Frequently Asked Questions

About Clearford Water Systems

What does Clearford Water Systems do?
Clearford Water Systems is a water management company that provides unified water solutions for all aspects of sanitation, water delivery, management, treatment and reuse. Clearford Water Systems is a single-point provider of turnkey water management solutions for new and established communities. Alternatively, Clearford works with your team of professionals to deliver water systems for a variety of applications, from residential to industrial servicing. At the core of Clearford’s water management offerings is the proprietary Clearford One™ sanitation system, which enables the efficient extension of additional sustainable water management solutions. Clearford is well positioned to provide a full suite of water infrastructure services ranging from design and construction to financing and operation.

What is Clearford One™?
Clearford One™ is a complete sanitation solution for the collection, conveyance and treatment of sewage. The system is built on three core products: ClearDigest™ smart digesters, ClearConvey™ small bore sewers, and the ClearRecover™ optimized treatment package. Each product is fully engineered for efficiency and optimized for total system performance. Sewage is collected in ClearDigest™ smart digesters for pre-treatment of pollutants before conveyance of solids-free effluent in the ClearConvey™ small-bore-sewer gravity pipe network to the ClearRecover™ treatment plant for final polishing and water recovery. This proven sanitation system provides a variety of benefits compared to other systems, including improved environmental performance, lower capital and operating costs, more flexible deployment, and extended lifecycle.

Suitable Applications

Is my community/project suitable for implementation of Clearford One™?
Clearford One™ is a flexible solution for both small and large-scale deployments. It unlocks servicing potential for applications in:

  • New developments, including residential and mixed land use;
  • Commercial, institutional and light industrial sites;
  • Resorts and recreational facilities;
  • Retrofits for existing unserviced communities;
  • Collection systems connecting to existing sewers with limited capacity;
  • Collection systems for decentralised wastewater treatment;
  • Areas with challenging topographic, soil/rock and water conditions;
  • Rural and remote areas that may lack reliable water and power supply;
  • Low water use communities.

Are there minimum and maximum sizes of projects?
There are no limitations on project size for the application of Clearford One™ sanitation systems. Small projects take advantage of the low cost for operation and maintenance over the 90+ year lifecycle of the system. Medium-size projects are enabled by the reliable system performance and high quality treatment options. Larger projects can minimize their environmental footprint through the efficiency and optimization of Clearford One™ components to manage sewage pollutants and flows from collection to final recovery of treated water.

Operations and Maintenance

Is Clearford One™ easy to operate?
Clearford One™ is designed for easy operation over the lifecycle of the system. ClearDigest™ and ClearConvey™ collection system installations are proven to have virtually no scheduled maintenance requirements. Operation of sewage pump stations is greatly simplified thanks to solids-free effluent pumping—cleaning and equipment maintenance are reduced compared to messy conventional sewage pump stations. Operation of the ClearRecover™ treatment plant is also simplified because of minimal solids and sludge handling requirements.

Does Clearford One™ require frequent maintenance and/or repairs?
The Clearford One™ system requires minimal maintenance because of its robust design and construction. ClearDigest™ smart digesters have built-in features that perform over a wide range of operating conditions. These passive features do not require any maintenance and contribute to prolonged operation of the tanks, which require pumping only after decades of normal use. Since solids and grease are captured in ClearDigest™, only liquid effluent is conveyed in the ClearConvey™ small-bore-sewer network with virtually no buildup of solids in the pipes. Sewer flushing requirements are minimal during the life of the sewer. Maintenance and repairs for pump stations are similarly infrequent since equipment are not exposed to damaging sewage solids.

What are the mechanical power requirements for operating the Clearford One™ system?
Clearford One™ is a passive sewage collection system that relies on gravity and the kinetic energy of sewage flow to operate. No external power source is required to operate the ClearDigest™ and ClearConvey™ components, unless sewage pumping is required because of topographical constraints. If pumping is required, the equipment uses less power because fewer and smaller pumps are needed, and these only need to handle liquid effluent and not messy sewage solids.


What is HDPE pipe and why are they used for ClearConvey™ sewers?
High density polyethylene pipe (HDPE) is a robust plastic material resistant to acid and biological attack while lacking the rigidity that causes other types of plastic pipe to crack. HDPE pipe lasts over 90 years and can be installed in flexible horizontal and vertical alignments to go around obstructions, such as foundations, other utilities or trees. HDPE pipe can be fused together, creating strong and watertight joints that will not leak over the lifecycle of the pipe.

How is Clearford One™ installed?
The three components of Clearford One™ are efficiently installed using conventional construction techniques. ClearDigest™ smart digesters are plastic, brick or concrete tanks installed similarly to septic tanks using open excavation. The ClearConvey™ pipe network can be installed using open cut excavation or trenchless methods. Open cut trenches are typically narrower and shallower for ClearConvey™ than for conventional sewer construction. Trenchless horizontal directional drilling is enabled by the use of flexible fused HDPE pipe.
Installation of the ClearRecover™ optimized treatment package depends on the type of treatment technology that is selected to meet the project requirements. For basic treatment options like constructed wetlands and lagoons, there is considerable site work required for installation. Alternatively, compact mechanical treatment plants can be manufactured offsite and assembled with minimal impact at the site.

How deep are ClearConvey™ small-bore-sewer pipes?
ClearConvey™ pipes can be buried as shallow as 0.3 metres and as deep as required for service connections to the Clearford One™ system. Other considerations that affect the depth of sewers are site topography, soil/rock and groundwater conditions, traffic loading on the pipe, and frost penetration depth in cold climate regions. Since the ClearConvey™ pipe network conveys only liquid effluent, small bore sewers can be laid with a minimal slope, typically 2 metres deep for every kilometre of horizontal distance. This can reduce the depth of sewers and number of pump stations required for most installations compared to conventional sewer systems.


Does Clearford One™ limit wastewater treatment options?
Clearford One™ is compatible with virtually all wastewater treatment technologies including lagoons, constructed wetlands, and mechanical treatment plants. Existing wastewater treatment facilities benefit from the greatly reduced requirements for primary and biological treatment, and planned wastewater treatment facilities can be downsized by as much as 50% resulting in reduced capital and operating costs. The ClearRecover™ optimized treatment package is tailored to the unique effluent characteristics and flow of the Clearford One™ system, and to meet the local needs, regulations and conditions for each project.

Can Clearford One™ co-exist with a conventional sewer system?
Clearford One™ is compatible with existing conventional sewer and treatment systems. A new development or infill units can be serviced by a ClearDigest™ and ClearConvey™ collection system and connected to an existing conventional sewer network and treatment plant. In fact, Clearford One™ uses up less capacity in the existing system, allowing communities to maximize the remaining capacity in their conventional system.