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Data centre

Project Title: Netherlands data centre drain protection

Products/Services: Draintector, bund water control unit, interceptor alarms

Project Undertaken: April 2022

Industry Sector: Data centre



Data centres require a constant and steady supply of electricity to ensure 100% uptime. They utilise transformers onsite as part of their power supply system. Many transformers are oil cooled. If a leak occurred or there was a fire on site, the oil or contaminated firewater could get into the environment with major consequences.

Companies can be fined up to 100% of their annual profits for causing a pollution incident. Having insurance in place does not negate the need to follow best practice. If an incident occurs, and it becomes apparent that best practice hasn’t been followed, the insurance company may not pay out.


What was the brief?

A multinational technology corporation with a huge data centre in the Netherlands wanted to know how best to prevent a pollution incident at their site. They contacted the Darcy Group to find a solution.

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What did the Darcy Group do?

The first step with any new client is to arrange a site visit so that we can survey the site to find a bespoke solution. Every site is different – and the last thing you want when it comes to the installation is to find a nasty surprise. It’s rare that construction goes 100% to plan but surveying the site mitigates the risks.

The Draintector drain shut off valve that we used on this site is available in various materials to ensure that it’s resistant to any potential chemicals that it could encounter. Our chemist takes samples of any chemicals stored onsite and tests them against the materials we use in the construction of our devices. This way, our clients can be sure that the seal will not be damaged.

During the site survey, we determined how we will need to monitor for leaks so that the automated shut-off system works in the most efficient way. On this site, the drain shut off valves will be deployed automatically, with zero reliance on people to get those drains closed off in time and prevent a pollution incident. With some transformers being a mile away from the control centre, it’s not practicable for someone to have to close the valve manually. It’s this consultative approach that makes Darcy different from competitors.

Having surveyed the site, we determined the requirements and specified the project, providing this to the client. We undertook the work in two phases – the first phase included the installation of 45 Draintector systems, and the second phase added a further 40. We also installed a bund water control unit and interceptor alarms.

One year on from the initial installation, we’ve been back out to the Netherlands to service the sensors in line with BS EN858 – 1 & - 2 58, the bund water control unit in line with oil storage regulations and the closure devices in line with best practice.

What’s the outcome?

Following the successful installation of the drain closure devices and associated products, the data centre owners can be assured that should one of the transformers fails or a fire breaks out, any pollution will be contained on site.

This will make it easier and cheaper to clean up and will prevent huge fines for causing environmental pollution and the associated reputational damage.

Regular servicing of the installed devices will ensure the company is compliant with best practice and all the relevant regulations. Servicing also, of course, ensures that the devices are working correctly so that they can be relied upon in an emergency to prevent a pollution incident.

What products were used?

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The Draintector closure device works like a bladder that fills up with air to seal the drain in the event of an emergency. We have nicknamed it the “tough plug system” because we’ve not been able to pop it! We inflated it underneath the wheel of a Range Rover and it lifted the vehicle up in the air.  

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Bund water control unit

A low maintenance automatic pumping system that constantly monitors the contents of the bund, detects the difference between oil and water and safely pumps the water (rainwater containing less than 5ppm of oil per litre) only out of the bund into the surface water drainage system.

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Separator alarms

Monitor oil, silt and liquid levels within underground separators. Warnings are given when levels get too high so that corrective action can be taken to prevent oil passing through the separator and polluting watercourses.

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Get in Touch

If you have a data centre with oil-filled transformers or a site that requires closure devices contact us today to find out how we can help prevent a pollution incident.

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© Darcy Darcy Spillcare Manufacture 2015 All Rights Reserved all 3rd party trademarks acknowledged.

Darcy Products Limited trading as Darcy Spillcare Manufacture, a company registered in England number 0472058.

The registered office of the company is, Brook House, Larkfield Trading Estate, New Hythe Lane, Larkfield, Kent ME20 6GN.