Pipe cleaning using 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.

There are many advantages to Ice Pigging™:

Time: Several kilometres of trunk main can be cleaned in 2-3 hours, distribution pipes take only minutes. Thus there is minimal disruption to supply.
Effectiveness: A physical clean is undertaken rather than just a flush. Quantifiable results show the amount of sediment removed from the network.
Ease: Ice slurry is inserted and ejected using existing hydrants; no network modifications are required. The pig flow through all pipe diameters, fittings and topographies.
Low risk: Exceptionally low risk – if ice were ever to get stuck it would simply melt.
Environmental Benefits: The ice slurry is harmless to public health – no harmful chemicals are required
Flexible: A highly flexible solution applicable to multiple industries.

Ice pigging - SUEZ

Credit: SUEZ group

km of pipes
ahave been cleaned with Ice Pigging™ globally

Cleaning drinking water pipes using Ice Pigging™

Drinking water pipes need cleaning for several reasons but the most frequent is when a customer complains of mains water discolouration.
Occasionally when a trunk main’s flow is reversed, many years of accumulated sediment will be suspended, leading to increased turbidity or lack of clarity, potentially affecting thousands of consumers. Another reason is when there is an older infrastructure. With many water systems having elements that are up to 100 years old, trunk main deterioration is now becoming an issue – leading to increased pipe debris. Changes to the network like overhauls, changing flow rates, bursts and valve operations can also trigger the need to clean pipework. Biofilm build-up can lead to many issues like an increase in bacteria levels and a loss of chlorination levels which indicate that the mains need cleaning.

Ice Pigging: How does it work? - SUEZ

Credit: SUEZ UK

Ice Pigging™: No-dig solution for pipe cleaning

SUEZ offers an Ice Pigging™ service across the UK, Ireland and Northern Europe. Tankers of ice slurry are transported to a customers’ site to undertake one-off or periodic cleaning. This low-risk, no-dig process can be applied to a wide range of pipe systems in diverse industrial, water and wastewater applications.

Case studies

Increasing flow rates in small diameter rising sewers

Wessex Water
Wembley District Heating Network with Eneteq

Pre-commissioning clean of large diameter district heating network

Wembley District

welsh water

An extensive programme to improve water quality for customers across Wales

Welsh Water