Peter S. Cartwright, PE, CWS-VI
Cartwright Consulting Company
8324 16th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55425-1742
Phone: (952) 854-4911
Fax: (952) 854-6964
[email protected]

Peter Cartwright has a Bachelor’s Degree in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota (1961) and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Minnesota.

He entered the water industry in 1974 as Director of Sales and Marketing for a major manufacturer of membrane elements and systems. In 1980, Peter formed his engineering consulting business, Cartwright Consulting Co.

Cartwright specializes in both marketing and technical consulting in high-technology treatment processes for water purification, wastewater treatment and food/chemical processing applications. Typical applications range from point-of-use/point-of-entry drinking water units to ultra-high-purity water systems, to effluent treatment and water reuse applications.

He provides complete design, construction, installation and operating services covering the entire spectrum of water purification, wastewater treatment and environmentally conscious manufacturing. In addition, he offers comprehensive training and educational programs in all areas of water treatment.

He has authored more than 125 articles, written several book chapters, presented over 125 lectures in conferences around the world and has been awarded three patents for water purification processes.

Along with being a member of the Technical Review Committee for Water Conditioning & Purification magazine, he serves on the Editorial Advisory Committee for Industrial Water World, the Editorial Advisory Board of Filtration News and is on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering annual course “Process Piping Systems Design and Operation.” He is also a peer reviewer for the Journal of Membrane Science.

Cartwright is a 2001 recipient of the Award of Merit from the Water Quality Association and is the Technical Consultant for the Canadian Water Quality Association.

Personal perspectives
How did you get started in the water conditioning and purification marketplace? What was your first job in it?
My first job was in 1974 as the Director of Sales and Marketing for a five-year-old manufacturer of membrane elements and systems in the Minneapolis area.

How/why did you start/maintain your professional involvement?
As it is now, the water treatment industry was challenging, complicated and constantly changing. It drew me in and still won’t let me go.

What are you most proud of in your profession?
The increasing technical competence of the industry’s professionals. With this comes heightened respect and credibility.

What are you least proud of in your profession?
The poor reputation of those in our industry that are ‘snake-oil’ salesmen and those who try to ‘out-lie the liars.’

What gives you the most joy in your professional life?
When someone comes up to me after a lecture and says that I have increased their understanding of water treatment.

What do you dislike most in your professional life?
The wild, unsubstantiated claims regarding ‘foo-foo dust’ and ‘miracle cures’ that dupe the consumer.

If there were three portraits on the wall behind your desk (not of family) who would they be and why?
George Washington—could have been a king, but chose to help create a democracy.
Martin Luther King—showed us how peaceful demonstration can change a nation’s direction.
Oprah Winfrey—a person of humble beginnings who rose to great wealth and influence and who uses these resources to empower women, children and the poor.

If you were not in the water conditioning and purification industry, what would you be doing?
I would probably be an environmentalist of some sort (or at least retired).

Why would you do that?
Humankind has painted this world into a corner with our ignorance and, oftentimes, our greed. We need to undergo a paradigm shift in attitude toward our climate, wasteful behavior and natural resources. We all need to make the environment a top priority.

Polish up your crystal ball…what will be the three most important issues in our industry within the next five years?
PCPP/endocrine disruptors in our drinking water—I worry (and believe) that they will ultimately be linked to birth defects and other adverse health effects. The industry will be challenged to treat them, but we will be up to it.

Aging municipal water/wastewater treatment infrastructure—approaching one trillion (US) dollars. How will we pay for it without raising taxes? I live in a city where a freeway bridge collapsed as a result of political ‘game-playing.’

Worldwide water quality issues—population growth, lack of finances, fixed water quantity, etc., means that easily one-half of the world’s population is expected to suffer from severe shortages of drinkable water by 2050. What are we going to do about it?



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