Reinhart Hydrocleaning, prolongs the life of pipes

Reinhart Hydrocleaning, prolongs the life of pipes

Based at Courroux in the Jura, Reinhart Hydrocleaning specialises in cleaning water, gas and oil pipelines. Its system reduces the quantity of chemicals required and also means that pipes are replaced less frequently.

Regardless of the type of liquid flowing through them, all pipes are going to get dirty at some time. This means that the diameter of the pipe is reduced and results in a loss of flow rate in the network. In addition, if maintenance work is not carried out, there is a high risk that the pipes will rust and corrode. The Reinhart family has been cleaning water pipes since 1952, as Operations Manager Robert Reinhart explains: “Our grandfather began by cleaning water pipes in the Ticino canton and then in Italy”. Today, the company is still family-run, with two of the founder’s sons and three of his grandsons managing the business. According to brothers Roland (R&D Manager) and Robert Reinhart, it’s a definite advantage: “The experience of our father and our uncle, combined with our technical knowledge, is one of our company’s strengths. It enables us to be more responsive.”

Founded in: 1996
Number of persons employed: 17 of whom 7 are members of the Reinhart family 


Replacing only what needs to be replaced

It should be noted that the company custom-designs machines for each of its clients. “We have to be very responsive”, says Robert Reinhart, “because very often our clients have a deadline for inspecting the pipes that’s very close, and the pipes have to be cleaned before the inspection.” There are several techniques for doing this. The first, high-pressure washing, is limited by the length of the pipes. Another solution is to use pigs or scrapers. These are cleaning pads that push the dirt towards the end of the pipe. According to Roland Reinhart, this is not the best solution: “We’ve noticed that these solutions press part of the deposits onto the pipe.”

The Reinhart Hydrocleaning product consists of scraping components that are adapted to the needs of each client, plus a part required for propulsion. The aim is to increase the flow rate, but also to enable the pipes to be inspected. It involves working upstream to see which parts of the network are damaged. This means that instead of replacing all the pipes, only the damaged parts are renewed. An inspection carried out in this way on water pipes that had been installed in 1848 near Valencia, in Spain, showed that they were still intact. 

From a cheese factory to an oil pipeline

Although the company’s original business focused on cleaning water pipes, Reinhart Hydrocleaning has now diversified and cleans all kinds of installations, including gas pipelines and pipes in a cheese factory. The solution was even used to cool the tunnel-boring machine during construction of the new Gotthard railway tunnel. An oil pipeline between Norway and the United Kingdom has been cleaned regularly via this system since 2007. “It took several operations to remove all the paraffin that had encrusted the pipes for years,” says Robert Reinhart, adding, “When we started, the pipe was due to reach the end of its estimated lifespan in 2020. Now, that lifespan has been extended to 2027.”

Publication date: july 2012
Photo credits: Reinhart Hydrocleaning
Portrait: Hélène Lelièvre


Rue de la Croix 29
2822 Courroux (Jura)

: +41 32 422 82 44
Fax: +41 32 422 21 38