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Renovating and cleaning water mains

What is 'Ice Pigging'?

The Ice Pigging process makes use of the characteristics of ice crystals in a water solution as a mildly abrasive medium to essentially scrape off and then encapsulate any deposited minerals within the plug of semi-solid ice. The system is highly effective and of all the techniques available to us, has the least affect on customers' water supply.

An ice solution, similar in consistency to a Slush Puppy or granite drink, is pumped into the isolated water main. Once a suitable plug of ice has been introduced it is driven along the pipe by water pressure - the same water that would normally be flowing in the pipe. The plug of ice is driven at a designed speed that's most effective at scraping any deposited minerals. The plug of ice is driven through the main until it reaches pre-planned exit point - normally a fire hydrant. The ice is collected and removed off-site for appropriate disposal. During the whole process the quality of the water in front, within and behind the ice plug is carefully monitored. Once the cleaning team are completely satisfied the level of clean has been achieved and the water has returned to its normal excellent quality, the pipe be returned to service.

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