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Ice-pigging used to improve tap water quality

Northumbrian Water is using an innovative technique known as ice-pigging to help improve tap water quality for around 10,000 customers in a Gateshead town.

Over the next eight weeks, the company’s supply partners, Fastflow Pipeline Services, will be installing 850 metres of temporary water pipe.

It will allow the company to disconnect the mains section of pipe supplying water to Birtley and then clean it, without disrupting the town's water supplies.

An innovative technique called ice-pigging will be used to carry out the cleaning, which forces slushy ice into and along the pipe, scraping any harmless natural sediment off as it goes.

Ice-pigging is faster and uses less water than traditional methods of cleaning such as jetting.

Project manager Richard Johnston said: "We're very proud to supply our customers with a high quality tap water but it's important that we continue to look after our network to keep it tasting great into the future.

"We've got a little bit of work to do now, to make sure we can maintain our customers' water supply at all times, before we can carry out the actual cleaning of the pipe, but then once we start the ice-pigging it's a very quick process.”

Author: Alec Peachey,
Topic: Drinking water quality , Innovation
Tags: Water supply , Northumbrian Water

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