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Network cleaning

Ice pigging is an innovative pipeline cleaning solution that uses a thick ice slurry. An alternative to conventional pipeline-pigging and other pipeline cleaning techniques, ice pigging is highly effective, low-risk and suitable for all types of pipework.

Ice pigging

This solution harnesses the complex properties of semi-solid ice, which can be pumped like a liquid, but acts like a solid when a ‘pig’ of ice is formed within a pipe. Under pressure this removes sediment and built-up deposits to leave the pipe clear and obstruction-free. A relatively quick process, it also leaves pipe walls undamaged.

 

Among its many advantages, ice pigging is:

  • Up to 1,000 times more effective than water flushing.
  • Effective for all diameters, flowing through fittings and bends of pipes.
  • Exceptionally low risk – if ice were ever to get stuck it would simply melt.
  • Harmless to public health.
  • A highly flexible solution applicable to multiple industries.

4,500

km

of pipes have been cleaned with ice pigging globally

A cleaner solution that is fast and versatile

Ice pigging uses less water and requires less clean-up than traditional underground pipe-flushing or other pigging techniques.

 

When the ice pig is inserted into the pipe, its semi-liquid form adapts to the topography of the pipes and any changes in diameter, making it an ideal solution to common pigging problems – while avoiding the risk of damage to pipe walls.

 

The duration of a typical operation will depend on the length, diameter and material of the pipe to be cleaned. However, outage is usually less than 30 minutes for short runs of less than 1km, rising to three to four hours for runs of up to 5km.

 

Ice pigging is also versatile, and suitable for applications ranging from water and wastewater or effluent pipework to oil and gas and the food and beverage sector.

Ice pigging was used to clean a section of dairy rising main due to material build-up on the pipe wall and the effects of this to the performance of the main.

Wessex WaterUnited Kingdom

Ice pigging was chosen as a low-risk pipe cleaning solution to remove sediment in parts of the water network as part of [the SUEZ] water framework.

Dwr Cymru Welsh WaterWales

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