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Ice piggingIce pigging

Ice pigging is an innovative pipe cleaning system that uses ice slurry. When it is pumped into the pipe, it forms a plug that drags sediment and deposits with it, producing a descaling effect one thousand times more effective than flushing with water or other conventional systems. The results obtained are fast, efficient and environmentally friendly.

Ice pigging technology will be used to clean sections of pipe with some of the following water quality problems: dissolved solids, sedimentation and turbidity, sludge and sand, biofilm, taste and odour.

Andrés Álvarez de Miguel Contact

The ice pigging system is made up of an ice factory, ice transport and injection equipment and a device to analyse flow and any other parameters (conductivity, turbidity, etc.) that might be necessary in the cleaning operation.

Pipe cleaning using ice pigging technology has various advantages that improve the quality of water for human consumption:

  • It removes elements that propitiate the development of bacteria and microorganisms in pipe sections and surpasses the health conditions set forth in applicable legislation: Royal Decree 140/2003, of 7 February, establishing the health criteria for the quality of water for human consumption.
  • It considerably reduces certain chemical parameters, such as the content of aluminium, iron and manganese, in addition to physical parameters like turbidity. Accordingly, it manages to maintain the quality of the water at appropriate levels, as set forth in legislation.

Advantages over other systems

  • It can be used in all network topologies: new sections and elbows.
  • The ice can be pumped in at any point: valves and connections.
  • Clogging is impossible.
  • It is cheap, disposable and green.
  • It reduces pumping and chlorine consumption costs.
  • It minimises service interruptions for customers.
  • It reduces network maintenance work.
  • It removes turbidity, corrosion and biofilm and provides information about the quality and quantity of sediments.

Cleaning of the distribution network of the Pla de la Vallonga industrial estate

Approximately 12 km of supply network pipes in various materials and with various diameters were cleaned at the Pla de la Vallonga (Alicante) industrial estate with the aim of eliminating the network’s water quality problems.

The action was undertaken over a six-day period and removed more than 44 kg of suspended solids from the network. It was undertaken without affecting traffic or residents and with minimal service interruption (an hour a day).