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For 50 years, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) has been the nation’s recognized leader in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy on the full spectrum of clean water issues, as well as a top technical resource for water management, sustainability and ecosystem protection interests.

NACWA represents public wastewater and stormwater agencies of all sizes nationwide. The Association's unique and growing network strengthens the advocacy voice for all member utilities, and ensures they have the tools necessary to provide affordable and sustainable clean water for all.

Our vision is to represent every utility as a NACWA member, helping build a strong and sustainable clean water future.

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The Great Lakes Water Authority’s Quest to Educate the Public on “Flushable” Wipes

October 14, 2021
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The Great Lakes Water Authority’s (GLWA) collaborative relationship with its member partners and other stakeholders is the bedrock of its operating philosophy, strengthened through development of various common projects and initiatives. A key example of this collaboration is in the development of public education materials and videos to educate the public on clean water good practices.

One topic of particular interest has been the issue of “flushable” wipes. Too often the public sees the word “flushable” on a package of personal care or cleaning wipes and does not think twice about flushing them down the toilet and into the sewer system (even though they are not biodegradable). This can wreak havoc, causing costly damage to sewer infrastructure and increasing the possibility of sewer line back-ups into homes.

In response to member partner concern, GLWA conceptualized and produced a four-minute video designed to educate the public on this issue, which is critical to all One Water utilities. The video helps people understand the link between their individual action of flushing the wipes and the real-life consequences that action can have on the regional wastewater system.

Using a series of interviews and engaging imagery to grab the viewers’ attention, the video lays out the case of why “flushable” wipes should always be thrown in the trash and never sent down the drain. It helps make real to viewers that even if they are not personally impacted by a back-up caused by the build-up of flushable wipes in their home’s plumbing system, they may eventually see evidence of the cost in the form of raised sewer rates (due in part to major improvements needed to address the damage to the large system).

GLWA is committed to continuing to work with its member partners to identify issues critical for public education and producing materials, including videos, that have a lasting impact on the viewer, and will make an impact on their future actions. As a result of the success of the collaboration with member partners on the “flushables” video, the Authority has created materials in other key issues areas, including videos on how to determine whether your home has a lead service line, as well as how to test your water for lead and a video explaining the value of water towers.

NACWA awarded the Great Lakes Water Authority a 2021 National Environmental Achievement Award in the Public Information & Education, Video category for its entertaining and educational video on flushable wipes. Congratulations to GLWA and everyone involved!

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NACWA's Board of Directors embodies the clean water sector's most accomplished leadership, informed by decades of collective experience and expertise in water utility operation and management. The Board leads NACWA's governance, allowing it to serve its members with focus and integrity. 

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Member Agencies & Affiliates

The strength of NACWA is its member agencies and affiliates, from publicly-owned wastewater treatment agencies to corporate affiliates from throughout the clean water management chain.  Our unique and growing network strengthens the advocacy voice for all members, ensuring they have the tools and expertise necessary to help shape the clean water landscape both locally and nationally.


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Each year, NACWA recognizes the outstanding commitment, innovation and achievements of individuals and agencies through our national awards programs. From contributions to environmental protection, to diligence in compliance, to even intangible positive impact. NACWA is honored to highlight service excellence within the clean water sector.


Engage and collaborate with member utilities of all sizes—small, medium and large—with affiliates/stakeholders from all regions of the country. Membership is not only a path to improving operations or enhancing professional development, it’s a unique opportunity to join the strongest unified voice for shared clean water interests nationwide.

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