The issue

Welsh Water has a vast network of water pipes, some 27,000 kilometres, which is one of the longest in the industry in proportion to the number of properties it serves. Wales has a dispersed population of 3.1 million people over a predominantly-rural area and, as such, requires an extensive network of water mains. A combination of soft water, manganese in water sources and a high proportion of iron mains left the water company vulnerable to customer concerns about discolouration, odour and taste.

In AMP6, Welsh Water assessed the acceptability of water across all of their water distribution zones to evaluate risks in the network that cause discolouration of drinking water. They identified 38 priority zones and hundreds of kilometres of pipework that required cleaning or replacement.
Tackling drinking water discolouration across Wales

The solution

In March 2017 and continuing through AMP6 and AMP7 to 2025, SUEZ has been carrying out Ice Pigging™ operations across Wales to help tackle the water discolouration issues. A parallel programme of mains replacement has also been undertaken.

Across the zones, 350km of pipes, including 52km of trunk mains and 298km of distribution mains, were ice pigged during AMP6 covering Anglesey, Pembrokeshire and Herefordshire. 
Tackling drinking water discolouration across Wales

The results

km of pipe work cleaned

trunk mains included
The SUEZ Ice Pigging™ team, in partnership with Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and Morrison Water Services, were proud to deliver this extensive cleaning programme and achieve such significant customer improvements.
Nick Haskins , Business Development Manager, SUEZ

The future

This programme of mains cleaning with Ice Pigging™, combined with mains replacement where necessary, has been highly successful and continues through AMP7 in other zones.