Pigging (Swabbing)

Pigging (Swabbing) is the method of cleaning the inside of a pipeline by insertion of bullet shaped poly pigs or swabs into the pipeline system. Hydraulic or pneumatic pressure pushes the pig through the pipeline while it cleans the pipe and removes debris. To Swab or Pig water mains successfully depends on the size and type of pig used and the Method of Execution. Our methodology of execution is similar to that of air scouring although they are completely different operations.

In the past the most commonly used pig has been the swab, which is a soft foam type. The swab will remove waste, but it can prove misleading. As it travels through the pipe the swab is distorted and may lose up to 80% in shape, depending on what is in the pipeline. With this much distortion the pig could be just running over the top and not removing the bulk of pipe debris. Therefore it is important each swab is formulated for the type and size of the pipeline being cleaned.
Through its ongoing association with companies including Flowmore Services (USA), Clearflow Australia has in excess of 100 years collective field experience in pigging pipelines. We service customers across Australia and throughout the Pacific region.
Technology of the foam pig has provided us with the introduction of Progressive Pigging.

Progressive Pigging

This operation not only removes the debris from the pipeline but the exit of each pig establishes for us the condition of the internal bore. From this point we can introduce the appropriate pigs of varying sizes and property type to gradually remove the debris from the pipeline and restore the internal bore to near original size.
Pigging is a thoroughly proven method of cleaning pipelines. It will prolong the life of the pipes, reduces or prevents replacement programmes, and increases the period between cleaning cycles compared to other methods. Water flow rate is immediately increased, allowing pumps to operate more efficiently.
Laboratory tests of water quality prove that during the operational procedures, pigging will remove up to 10 times the amount of solids from the water.
The introduction of technology pigs of different density, types and size, has proven to be the safest, fastest and most economical method to clean pipelines of all sizes, from the smallest to the larger delivery or trunk mains.
In the case of removing heavy buildups from pipes a "progressive" pigging method is used which maximises cleaning safety.
Large diameter or cast iron water mains should be pigged!
The results we have on hand show that pigging pipelines is 18 times more effective than air scouring, especially larger mains, and the only proven, efficient and most successful method of removing the debris is to progressively pig the pipe.
All our services programmes are available individually or collectively as part of a Multiple Service Package.