Jan 27, 2010

Water Environment Federation, National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Assn. Announce New Partnership

Three-year agreement to allow close collaboration and promotion of shared vision to water, storm water and wastewater management

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Assn. (NOWRA)--a not-for-profit organization that educates and represents the decentralized systems and onsite wastewater treatment profession--announced a new partnership that will take effect on Feb. 1, 2010.

Passed this month by the organizations’ boards of trustees, the resolution formalizes a 3-year agreement to closely collaborate and promote a shared vision of an integrated and holistic approach to water, storm water and wastewater management.

Currently, one-quarter of the U.S. population and one-third of all new residential and commercial development use decentralized systems for wastewater treatment, according to WEF. Although the water and wastewater sector is heavily segmented, there is a growing consensus within the sector that water and wastewater management strategies must be integrated and various approaches considered in order to meet the evolving needs of the public and address emerging environmental challenges. To that end, leaders from both WEF and NOWRA have agreed that a strategic partnership can leverage their respective resources and capabilities to advance their mutual goals and interests.

“WEF has long been the go-to source of information for centralized wastewater treatment training and education, and NOWRA is the acknowledged leader for decentralized approaches,” said WEF President Paul Freedman. “While these two approaches haven’t been easily reconciled in the past, this strategic partnership demonstrates both organizations’ interest in collaboration with a view toward a common goal of a cleaner global water environment.”

Under the agreement, WEF and NOWRA will partner on initiatives including expanding knowledge sharing and training in common areas, promoting existing technologies and new applications for on site and natural treatment systems, educating the public on proper use and benefits of on site and natural system technologies, and promoting consistent regulation for effective management and oversight.

“WEF has offered NOWRA an opportunity for an office in the Washington, D.C.-area and a chance to combine forces to share our knowledge of the decentralized systems and on site wastewater treatment profession with their experience as a global organization,” said NOWRA President Tom Groves. “After investigating partnership options, the NOWRA board decided that WEF provides us with the most viable option for partnership and the Washington location allows us to be more responsive to and involved in legislative actions related to the field.”