The Iowa Water Enviornment Association, founded in 1927, exists today as an organization of professionals committed to the education and advancement of water quality and water pollution control techniques. The 600 plus members consist of educators, operators, engineers, regulators, municipal officials, manufacturers and equipment suppliers, contractors, and students.

The IAWEA is directed by an Executive Board of members from different regions across the State of Iowa. The Executive Board consists of fourteen members and directs the activities of over twenty committees. These committees lead the effort of educating its members and the public regarding current water pollution control and water quality topics.

The IAWEA’s goal is education and improvement in the quality of Iowa waters.


The Iowa Water Environment Association was formally founded in 1927. However, the first training meeting was held in response to water quality problems from pollution due to overloaded or poorly operated treatment plants and was held at Iowa State College in Ames, Iowa in 1915. The meeting was coordinated by the Engineering Extension Program and the goal was to get in closer personal touch with the people in charge of Iowa water pollution control facilities and explain to them in careful detail the inherent principles of these installations and the absolute necessities in maintenance for their successful operations. The agenda consisted of technical talks and demonstrations as well as plant visits which were found working in various stages of efficiency, thus emphasizing the need for these activities. This training is the earliest documented formal training for wastewater operators in the United States.

Except interruptions during the war years, the IAWEA program continues today with an Annual Meeting and participation in many aspects of water pollution control, water quality, and protection of the environment. The Association sponsors semiannual technical training in its six regions and specialized training at Maintenance, Biosolids, and Collection System conferences. IAWEA also administers a voluntary collection system certification program in cooperation with ABC.

The Iowa Water Environment Association is an affiliate of the Water Environment Federation (WEF), an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of water quality world wide.


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