Claricone, Part of CMT's History
For the American Water Works Association (AWWA)’s Drinking Water Week, CMT will be exploring our past, present, and future in treatment technologies and the drinking water industry.

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) of 1974 brought a lot of change to the drinking water industry. According to the EPA, the SDWA aims “to protect public health by regulating the nation’s public drinking water supply.” This introduction brought about a new era in water treatment in the U.S. and for CMT a legacy of innovation.

Len Crawford, one of CMT’s original founders, realized the need to help the firm’s water clients address these new changes. He would develop a team of professionals dedicated to cost-effective water treatment technology. One of those initial figures was Dave Wyness, who would become the manager of CMT’s new Process Development and Laboratory team in 1978. Wyness was the inventor of the “helical flow reactor clarifier,” more commonly referred to as the ClariCone, that is utilized in plants all over the US.

The team would go on to optimize the performance of the ClariCone while continuing to innovate processes with new components such as deceleration flow filters, recarbonation units, and ribbon flow clearwells, among others.

Today, the ClariCone is used in treatment plants all over the country. It leverages a unique cone shape and helical flow path to provide a smooth transition, as particles move upward to the solids contact zone of the cone, from rapid mixing to gentle mixing. With no moving parts, this type of water treatment uses the natural shape of the cone and the momentum of the incoming water to remove contaminants, rather than relying on mechanical motors.

Its simple design made the ClariCone a cost-efficient solution that could run efficiently for decades with minimal and, in some cases, no repairs. Bill Brown, a CMT Senior Project Manager/Water Management Specialist noted, “Thirty years and many ClariCone installations later, the only repair most ClariCones need is a paint job.”

The ClariCone remains a viable part of the solution in water treatment today, even as more emerging contaminants are discovered. CMT’s Water Treatment specialists can help clients apply an even wider range of technologies available today—such as membranes, reverse osmosis, and UV, among others— for whatever specific need may be.

“We strive to provide our clients with the right level of sophistication while balancing operability and overall life cycle cost-effectiveness,” says Raed Armouti, CMT’s Director of Water Resources.

CMT celebrates the role water plays in our daily lives and is proud to be part of an industry that continues to advance technologies and practices to improve its delivery.