Water, smoke and ice to be used in Council pipes

22 March, 2013Posted in: Roads and Assets

Wingecarribee Shire Council is set to undertake a range of tests and procedures in order to maintain and improve the Shire’s underground network of water and sewerage pipes.

Included in the testing schedule are a variety of tests including water main flushing, smoke testing and ‘ice-pigging’ procedures.

The tests will be undertaken by Council’s Water and Sewer team as part of ongoing maintenance of the reticulation system. The tests are designed to help identify any faults in the water and sewerage system such as cracks, leaks and even illegal connections.

As the name implies, water main flushing involves ‘flushing’ out a water pipe via a water hydrant.

Council carry out a proactive program of water main flushing across the entire Shire to help remove minute particles of dirt, iron and manganese that inevitably build up in all water main systems. It helps keep the water supply from our taps clean, healthy and clear.

During the process water is temporarily disconnected. Council will advise affected customers prior to this occurring and on re-connection, recommend residents turn a cold water tap on slowly to allow any trapped air to escape which may have been stirred up in the procedure.

Affected residents will also be advised to ensure hot water heaters and washing machines are not used and taps are turned off during this scheduled interruption of water supply.

Smoke-testing is performed by pumping an odourless smoke into the sewerage system to help detect any faults, ill-fitting or illegal connections. Council staff will notify any residents in advance if smoke-testing is conducted in the vicinity of their premises.

The final test to be undertaken is relatively new. Ice pigging involves pumping an ice slurry, or ‘ice pig’, through water pipes to remove any built up debris.

Ice-pigging is an efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to clean Council’s network of underground water pipes. Although pumpable like a liquid, ice-pigging takes on the properties of a solid when a ‘pig’ of ice slurry is formed within the pipe.

This semi-solid slurry is therefore much more effective at scouring and cleaning the walls of pipes of varying diameters and it uses approximately half the volume of water of traditional pipe cleaning methods.

Council is to undertake the trio of maintenance activities from April 2013.

For further information, contact Council’s Water Engineer Alan Butler on phone 4872 5000.