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You are here : At Home > Alerts & planned works > Cleaning our water mains > Ice pigging
Ice pigging involves isolating a relatively short section of pipe by turning off valves at each end. Water is then displaced to make room for ice solution to be injected. Once the ice solution is in place a valve is then re-opened. This then helps to compact and drive the ice through the pipe, removing any sediment as it goes. The ice is then flushed safely from the main and the water is sampled before the main is returned into supply.
This cleaning method offers a huge benefit to our customer’s in that it involves less excavations and causes less traffic disruption than traditional cleaning techniques. A further benefit is that the majority of this work will be carried out during the night which significantly reduces all forms of disruption to homes, commuters and businesses.
The two large articulated vehicles contain the Ice solution (think very large Slush puppy) that is pumped into an isolated section of main via the blue hoses that run from the vehicles to a hydrant stand post.
The Ice solution (10m³ to 25m³) is injected via the hydrant stand post into the isolated section of main. During the injection phase the mains pressure is continually monitored to ensure there are no bursts as a result of this activity.
Once all the Ice solution is pumped into the main, an upstream valve is opened, allowing the upstream pressure to push the Ice all the way to its exit point – up 1600m away.
The Ice exit point is carefully and continually monitored to ensure the procedure is completed successfully.
The Ice flushing process is designed specifically to remove any of the harmless sediment from the water main that may have accumulated over many years of service. This sediment is diverted into large tankers so it can be disposed of in the most environmentally friendly way.
When the sediment has been removed, the main is flushed for a further calculated period of time to ensure it continues to meet with our stringent water quality standards before it is returned to service.
Occasionally customers may receive discoloured water as a result of cleaning activities. Affinity Water will be constantly monitoring the local network to reduce the impact that discolouration may have.
Discoloured water is not harmful to health. You should run the first mains-fed tap in your house at a normal rate for up to 30 minutes. Metered customers who experience discoloured water as a result of this work should ring our customer centre on 0800 521 660, as you may be given an allowance on your bill.
Washing machines and dishwashers should only be used if your water supply is running clear.
We will notify you of any planned interruptions to your water supply.
We have a database of customers who have specific water requirements, if you are concerned please contact us on 0800 521 660, and we will make arrangements to help you.
We aim to carry out the majority of work during the night to reduce impact to customer, during cleaning works some customers ay experience changes to the pressure at their taps. If your supply is to be interrupted you will be given 48 hours notice.
Some customer may notice a slight change to the taste or odour following cleaning works, in the extremely unlikely event that you should experience a change in the quality of your water, please contact us on 0800 521 660.
Registered office: Tamblin Way, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9EZ.
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