Australia Ice Pigging Trial Successes
Agbar Environment has just returned from carrying out ice pigging trials for 3 water companies in Australia. A small 2.5 tonne delivery unit| with 5 tonne ice maker| was used for the trials, this allowed us to clean pipes up to 200mm with the aim of cleaning over 1km per day. The equipment was set up in the water companies’ depots; all we required was a power and water supply.
The first sets of trials were carried out for Gosford City Council, who is based 1 hour north of Sydney. We carried out 4 days of trials at various locations on various diameter and materials of mains. The results were remarkable. Huge amounts of sediment was removed, with comments such as “this is as good as when we swab but without all the hard work”. Following the work pipe samples were removed to see what effect the ice had on the pipework. It was clear to everyone that the ice had removed all the sediment and the pipe was clean.
These sample bottles| demonstrate how well the ice worked. At no stage does the flow rate change which really demonstrates how the ice is doing the work not the increase in velocity. Also note how quickly the water cleared once the ice had exited the main.
During the trials we encountered very high water and ambient air temperatures during the trials - one day the air was 39 degrees! The ice coped a lot better than the AEL guys!
The next set of trials was carried out in Melbourne for Yarra Valley Water. In total we carried out 8 days of trials around the Melbourne suburbs, again on various materials and diameters, all with the same results.
The water used during these operations was always going to be important especially in a country where water is so valuable. Each set of trials was monitored carefully with the total volume of water used being recorded throughout the process. The results are very encouraging: the average volume of water used during the trials was 1.6 pipe volumes, this compares against flushing at 4 times and swabbing at 6 – 8 times the pipe volume.
The last set of trials were carried out in Bribie Island which is about 80km north of Brisbane. Unity Water have been interested in carrying out trials to see if by removing sediment they could increase chlorine residuals as this area is at the end of the system. This location gave us our biggest challenge in terms of air and water temperature. The water temperature was just under 26 degrees and the average air temperature is over 34 degrees.
These sample bottles| are from a 800m section of 100mm AC pipe. The results were typical of all the trials we carried out in Bribie Island, with large amounts of sediment removed and water quality improving very quickly.