icepigging-slider-2 Wastewater
& Effluent

Sewer Mains Cleaning

Wastewater pipes or sewers, need to be kept clean for a variety of reasons. Ice Pigging™ is normally the safest and most cost-effective solution.


From an environmental standpoint, this low-risk sewage pipe cleaning solution means less chance of contamination and helps to ensure compliance with discharge regulations/permits.


From a practical point of view, cleaner pipes will improve flow rate, increase pump efficiencies and lessen the chance of blockages or leaks.


Ice Pigging™ is a highly effective method of industrial sewer cleaning. It’s a quick, easy, low-risk process that’s carried out on-site, normally in just a few hours.

Why sewage pipes need cleaning

There are two reasons why sewer pipe cleaning is necessary for a reliable and efficient network:


First, fat, oil, and grease (FOGs) can build up inside industrial sewer pipes. This reduces the flow and will lead to increased biofilm build-up and potentially the hydrogen sulphide smell that consumers complain about.


Second, it makes sense to purge sewage pipes of sediment and debris as this will increase performance and the service life of pumps and valves as well as helping to save energy.


Removal of blockages from sewer mains

As long is there is some flow in pipework, Ice Pigging™ can be utilised to reinstate flow rates.


Depending on the location, blockages could be a result of fats, oils, grease, wipes, sediment or biofilm. Often, it’s a combination.


Removal of biofilm from sewer mains

Biofilm build-up is dangerous in itself. But left untreated, it can also trap sediment and other debris, risking blockages.


Ice Pigging™ is the environmentally-friendly method for the removal of biofilm. It’s fast, low-risk and proven technology.

Improving flow of sewer mains

Sewer mains (as opposed to open gravity-fed sewers) transport sewage at pressure, so air in pipes as well as biofilm and grit need to be addressed to improve performance and pumping efficiency, resulting in better flow rates.


Increase efficiency of sewer mains pump

Build-ups of biofilm, grit, and sediment can result in decreased pumping efficiency and increased energy costs. Cost-effective, low-risk Ice Pigging™ will improve performance and reduce the chance of blockages, working in any combination of pipe diameters.


Reduce sewer mains odours

Hydrogen sulphide odour is often a sign that sewage mains need cleaning.  Before you get any odour complaints from consumers, consider using Ice Pigging™ to clean affected mains, quickly and at low risk.

Our sewer mains cleaning service

Sewer cleaning with Ice Pigging™ is carried out without excavations and often takes just a few hours, meaning minimum disruption. During the process we manage wet well levels and can remove all cleaning waste with our own tankers, if required.


Unlike mechanical pipe cleaning methods for sewers, Ice Pigging™ can work with differing diameters, complex turns and even valves in wastewater pipes, meaning the process is far more flexible – and faster too.

Insert ice slurry to form ice pig™ An ice delivery unit pumps ice slurry into a suitable fitting at the pumping station, to form a semi-solid pig in the main.

Pump ice pig™ The wet well pump is used to push the Ice Pig™ through the length of pipe to be cleaned. If the wet well pump is insufficiently rated, an external pump and water supply can be used.

Ice pig™ pushes debris through pipes The Ice Pig™ moves through the pipework and collects sediment and fouling as it passes.

Dirty water collected At the outlet, the dirty ice and waste material is either collected in a waste tanker or allowed to progress to the treatment works.

Pipe returns to service The pipe is returned to fully automatic service.

Ice Pigging™ vs traditional pigging

Never confuse Ice Pigging™ with other types of pigging to clean sewer pipes.  With those, a solid or foam ‘pig’ is pushed through for sediment removal. Unlike Ice Pigging™, they don’t work with small radius bends or different diameters of pipe. Essentially these ‘solid’ devices are mainly for straight pipe runs and do not have the flexibility of ice pigging, which can’t get stuck.


Likewise, our tests have proved that water flushing is ineffective compared to Ice Pigging and uses far more resources.


Low-risk Ice Pigging™ is the most time-efficient and cost-effective way to restore your sewer pipework.

Advantages of sewer mains cleaning by Ice Pigging™

There are many benefits to utilising Ice Pigging™ to clean sewer pipes on-site.


It’s a no-dig, time-efficient method that’s now been proven by cleaning thousands of kilometres of mains and sewer pipework all over the UK.


It will improve performance of your network and save energy costs as pumps and filtration plants work more efficiently.


Compared to other pipe-cleaning methods, it’s faster, less risky and more environmentally friendly.

Clean: Removes fouling, sediments, grit and other materials that can cause poor flows and odours

Time: Minimal down time - most pipes can be cleaned in 3-4 hours

Cost: Can eliminate waste tankering. Reduces energy costs by increasing pumping efficiencies.

Expenditure: Very often Ice Pigging™ removes the need for the capital replacement of pumps or pipelines.

Protection: Less stress on the pipework as the pumps can work at design specification.

No-dig: Ice Pigging™ requires no excavation; a genuine ‘no-dig’ technique.

Low Risk: Exceptionally low risk – if ever the ice gets stuck, it will simply melt.

Environmental Benefits: Reduces the risk of sewage flooding into the environment or nearby properties.

Case Study: Sewage flooding relieved by Ice Pigging™


Ice Pigging has many advantages over less effective legacy methods of sewer cleaning, as this case study shows.

“The success of this operation meant that the client was able to cancel an expensive capital project to replace the pipe, a saving of over £700,000.” Business Development Manager

The Issue: Sewer flooding

Repeated incidents of sewage flooding experienced by a long-suffering resident were attributed to reduced flow rates of the rising main leading to blockages caused by a build-up of sediments.

The utility company had resorted to using waste tankers to manage the wet-well levels. This was an unsustainable expense and pumping out into wastewater tankers was a public disturbance.


The solution: Ice Pigging™ of rising sewer main

The mobile Ice Pigging™ team brought the ice delivery unit to the site and ice slurry was pumped through approx. 1.2 km of 63mm MDPE rising sewer main.


The sewer main cleaning was completed in just a few hours with no leakage and minimal disruption.


The result: 99.5% cost saving due to Ice Pigging™

After treatment:

  • The deployment of Ice Pigging saved over £700K – the projected cost of replacing the complete sewer main
  • No re-occurrence of sewage flooding
  • The flow rate of two pumps increased by 40%
  • The need for wastewater tankers was removed as wet well levels remained constant
  • Eliminated a significant public nuisance

With a wealth of collective knowledge and practical experience, The Ice Pigging™ team have developed and delivered this award-winning, patented technology across a variety of sectors worldwide. If you want to know how Ice Pigging™ can solve issues with your pipework systems and processes, and make your cleaning processes more efficient, get in touch.

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