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Pigs in pipes

Published: 31 May 2022

Last Updated: 18 July 2022

Water Mains Cleaning

Pigs are all set to clean up Napier’s pipe network in the annual water mains cleaning programme, commonly called ‘Pigging’.

From next week foam swabs called pigs will be sent flying through Napier’s 480km pipe network to give it a thorough clean. The process will see most areas of the pipe network in Napier scrubbed clean without the use of chemicals.

Over 300 swabs will be used by the Napier depot team to clean the pipes, a process that happens every year. Napier City Council’s Director of Infrastructure Debra Stewart says preventative maintenance is an essential part of making sure Napier’s water network is looked after.

“We have a lot of big projects happening in the water space, but the little things matter just as much,” explains Debra. “Looking after our pipes and making sure they are clean is vital to getting clean, safe and reliable water to households.”

When their neighbourhood is being cleaned out by the pigs households may experience some discoloured water when water is stirred up, and some temporary loss of water supply. Affected homes are given notice of their pipes being cleaned ahead of the team visiting their street through radio stations: Newstalk ZB, The Hits, Gold and Coast. A letter is also delivered to each affected home. Pigging takes place across Napier from Tuesday to Friday each week, through the winter months.

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