Maintenance and cleaning of clean water pipes in Gerzensee

Clean water pipes have an important benefit: they are used to catch clean water and direct it to groundwater before it enters the sewer system. Arpe AG provided comprehensive cleaning of the fresh water pipes for the municipality of Gerzensee.

In 2019, Arpe AG carried out maintenance work on the pipes carrying the drinking water for the municipality of Gerzensee.

Our tasks

  • To avoid contaminating the water, the type of pipes must be determined before the cleaning process and taken into account during the project.
  • With the help of a special rotating nozzle, the pipes were cleaned of roots, lime and other accumulations.
  • The debris was then placed in a container, treated using a special recycling lorry and disposed of properly.

Facts & Figures



Construction type


Contruction style




Carried work

Sewer maintenance, cleaning of drinking water pipes

Project manager

Peter Giger, Arpe AG



Fresh water for drinking water reserves

Treating waste water in a waste water treatment plant (WWTP) is time-consuming and costly. It is therefore not environmentally practical or economical to capture uncontaminated external water and rainwater in waste water pipes, where it will be mixed with waste water. The Federal Act on the Protection of Waters (WPA) and cantonal requirements require municipalities to either allow uncontaminated water to seep into the ground or to direct it to surface water. This enables the water to be directed back to the groundwater, where it is available as important drinking water reserves. To ensure that clean water is able to flow through the system reliably and unhindered over the long term, the pipes must be cleaned from time to time.

Adapted to individual conditions

In general, the guidelines published by the VSA (Swiss association of waste water and water protection professionals) regarding the maintenance of pipes, sewage systems and property drainage apply. To prevent damage to construction sites, the cleaning pressure must be adjusted to the local conditions. If areas with more significant accumulations require greater pressure, the owner of the pipes must be informed in order to explain why this is necessary. It may be possible to correct the problem; otherwise, the area may need to be cleaned more often. Larger accumulations, such as construction waste or lime, must not be allowed into the water during the cleaning process, which requires the installation of a skip or mechanical removal.


Extensive requirements for cleaning personnel

The different drainage systems involved in this kind of service order place greater requirements on the cleaning personnel. To avoid contaminating the water, the type of pipe must be determined before the cleaning process and taken into account during the project. The pipes for drinking water in Gerzensee are made of different materials that could be damaged during cleaning if not handled properly. A wide variety of materials were used to make the pipes found on the property: composite cement pipes, pipes made of PVC and even cast iron pipes. Each material has its own chemical and mechanical properties. The pipes also have different lengths and diameters. Thus, there is a broad range of pipes made of different materials, with diameters of varying accessibility as well as different lengths. Of course, this makes the work more difficult for the cleaning personnel, with rain and other poor weather conditions also impacting the work. Another hindrance at this property is the difficulty in accessing the pipes due to their geographical location.