Water pipes get ice treatment

FROZEN pipes may make for a headache for householders, but water bosses are turning to ice to clear out their system.

The groundbreaking initiative is being trialled by Northumbrian Water to clear trunk water mains as it invests £66million in cleaning 400km of pipes.

Over time, a harmless sediment can build up and stick to the inside walls of mains, which can cause discoloured water when disturbed. The mains cleaning programme will improve tap water quality for a million people.

And using ice for the job is slashing the amount of time the work takes.

It usually takes us up to three weeks to clean a 2km section of pipe using pressure jetting – the traditional method – but it takes just a few hours using slushy ice.

As well as being more cost-effective, the process also uses less water than other types of cleaning so it is more environmentally friendly.