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Water pipe sediment removal should be implemented as an integral part of water mains maintenance in order to steadily supply consumers with drinking water of high quality. Considering the number of different water pipe sediment removal methods, the article aims to evaluate the currently used methods to remove water pipe sediment from the pipes of the drinking water distribution system. The evaluation compares the implementation requirements of each method as well as the quality and the quantity<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084311">doi:10.3390/ijerph18084311</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33921692">pmid:33921692</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/release/4ilyvy444jeezojwdxrt5mrgry">fatcat:4ilyvy444jeezojwdxrt5mrgry</a> </span>
more »... of the removed products. The tested methods were unidirectional flushing, Comprex®, and Ice Pigging®. The results of the comparison are expressed in terms of total suspended solids (TSS) recovery, metals mass concentration and water consumption. Since contamination can settle along the entire surface of the pipeline, it is most appropriate to recalculate the results per unit area of the pipeline. The results point at the following efficiency the Comprex® method was the most efficient in removing TSS, Ice Pigging® was the next and unidirectional flushing removed a negligible amount of TSS compared to the other two methods. The absolute recovery of TSS was 0.12–3.01 g·m−2 in unidirectional flushing of plastic pipes, 1.58–8.54 g·m−2 in unidirectional flushing of metal pipes, 4.36–47.53 g·m−2 in Ice Pigging®, and 5.19–69.23 g·m−2 in Comprex®. The composition of the sediment was strongly influenced by particle origin: Pipe material affected the crystalline phase of the sediment and the water source and the age of the pipe affected the amorphous phase of the sediment. Therefore, it was found that evaluation of efficiency based on the amount of TSS removed is only suitable for sites that meet the same conditions as pipe material, water source and ideally the pipe age. It has further been found that the Comprex® method can be advantageously used in real conditions to clean pipes with insufficient hydraulic conditions (such as with a high level of incrustation), as the cleaning has low water flow velocity requirements.
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