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Polar Vortex and your waste

February 1, 2019

In recent weeks much of the Eastern half of The United States was plagued with Arctic level temperatures forcing many businesses and government institutions to close their doors due to the extreme cold temperatures. These temperatures that in many cases approached or exceeded -20 degrees F caused indoor temperatures even in heated warehouses / store rooms to dip into the 50s or lower as heaters simply couldn't keep up. In buildings without heated warehouses / store rooms and receiving docks, temperatures fell well below freezing. While many workers as well as students got to enjoy a mini impromptu vacation at home staying warm from their school or business being closed, the containers they work with at school or work holding liquid used in day to day operations of businesses or research were left behind often times exposed to the cold temperatures.


It tends to be over looked that chemicals being stored in buildings used for business contain Water and anyone living in a northern climate should know the power of Water when it freezes. Some may have had the unpleasant experience of frozen pipes in their own homes and know what a mess that is. Cast Iron pipes are no match for the power of Ice when it forms and it can split a pipe an inch thick in two like nothing, flooding streets, rooms, etc. Drums and containers holding chemicals that are mixed with Water are able to react the same way as the Water freezes inside the container. The thin metal on a drum or thin plastic in the case of a poly drum is no match for the power of Water as it freezes and it will split, crack, and/or bulge.


We advise our customers that any container they have holding any liquid be kept in an environment with constant temperatures between 35 degrees F and 85 degrees F to avoid reactions from occurring with your liquid. Once a drum containing any liquid freezes, the drum's integrity has been compromised and there is a strong possibility that container once thawed will begin leaking. Typically drums that freeze will bulge from our own observation and this alone will render the drum "Not roadworthy" requiring the drum to be overpacked, but in many cases the drums will also develop leaks around the rings, seals, and bungs on the drum. Glass bottles if