Section Services

Resources and support for successful Section management

As a section leader, you will be asked to make decisions that may be outside your day-to-day experience. AWWA's Section Services is here to help you and is dedicated to providing the resources and tools to keep your section motivated, inspired and running smoothly.

the one AWWA Operator scholarship

Water Equation logo

The Water Equation focuses AWWA's considerable talents and resources on meeting the ever-growing need for pure drinking water and efficient wastewater treatment systems, and to address the critical shortage of skilled water professionals. Plants need skilled workers to operate increasingly complex controls of water and wastewater systems. The water industry faces a critical shortage of Operators and the need is expected to increase by 6% in the next decade. 

The One AWWA Operator Scholarship was created to address the present and future need for Operators by providing training and educational funding. Matching dollars from the Association and participating Sections will be used to generate the award for these new Operator scholarships. This opportunity for further collaboration between the Section and AWWA has its roots in the AWWA Strategic Plan and the AWWA2020: One AWWA Report.

Sections wishing to participate must complete and return an agreement (PDF). Participating Sections should use the standard One AWWA Operator Scholarship application form. This form is available for distribution by print and posting on Section websites in two formats: PDF and DOC. The form has areas in which Sections may insert their own logo, cite the award amount and deadline and outline the selection and award process.

Section Services' hosted a webinar. The webinar presentation (PDF) addresses program details, logistics and other considerations for adopting and implementing this new scholarship.

For more information, email Sharon Powers, AWWA Director of Administration and Philanthropic Development.

WaTER-X - Training & Education Resource Exchange

WaTER-X is a Section-driven initiative to help AWWA Sections to share educational resources. The products listed were submitted by AWWA Sections for other Sections for use in their education programs. This list covers a variety of topics and includes classroom-based learning, eLearning, webinars, and an outreach video. If you have any questions about this catalog or the process, or if you would like to submit any of your Section’s educational products for inclusion, please contact Chad Weikel, Education and Workforce Manager, 303.347.6130.

View the WaTER-X catalog

Best of section education programs

The 2017 Section Education Award will be open for nominations later this year. Put forward your best education program for the chance to gain recognition and win credit to purchase educational materials from the AWWA Store. 

Access the nomination form, which must be submitted by February 1, 2017.


Frequently requested information

501(c)3 nonprofits

Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code classifies tax exempt organizations into 25 separate categories. Each category is treated differently, and classification in one category rather than another can make a significant difference to an organization's tax liabilities and responsibilities.The American Water Works Association and its sections are exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the code. All AWWA sections get their 501(c)(3) status through a group exemption. This is, in essence, an extension of the Association's 501(c)(3) status to all our sections.

Organizations which are exempt under section 501(c)(3) are usually defined as "charitable" or "educational." These organizations are defined as being organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for the public safety, literary or educational purposes. As a non-profit organization, no part of their net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private individual.

Advantages to classification as a 501(c)(3) organization

  • Exempt from tax on dues, interest, dividends, royalties, rents and any other income which is not derived from the conduct of an unrelated trade or business.
  • In most states a 501(c)(3) organization is eligible for an exemption from most state taxes, including sales and real estate tax.
  • May receive contributions deductible from the taxable income of the donor.
  • May sponsor 403(b) retirement plans for their employees.
  • Eligible for the third-class postal rate.


  • A prohibition against all political activities (other than lobbying) for most exempt organizations.
  • Some limitations on the amount of lobbying expenditures and activities of organizations exempt from taxation under 501(c)(3).
  • Complex restrictions on certain transactions and complex compliance requirements on organizations deemed to be private foundations.
  • Criticism from the for-profit sector for unfair competition.
  • A growing Federal, state and local compliance burden including income tax and informational filings and Federal, state and local solicitation laws.
  • Increased public scrutiny.

Antitrust laws

Antitrust laws and their implications for AWWA Sections

Antitrust laws have been enacted primarily for the purpose of maintaining a competitive and fair market place. Although, at first glance, associations may seem to exist on the periphery of the market place, they, in fact, may be more vulnerable to antitrust lawsuits than for-profit companies in some instances.

Four federal laws comprise the main body of law governing antitrust in the United States. They are the Sherman Act, the Robinson-Patman Act, the Clayton Act and the FTC Act. The federal agencies charged with enforcement of these laws are the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission. Enforcement can be in the form of governmental proceedings including fines and even imprisonment, lawsuits by private parties or both.

The Sherman Act

Far and away the most important of these to associations is the Sherman Act. The Sherman Act, passed in 1890, has two main provisions. The first is a prohibition against restraint of trade by any "combination" or group or by way of any contract. The second is a prohibition of any monopolistic activities by anyone, whether a group or individual. The intent of the law is to prevent the market place from becoming uncompetitive or monopolized by a group or individual.

Section 1 of the Act, which deals with restraint of trade, is the more relevant of the two sections where associations are concerned. For a violation of the Act to occur, two conditions must be met. They are that a conspiracy exists (that the entity restraining trade be a "combination") and that interstate commerce is restrained. Because an association is already a consortium of individuals and organizations with common interests, almost by definition, all associations meet the first requirement. In other words, associations can, regardless of behavior or purpose, be considered "combinations."

Though there may appear to be some coverage in the requiremen that interstate commerce be affected, this is really not the case. The courts have defined "interstate commerce" to mean any impacted part of the system of continuous commerce among the states. Furthermore, most states have their own laws regulating these activities at the state level.

The Robinson-Patman Act

The Robinson-Patman Act is primarily concerned with discriminatory pricing. Although this Act has much less relevance for associations, care should be given when pricing any service or item. The standard that applies is that any business should be charged the same price given the same circumstances. This is particularly true for those who buy for resale or for use in their products or services. The underlying principle here is that a market advantage could accrue to one buyer of an association's products if that buyer gets a better price than a competitor. This would contribute to the creation of an unfair market place.

The Clayton Act

The Clayton Act addresses a variety of activities centered on growth and distribution activities. Among these are exclusive dealing and requirement contracts and price discrimination. Additionally, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures are addressed. Although mergers and other forms of organizational relationships are not prohibited, they may be found to be in violation of the Clayton Act if they have the effect of reducing competition or creating a monopoly. Although these provisions of the Act are unlikely to affect our sections directly, one added feature of the Act may. The Clayton Act also provides for private lawsuits as an enforcement method for antitrust violations. These lawsuits allow the recovery of damages. Moreover, the plaintiff can recover treble damages in such cases. In cases brought by private parties, they must prove that they have sustained actual measurable damages as opposed to potential or prospective damages and must prove that the damage is the result of a violation of one of the existing antitrust laws.

The FTC Act

The FTC Act, among other things, created the Federal Trade Commission, which is responsible (along with the Justice Department in the case of Sherman Act violations) for the enforcement of antitrade laws. The FTC Act also included language which makes activities that constitute unfair competition by individuals illegal (remember that the Sherman Act only addressed such activities by groups). The FTC Act has additional provisions that relate to consumer protection.

State Law

As was already mentioned, the Sherman Act requires an effect on interstate commerce, though this requirement has been very broadly interpreted by the courts, and thus, has lowered the burden of proof required to substantiate an effect on interstate commerce. More important, though, is the trend of the states to institute their own set of statutes that in most cases have a strong relationship to the federal legislation.

What is important to know here is that there may be governmental enforcement and private remedies for antitrust violations at the state level additionally. Moreover, although these laws generally grew out of trends in the regulation of commerce at the federal level, important differences likely exist. By using the laws described above and the proscribed activities as a guide, you can determine when you need to investigate both state and federal antitrust laws in greater detail.

What to watch out for

Some programs are of more concern to the international association because it is more involved in the specific activity. For example, AWWA's standards program could generate antitrust allegations if it were to produce a standard that clearly excluded a particular manufacturer without reasonable technical or scientific justification. Both sections and the international association should be concerned about other activities. These include:

Certification or professional credentialing programs

Because certification or other credentialing processes can affect the marketability of an individual or business, care must be given in the design of the program. The key considerations are:

  • Are the criteria used to determine who will be certified equally applied to all?
  • Is the program designed in a way that it could limit competition?
  • Are the tests used designed so that they accurately test the relevant skills rather than reading ability or other unrelated abilities and has the test been validated? Test development is a science, requiring attention to many design elements that are not related strictly to content, you may want to consider the use of tests developed and validated by a testing service or other organization which has experience in test development.
  • Does the program have a fair appeals process?


Endorsements should always be based on clear criteria for the selection of entities to be endorsed. Additionally, a study should be conducted of the service, product or organization being endorsed to confirm that it meets the criteria. You should also be prepared to offer an endorsement for all service, products or organizations which meet these criteria and otherwise meet the requirements of the endorsement program, e.g., application process, payment for related services, etc. Arbitrarily excluding a group that does meet these criteria can lead to allegations of restraint of trade.

Data Collection and Reporting

In some cases, the collection and dissemination of data or statistics that are not collected, analyzed or reported correctly might raise antitrust issues, depending on how the information is used (whether or not its use affects competition in the market). Excluding non-members or requiring member participation in the data collection process might also be of concern.

Availability of Services to Non-Members

For the purposes of antitrust analysis, associations are seen as serving an industry or profession rather than members. For this reason, you must be careful not to exclude non-members from services, which, it could be argued, are important or necessary to conduct business. However, you can charge them a different rate for these services.

Canadian Antitrust Law

The Competition Act is the Canadian law, which covers all aspects of antitrust. Generally, this law is less prescriptive and involved than US antitrust law. The law covers a wide range of prohibited or regulated activities. They are divided into two classes of violations; criminal and non-criminal.

Criminal violations include: conspiracy, misleading advertising and discriminatory pricing. Criminal violations are prosecuted by the Attorney General of Canada after referral by the Bureau of Competition Policy, which has statutory responsibility for the Act.

Non-criminal violations, also called "reviewable practices," include mergers, refusal to deal, abuse of dominant position, and exclusive dealing. These violations are referred to the Competition Tribunal for corrective action. Private remedies are also available, but are much more restricted than they are in the United States. Private remedies can only be sought in cases of criminal violation or when a Tribunal or court order has not been complied with. Damages are also limited to actual losses rather than the treble damages that are available in the United States.

The purpose of the Act is principally the same as that in U.S. law -- to insure a competitive market place. For that reason, Canadian sections should take care to examine the programs they operate, and to become familiar with the general provisions of the law. However, because Canadian law is generally more liberal and because civil law suits are much more limited, Canadian sections probably have less exposure in this area than their U.S. counterparts. For more information on Canadian antitrust law, contact the Bureau of Competition Policy, Compliance and Enforcement Branch at 613/953-7942.


In general, you should be cognizant of the principals of antitrust laws. In the process of reviewing a section program, consider whether it is likely to affect the market in such a way that it affects free, unhindered competition. If you have any concerns at all, follow up with legal counsel or contact your Section Services Relationship Manager. Remember, even if you win an antitrust lawsuit, the legal fees themselves can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is cheaper to make sure that the program is on firm ground before beginning operation.

Section assessments

Guidelines for standardization of section assessments

Section Responsibilities

1. A section will develop its section assessment in accordance with AWWA Governing Documents, Article XI, Section 11.4.4.

2. A section will contact its Section Services Representative prior to implementing the process for the establishment of a section assessment. The Section Services Representative will ensure the necessary steps are followed.

3. The institution of a section assessment is subject to approval by the section's membership, the Executive Committee of AWWA, and the AWWA Board of Directors.

4. A section may apply for permission to levy an assessment upon its members In order to increase funds available for section uses consistent with the Association objectives and policies. Sections will select from predetermined tier levels, which are 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%,30%, 40%, and 50% of dues for each respective membership category, but not more than 100% of Individual Active member dues.

Categories which will not be assessed are Student, Retiree, Honorary and Life. The actual amount of the section assessment resulting from a percentage of AWWA dues will be rounded to the nearest dollar amount to simplify membership recruitment efforts. Section assessment income will increase as AWWA dues increase, in proportion to the selected tier level. The application must be authorized by a vote of the governing board of the section.

5. Sections shall send a letter of intent to the AWWA CEO at least one year prior to collection of the proposed section assessment. The letter shall state the section’s intent to seek an assessment and which tier level has been selected. The letter will state that if the assessment is approved, future changes in the assessment may be authorized by a vote of the Governing Board of the section. Sections must announce the intention to seek an assessment to its members, and send a letter ballot to every member who is eligible to vote.


Approval of a section assessment requires that twenty-five percent of the section’s membership must vote and two thirds of those voting must approve the assessment. This voting process must be completed within six months of the mailing of the letter of intent to the AWWA CEO. The letter of intent may be amended by a section’s governing board up to the point of polling section members. Notification of such amendment shall be sent to AWWA and the section’s membership.

Sections must acknowledge acceptance or rejection of the section assessment by the vote of the section members to the AWWA CEO no later than May 15 of the year preceding the start of collection of the assessment.

6. The results of the section letter ballot shall be transmitted and attested by the section secretary to the AWWA CEO who shall transmit the letter of intent and ballot results to the Executive Committee. If the application is approved by the Executive Committee, the application shall be submitted to the Board of Directors for approval.

7. When the above requirements have been fulfilled, the CEO shall, until directed to cease doing so, include the assessment in the dues renewal notices sent to members of the section. When payment is received, the assessment portion shall be remitted monthly to the section secretary and entered in the section’s accounts. If payment is not received, then the Association and section may take reasonable collection actions as noted in these guidelines.

8. A section may increase or decrease the assessment fees by selecting a different percentage from the tiers described in 11.4.4(1), or discontinue an assessment by taking appropriate action at a regular meeting of its governing board or other means in accordance with section bylaws. The section secretary shall notify the CEO of such increase, decrease, or discontinuance no later than May 15 of the year preceding the increase, decrease, or discontinuance.

9. A multi-section member will be required to pay a section’s assessment levied upon its members, in addition to multi-section fees.

10. Sections with approved assessments should notify potential members of the assessment fee and assist new members in properly filling out applications to assure that they pay the full dues amount.

11. Sections will assist in providing follow-up on delinquent assessment payments.

Association Responsibilities

12. Members will be billed automatically for the applicable section assessment as part of the annual AWWA dues renewal process.

13. If a member does not pay a section assessment, AWWA will send a balance due invoice to the member and notify the section of its actions. If the balance due invoice is not paid within two months of issuance, AWWA will take the following action:
  • New or reinstated members will be updated to full membership and the sections will be contacted concerning follow-up with the member about the need for the section assessment.
  • Multi-section members will not be granted the multi-section option and their multisection fee will be returned. Renewing members will be dropped and any partial dues payments returned.

14. AWWA will respond to members, whether new or existing, if clarification regarding the assessment is needed.

15. No portion of the assessment shall be reimbursed to a member upon canceling AWWA membership nor shall the assessment be pro-rated.

16. All members will retain their active membership status of both AWWA and the section when the assessment and the AWWA dues are paid.

17. Sections will receive the assessment check monthly, along with a listing that identifies those members who have paid the assessment.

18. Sections will receive periodic notification of all delinquent members. 

Approved by the Board of Directors February 12, 2006

Music copyright

Ads and Logos for sections

Use of AWWA logos

Download the AWWA logo styleguide (PDF, 3.6MB) for rules of logo use

AWWA ads for Section newsletters

Thank you for running AWWA-produced advertisements in your section newsletter. You may choose from ads regarding AWWA events, membership, and publication resources. Ads will be updated on a continuous basis, so be sure to check back periodically to see what new ads are available for your use.

If you need graphics or web banners in a specific size, please contact


Community Engineering Corps
CECorps Ad (PDF)

Partnership for Safe Water Ads

Partnership - Half Page Color (PDF)
Partnership - Full Page Color (PDF) (1.7MB)
Partnership - General Information (Word Doc)
Partnership - General Information - Canadian Sections (Word Doc)

UMC17 Ads 
Package- full page, half horizontal, 1/2 island (PDF, 9.84 MB)

Membership Ads

Membership Version 1 (PDF)

Membership Version 2 (PDF) 

Total Water Solutions Ads
Total Water Solutions Version 1 (PDF)
Total Water Solutions Version 2 (PDF)

Water Infrastructure Conference & exposition
WIC - Full Page Color (PDF)
WIC - Full Page B&W (PDF)
WIC - Half Page Color (PDF)
WIC - Half Page B&W (PDF)

Water Quality Technology Conference & Exposition
WQTC full page, half horizontal, 1/2 island (PDF)

Sustainable Water Management Conference
SWMC17 full page, half horizontal, 1/2 island (PDF)

AWWA logos

Logo files are intended for the sole use of AWWA sections in connection with Association affairs and should not be shared with any other parties. Because the AWWA logo is a registered trademark of the Association, any proposed use of the logo for non-AWWA affairs or by parties other than AWWA and its sections must be submitted in writing to AWWA Headquarters for review. Inquiries should be directed to: AWWA Permissions.

To download a logo, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Right click on the link for the logo you want to use.
  2. Choose “Save Target As.”
  3. Designate an appropriate storage location on your computer system.
  4. Click “Save.”
  5. You will be able to view the logo from your saved file


2 Color Logo (JPG)
Black Logo (JPG)
White Logo (JPG)

Section Competition Logos

Branded Templates


Manage your requests and communications with AWWA using these forms:


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