Preventive maintenance of the water supply network also helps to ensure that drinking water sources are used efficiently.

The idea of using crushed ice to clean pressure pipelines arose approximately 12 years ago at the university in Bristol (UK) in cooperation with the local waterworks company Bristol Water and the services provider Aqualogy (a member of the SUEZ environment group). The idea was gradually tested and improved in the field. Currently, this patented technology is the most efficient way of removing soft sediments and biofilm in any pipeline up to DN 600.

Pilot test in Ostrava in 2015

The Ostrava Water and Sewerage Company (OVAK) realized a pilot project of maintenance of the water supply network “Ice Pigging” in 2015.  This sophisticated method involves injecting a pressurized mixture of ice slurry and salt into the pipelines, which cleans the pipe far more effectively than standard water jet or air cleaning methods. Ice pigging is a revolutionary new development in water management infrastructure maintenance; though it is relatively expensive to test, it has the potential to significantly reduce water loss and retain excellent quality standards. The main advantage of the ice/salt mix is its abrasive effect, which can remove up to a thousand times more dirt than previously used methods – regardless of the material that the pipe is made from. There is also a 50% reduction in water consumption compared with standard methods (water jet cleaning), as well as a 50% time saving. The risks of ice pigging are negligible; if any problems occur, the ice will soon melt.

The company will continue cleaning its water supply network using the sophisticated new method  at other suitable locations in the city.