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Water Utilities
PneuClean pipeline pigging system
Cleaning and chlorination of water main

Balfour Beatty for Anglian Water’s @One Alliance
Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, UK
  • Minimal excavations required
  • Low volumes of water and wastewater to manage
  • Rapid cleaning and chlorination of 5km pipe

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HTC, part of the Aquam group, has undertaken cleaning and chlorination of a newly laid water main that runs underneath the A1, the UK’s longest road.

Contractor Balfour Beatty selected Aquam’s PneucleanTM pipeline pigging and chlorination system on behalf of Anglian Water’s @One Alliance for the Kings Reach Growth Pipeline project.

Four pig runs were undertaken along a 5km length of the 450mm-diameter high performance polyethylene (HPPE) main. On the first run, a proving pig with a tracked sonde was propelled through the main, using two 900 cubic foot per minute (cfm) compressors and two 900 cfm dessicant dryers. Once the pipeline was proven to be piggable, three train runs comprising a slug of water propelled between two pigs were sent along the pipeline.

As each pig train travels, silt and soft deposits were collected from pipe walls, delivering an effective clean. The water is then collected for disposal and the used pigs replaced, for subsequent runs until sampling shows the water complies with quality standards.

Chlorination

Once the cleaning was complete, a further run was made to sterilise the pipe with a chlorinated slug of water. By using water carrying a much higher concentration of chlorine at much lower volume than traditional techniques, typical contact time required is only 30 minutes, vastly reducing chemical and water usage. 

The capability of PneuClean to clean long lengths of pipe in one operation was particularly beneficial in this application, given that the main crosses beneath a busy trunk road. It means fewer excavations are necessary to launch and receive the pig trains than would be required using traditional techniques. 

The entire operation took only five days and was completed in March 2017.

The PneuClean process produces much lower volumes of wastewater for disposal than conventional pipe cleaning methods, reducing carbon footprint for clients.


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