Ice Pigging update 2/27/20

The “ice pigging” process, activated on February 10, heads toward week four, targeting the most affected by discolored water and sediment. Suez North America, the company contracted to perform “ice pigging” of the main water lines  along Old Canoe Creek Road. Ice pigging is now being done in residential neighborhoods located between Old Canoe Creek Road and Canoe Creek Road. At this time, ice pigging is scheduled to continue through the third week of March and the City is in discussions with the company to extend the contract for additional work.

Ice pigging is an innovative process developed in Europe; it completely cleans the inside of a water line through the process of injecting a thick slurry of ice into a segment of a water line through a fire hydrant. The slurry moves along the inside of the pipe pushing out everything in the line ahead of the slurry (pig) through another fire hydrant downstream. 

“At this point, we are guardedly optimistic that this effort will prove successful,” said Brian Wheeler, interim utilities director. “We are seeing very good results at this early phase and that’s very encouraging.”

Prior to the start of this process the water storage tanks at Water Plant No.4, where the issue began, were cleaned to ensure that sediment that had accumulated in the tanks was removed.

The polishing filters at Water Treatment Plant No. 4 have been in operation since early December. The finished water from the plant is not discolored and does not contain any sediment particles. Working closely with the contractor, the water plant staff continues to monitor the systems to ensure they are in proper working order. With the water treatment plant operating properly the focus is on removing the accumulated sediment and discoloration from the distribution system with the ice pigging.

water bottles



Keystone Pointe & Anthem Park

Keystone Pointe Drive, Diamond Lane, Keystone Pointe Court, Old Glory Way, Valley Forge Drive, Kettle Creek Drive


Pine Lake Estates

Pinar Court, Peach Tree Boulevard, Mesa Verde Drive, Juniper Circle, Lake Trudy Drive, Lago Court, Pine Lake Drive, Oak Court, Cypress Court, Bay Court, Mesa Verde Drive, Pinon Circle, Birch Circle, Cherrywood Court


Pine Lake Estates

Ponderosa Drive, Chestnut Street, Pine Lake Drive, Sequoia Circle, Pine Lake Drive, Oak Court, Cypress Court, Bay Court


Pine Lake Estates & Canoe Creek Estates

Mesa Verde Drive, Juniper Circle, Pinon Circle, Whaleys Canoe Drive, Canoe Circle, Micah Court, Leba Lane, Talega Drive, Cialella Pass, Tikimber Way


Canoe Creek Estates & Cypress Preserve

Elbib Drive, Cypress River road, Cypress Landing, Cypresss Tree Trail


Canoe Creek Estates & Sweetwater Creek

Whaleys Canoe Drive, Noah Circle, Cialella Pass, Talega Drive, Canoe Circle, Micah Court, Leba Lane, Tikimber Way, Sweetwater Boulevard, Giselle Court


Canoe Creek Lakes

Zion Drive, Jebidiah Court, Settlers Trail, Prairie Iris Court, Turtle Grass Court, Cinnamon Fern Court


Canoe Creek Lakes

Settlers Trail, Prairie Iris Court, Turtle Grass Court, Cinnamon Fern Court, Zion Drive, Yellow Bird Court, Sasha Trail


Canoe Creek Lakes

Settlers Trail, Yellow Bird Court, Sasha Trail, Settlers Court


Canoe Creek Lakes

Zion Drive, Palmyra Court, Jess Evers Road, Culdesac Court, Latter Day Court, Jebidiah Loop, Jebidiah Court


City Will Activate “Ice Pigging” Next Week To Clean Water System

Beginning Monday, Feb. 10, the City of St. Cloud will activate an innovative new technology known as “ice pigging” intended to effectively clean city water lines. The process will be conducted in some of the most affected residential communities beginning with Old Canoe Creek Road from Neptune south to Zion. The initiative is expected to be completed by March 23.

The ice pigging process will be activated through the use of city fire hydrants where ice slurries are to be injected in order to travel through water lines. The ice essentially scrapes away and captures residual particles that have appeared in residential water. Particles and discoloration are residual effects from failed polishers at the city’s main water plant. They have been replaced with new polisher filters which became operational in December. While the new filters work properly and despite an aggressive unidirectional flushing effort, sediment and discoloration in water has not been completely resolved, prompting the decision to engage the ice pigging process.

“We are optimistic that this process will substantially improve and hopefully resolve the issue of sediment and discoloration for those communities,” said Brian Wheeler, Interim Director of Environmental Utilities for St. Cloud.

The service is expected to conclude on March 23 and will be conducted by Suez Environmental North America.  The cost is estimated at $454,000 and is being paid from Utility contingency funds; citizens will see no rate increase as a result of this process.

The City will begin customer notifications that will direct residents when not to use water during the actual ice pigging process, which is expected to last between two and four hours, as well as the work schedule. Updates will be posted on the City’s social media sites along with Frequently Asked Questions which are updated on an as needed basis.

See how ice pigging works in this video: