60.6 m m m m m

0.008:1 3.0 5.3 7.5 14.0 36.5

Slope (m/m) 0.01:1 3.3 6.0 8.4 15.5 41.0

0.02:1 4.6 8.5 12.2 22.0 58.0

0.04:1 6.8 12.1 17.0 31.5 82.0

2.4.5.4 Use Table 2 to size the outlet pipe from the trench and/or determine the size and number of drain outlets needed in a trench where the trench does not carry the liquid directly to the point of disposal. (Most indoor trenches will connect to the drainage system via drain outlets and pipes, while some outdoor trench installations may carry the liquid directly to the point of disposal.) 2.4.5.5 Select the diameter of the drain pipes to be installed and a practical pitch for the installation. Divide the total required drainage by the flow shown in Table 2 for that diameter pipe and pitch. Round up to the nearest whole number to determine the minimum number of drains needed from the trench. To allow for blockage, multiply the minimum number of drains needed by 1.25 and 1.5. Select a whole number of outlets from within this range. For example, 1,700 gpm (6.4 cu m/min) capacity is needed for the drum storage room in the above example. Table 2 indicates that an 8 in. (203 mm) outlet pipe with a pitch of 1 in. per 4 ft (21 mm/m) can handle 680 gpm (2.57 cu m/min). Dividing 1,700 gpm by 680 gpm yields 2.5. This is rounded up to determine that the minimum number of outlets is 3. To allow for blockage, 31.25 =3.75 and 31.5=4.5. The whole number of drains in this range is 4, which is the number of drains required. 2.4.5.6 As a final step, assure that the free area of the trench grate is at least three times the area of the outlet pipe(s) because the liquid head over the grate is less than the liquid head over the outlet pipe. Calculate the area of each outlet pipe (for circular pipes area=r2, where =3.142 and r is the radius of the pipe). Where there is more than one outlet pipe, add the areas of the individual outlets to determine the total outlet pipe area. Calculate the free area of the grating (lengthwidth) and compare this to the area of the outlet pipe(s). If the grating area is less than three times the outlet pipe area, redesign the trench to provide a larger grating area.

2.4.6 Drainage System Discharge Piping


2.4.6.1 Assure an adequate method of carrying the liquid that has entered the drain(s) to the point of disposal. In the case of standard floor drains and some trench drains this is accomplished by piping. 2.4.6.2 Determine the pipe sizes needed for drainage by assuming that the pipes will flow full and all the vertical head between floor level and the point of discharge to free atmosphere can be used to overcome pipe friction, neglecting velocity head losses. The carrying capacity of drain piping is a function of pipe diameter and pipe pitch.

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Table 2 shows the approximate capacities of common concrete or tile drain pipes for low flows. Once the required flow is known, an appropriate pipe size and pitch can be selected directly from that table.
Table 2. Flow through Pipe Nominal Pipe Diameter
2 in. (50 mm) 3 in. (75 mm) 4 in. (100 mm) 5 in. (125 mm) 6 in. (150 mm) 8 in. (200 mm)

(10) gpm cu m/
35 80 140 225 480 0.13 0.30 0.53 0.85 1.82

18

min

Pitch in./ft (mm/m) 12 (41) (21) gpm cu m/ min gpm cu m/


14

min

Vertical gpm cu m/ min 30 0.11


90 190 360 560 1200 0.34 0.72 1.36 2.12 4.54

50 110 200 315 680

0.19 0.42 0.75 1.20 2.57

70 160 280 445 960

0.26 0.60 1.06 1.68 3.63

For larger flows and/or pipe sizes, the nomograph in Figure 3 may be used. Place a straight edge across the required drain flow and the pipe slope, to read the required pipe diameter for concrete or tile pipe directly from the scale. For example, a discharge of 2,000 gpm (30.3 cu m/min) from a large outdoor chemical process area would require a 15 in. (380 mm) diameter concrete drain with a slope of 0.6 percent (pitch of 1 in./15 ft [.006:1]). Note: Table 2 and Figure 3 are for commonly used concrete or tile drain pipes and are intended for approximate evaluations of drainage adequacy and for preliminary drainage layouts. Use of other pipe materials, unusually long pipes, changes in flow direction through fittings, etc. affect drainage system capacity. Final working plans for drainage installations should be prepared by experienced personnel using accepted engineering practices. 2.4.6.3 Use Table 1 to estimate the minimum trench size and slope when the required drainage flow is known and trenches are used to direct drainage system discharge from the protected area to a safe disposal point as noted in 2.4.5. Use of trenches may be most appropriate for outdoor areas where burning liquids would not expose important facilities. 2.4.6.4 Arrange drainage systems protecting multiple hazardous areas as follows: a. Pipe the drains from each separate area to a catch basin in that area. This facilitates cleanup of minor spills within that area and minimizes the impact on the overall system. b. Pipe the area catch basin overflow pipes into the main drainage system through manholes to facilitate inspection and cleaning. c. Arrange the main drain or sewer pipe to discharge to a separator tank, retention basin, or other appropriate waste treatment process located at a safe distance from important facilities to minimize fire exposure. d. Locate the catch basins in each area in open sections of the protected area and away from important equipment and structures to minimize fire exposure. e. Provide traps or seals on all inlets to the catch basins and manholes to retard flammable vapor spread. f. Avoid connecting hazardous liquid drainage systems to drains from non-hazardous locations. Vapors have been known to travel in drainage systems into areas with unrestricted ignition sources, causing fire and explosion. Refer to Figure 4 for examples of a typical drainage system for a multi-unit outdoor facility. In Figure 4 pitched floors are used to create drainage high spots to direct spilled liquid from beneath important vessels, increase the liquid depth or head over drains to maximize the flow from each drain, and reduce the surface area of burning liquids to facilitate extinguishment with foam or dry chemical.
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Drainage Systems for Flammable Liquids


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Fig. 3. Nomograph for computing size of circular drain, flowing full.


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Fig. 4. Typcial drainage system for a multi-unit outdoor facility.

Smaller, separate drainage areas with individual drains are provided at specialized equipment or operations that may have a higher frequency of spills, such as pump that may develop packing leaks. 2.4.6.5 Design catch basins to facilitate cleaning and to contain small routine spills. Figure 5 shows one possible design for an inlet catch basin. The elbow on the intake outlet is removable to facilitate cleaning pipe feeding from drains. The elevation difference between the inlet and outlet pipes helps to retard flammable vapor spread. Small quantities of unignited, spilled liquids, not involving high fire protection system water flows, may be contained in the catch basins to be removed with air operated pumps or other fire safe means without contaminating the entire drainage system during a routine spill.

Fig. 5. Sealed inlet catch basin.

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2.4.6.6 Use catch basins with a dry box design similar to that shown in Figure 6 near fired heaters, such as hot oil furnaces, to collect spilled fuel oil, heat transfer oil, etc. These are arranged with separate drains through a sealed outlet into the drainage system. This prevents accumulation of liquids beneath a potential ignition source.

Fig. 6. Dry box catch basin.

2.5 Drainage System Maintenance 2.5.1 Conduct acceptance tests of new or renovated drainage installations to assure effective performance as follows: a. Where possible, such as at outdoor areas protected with open-head deluge systems, test new systems with a water flow equal to the maximum expected water flow during a fire. b. Where large water flows are not possible, such as in indoor storage rooms, use the maximum practical flow from hoses to assure adequate floor pitch, drain capacity, etc. 2.5.2 Keep floor drains, trenches, and wall scuppers clear of obstructing material. 2.5.3 Remove liquids from drainage system retention basins, tanks, etc. as needed to assure adequate retention capacity. 2.5.4 Include drainage systems in monthly inspections of fire protective equipment. Pay particular attention to: a. Storage on top of drains or trenches that will reduce the flow capacity. b. Floor drain or trench grating openings plugged by spilled viscous liquids. c. Wall scuppers stuffed with rags to prevent drafts or blocked by snow banks. d. Damaged trench gratings that may result in lift truck accidents and subsequent property damage. e. Valves in drainage system piping that are not in the proper normally open or shut position. f. Accumulations of surface and rainwater in drainage system containment ponds, basins, or tanks. 2.5.5 Flow water through drainage system piping at least semiannually to ensure it is open and to flush out debris. 2.6 Alternatives to Drainage The fire exposure at some facilities may not justify the cost of installing a complete drainage system. Other properties, such as those located in urban areas or modern industrial parks, may lack the space needed for large drainage systems. Local ordinances may prohibit outdoor drainage in some areas. Where drainage installations are impractical, consider other alternatives that could reduce the flammable liquid hazard to minimize the fire exposure to important facilities. Refer to the flammable liquid use and storage data sheets, such as Data Sheet 7-29, Flammable Liquids in Drums and Smaller Containers, for specific

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guidance. Examples of alternatives that may be considered in otherwise properly protected, sprinklered buildings include the following: 2.6.1 Eliminate the use of flammable liquids by substituting less hazardous materials. For example, use of water based paints has replaced oil based paints in many applications. This frequently results in other benefits, such as reduced costs for electrical installations, hazardous waste disposal, ventilation systems, etc. 2.6.2 Reduce the flammable liquid inventory by purchasing materials in smaller quantities. Although use of liquids from 55 gal (210 cu dm) drums usually results in a lower cost per gallon, use of small metal containers would result in minimal increased cost where the annual liquid use is only a few drums. 2.6.3 Provide Factory Mutual Research-Approved (FMRC-Approved) flammable liquid storage cabinets where storage rooms with drainage are impractical for small flammable liquid users, such as laboratories. 2.6.4 Store flammable liquids outdoors and pump the liquid to the point of use with a piping system arranged in accordance with Data Sheet 7-32, Flammable Liquid Operations. However, this will not eliminate the need for drainage at the point of use if the liquid is pumped into any vessel which has a significant holdup. For small quantities where an outdoor tank is not practical, a single drum stored outdoors can be equipped with a remote control air operated drum pump. 2.6.5 Install an automatic fixed fire protection system, such as foam (aqueous film-forming [AFFF], or high expansion), dry chemical, or gaseous suppression. For drum storage, reduce the quantity of liquids stored per Data Sheet 7-29, Section 2.1.1.12. Except for AFFF, these systems should supplement automatic sprinkler protection, not replace it. 2.6.6 Relocate storage, dispensing, or use of flammable liquids to low value diked structures located a safe distance from all important facilities. Size the dike to contain the anticipated spill and waterflow from fire department hose streams. This will minimize damage if the fire department prefers to allow the liquids to burn in the event of a fire. 2.6.7 Relocate storage to a detached, prefabricated FMRC-Approved storage building for flammable and combustible liquids (See the FMRC Approval Guide). 2.6.8 For non-critical or low-valued areas, relocate storage to a small cutoff room with total containment. 2.7 Related Data Sheets Specific fire protection and drainage requirements for flammable liquid occupancies are listed in other data sheets as follows: D.S. D.S. D.S. D.S. D.S. D.S. D.S. D.S. D.S. D.S. D.S. D.S. D.S. D.S. D.S. D.S. D.S. D.S. D.S. D.S. 5-4, Transformers; 5-12, Steam Turbines; 7-2, Waste Solvent Recovery; 7-9, Dip Tanks, Flow and Roll Coaters, Oil Cookers; 7-14, Protection for Flammable Liquid/Flammable Gas Processing Equipment; 7-27, Spray Application of Flammable and Combustible Materials; 7-29, Flammable Liquids in Drums and Smaller Containers; 7-30N, Solvent Extraction Processes; 7-32, Flammable Liquid Operations; 7-37, Cutting Oils; 7-41, Oil Quenching and Molten Salt Baths; 7-43, Loss Prevention in Chemical Plants; 7-57, Pulp and Paper Mills; 7-77, Testing Internal Combustion Engines; 7-88, Storage Tanks for Flammable and Combustible Liquids; 7-93N, Aircraft Hangers; 7-95, Compressors; 7-98, Hydraulic Fluids; 7-99, Heat Transfer by Organic Fluids; 8-8, Distilled Spirits Storage.

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3.0 SUPPORT FOR RECOMMENDATIONS 3.1 Loss Experience During the eleven year period from 1977 to 1988 Factory Mutual Engineering and Research recorded approximately 56 flammable liquid fires where drainage was a factor.1 Excluding six large losses where the lack of many additional automatic sprinklers was also a major factor, the average loss was $345,000 per fire.2 Principal causes of these fires were electric equipment, gas burners, cutting and welding, overheating, spontaneous ignition, electric heaters, and hot pipes. Although drainage will reduce the damage from a fire, ignition sources must be controlled to reduce the frequency of fires in flammable liquid occupancies as recommended in other data sheets. Other factors that contributed to these losses included: lack of automatic sprinklers, inadequate flammable liquid control or containment, unsafe operator procedures, undersized relief vents, lack of damage-limiting construction, failure of fixed fire extinguishing systems, poor housekeeping, inadequate Emergency Organization (EO), lack of high-level interlocks on storage tanks, inadequate ventilation, and non-FMRC-Approved electric lift trucks. 4.0 BIBLIOGRAPHY Isner, Michael. $49 Million Loss in Sherwin-Williams Warehouse Fire. Fire Journal 82 (March/April 1988), NFPA National Fire Protection Association. Water Spray Fixed Systems for Fire Protection. NFPA 15. Quincy, Mass: NFPA, 1982. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Technology for the Storage of Hazardous Liquids. New York: Bureau of Water Resources, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 1983. Petroleum Association for Conservation of the Canadian Environment. Bulk Plant Design Guidelines for Oil Spill Prevention and Control. PACE Report No. 80-3. Ottawa, Canada: PACE Product Storage and Handling Committee, 1980. Slye, O. M. Loss Prevention Fundamentals for the Process Industry. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Annual Loss Prevention Symposium, March 6, 1988. U.S. Government. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Parts 100-149. Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. Note: NFPA 16, Deluge Foam-Water Sprinkler Systems and Foam-Water Spray Systems, Item 4-4.7 states that drainage or retention of water from sprinklers and hose and spill discharge is required with the use of foam/water systems. A conflict exists between NFPA 16 and this data sheet. Item 2.1.2 above recommends containment only where a foam/water system is provided instead of a water suppression system. Although installation of drainage and containment may be advantageous, a properly designed foam/water system is expected to extinguish a fire. NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code, also addresses the need for drainage and containment. There is no conflict between this data sheet and NFPA 30.

FM Engr. Comm. December 1990

1 2

At facilities insured by Allendale Insurance, Arkwright, Protection Mutual Insurance and Factory Mutual International. Dollar values indexed to 1990.

1991 Factory Mutual Engineering Corp. All rights reserved.