Cityscape — September 2014
Change Language:
Guest's Viewpoint

Greetings from IaWEA, the Iowa Water Environment Association. I am Jonathan Brown current President of IaWEA and have the honor of representing this fine organization. Many IaWEA members work for organizations that are League members, and we share many common interests. Our main focus is in producing clean water from wastewater. We also maintain a high interest in all things water related.

Founded in 1927, IaWEA 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.

IaWEA is directed by an Executive Board of members from different regions across Iowa. The Executive Board consists of 14 members and directs the activities of over 20 committees. These committees lead the effort of educating its members and the public regarding current water pollution control and water quality topics. IaWEA's goal is education and improvement in the quality of Iowa waters.

Although formally founded in 1927, 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 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 U.S. Following are important milestones in IaWEA history:

1915 - First organized training for wastewater operators in the U.S. held in Ames (the origin of IaWEA)

1927 - Iowa Wastes Disposal Association founded (original name)

1928 - Federation of State Sewage Works Associations formed (now WEF) (Iowa was one of the seven charter Member Associations of WEF)

1945 - Iowa Sewage Works Association (name change)

1960 - Iowa Water Pollution Control Association (name change)

2010 - Iowa Water Environment Association (current name)

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. We worked closely with Iowa Section-American Water Works Association in planning the semi-annual Water and Wastewater Short Courses, and sponsor semi-annual technical training in its six regions. In addition, IaWEA sponsors specialized training at maintenance, biosolids, and collection system conferences. IaWEA also administers a voluntary collection system certification program in cooperation with the Association of Boards of Certification.

IaWEA 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. You can find more information at the IaWEA Web site,

President of IaWEA Jonathan Brown