Journal - American Water Works Association

Journal AWWA Peer-review Submissions

(Updated Aug. 20, 2015)

Email Journal AWWA if you have questions regarding these submission guidelines.

Download complete Journal AWWA submission guidelines (PDF).

All peer-review manuscripts must be submitted online via the Journal AWWA's web-based submission service. Submissions must follow Journal AWWA's formatting guidelines. Papers that do not conform to the guidelines will be returned to the author and will not be considered for review until they comply with the guidelines. Upon acceptance, authors will be asked to submit original source files for figures, photographs, and other graphical elements.


  • Receipt of manuscripts will be acknowledged promptly by the editorial staff.
  • Manuscripts will be forwarded to the member of the Journal Editorial Board (i.e., technical editor) who has been identified as an expert in the topic area of the paper.
  • Submissions will undergo initial evaluation by the technical editor to determine appropriateness for publication in Journal AWWA and to identify qualified technical reviewers based on the topic and content of the paper.
  • Papers will be sent to three peer reviewers for evaluation. (At the time of submission, authors will be required to provide names and addresses of potential reviewers to include or exclude for review of their manuscript.)
  • Conflicting reviews or other issues affecting the final evaluation of a manuscript will be resolved by Journal AWWA’s editor-in-chief in collaboration with the technical editor.
  • The first decision (acceptance, revision needed, or rejection) on submissions typically occurs within 50 days. Time to final decision is dependent on many factors including the speed of the author’s response to comments and averages about 100 days. Authors may access the online Journal AWWA site to monitor the progress of their paper.


Manuscripts submitted for consideration to Journal AWWA must conform to the following requirements to facilitate preparation of the article for publication.

General Manuscript Requirements

  • Double-spaced text, tables, and references
  • One-in. margins (top, bottom, left, and right)
  • 12-point typeface
  • Consecutive line numbering throughout the article text pages
  • Page numbering
  • Supplemental materials can be submitted for peer-review purposes. Please note that these data will not be published in print or in the online JournalA link or reference to the supplemental materials can be provided in the text of the manuscript.

Manuscript Length

  • Most manuscripts may not exceed 25 double-spaced pages, including text and references, and the number of figures and tables combined must not exceed 15.
  • Manuscripts or committee reports that exceed these guidelines will be subject to reductions in length.
  • Exceptions to the limit on manuscript length and associated figures and tables will be made by the editor-in-chief for high-quality, review-style articles. Authors seeking exceptions to the length requirements should alert the editor-in-chief before submitting so that the paper is not automatically rejected for not adhering to the page limit that applies to most articles.

Title Page

  • Maximum length of title is 12 words.
  • List author names as they should appear in print.

Author Information Page

  • Article title:
  • Corresponding author name
  • Author details (list in the order that names should appear in the article byline):
    • Full name and credentials
    • Job title
    • Affiliation, City, State, Country
    • Mailing address
    • Preferred telephone number
    • E-mail address
    • First author bio (up to 250 words; may include academic degrees, work projects, publications, awards, or any other pertinent information that is relevant to the current work)


  • Maximum length is 150 words.
  • State the paper’s purpose, methods or procedures, results, and conclusions.


  • Write in the third person (“the author concludes . . .”).
  • Text should be saved as a Word file. Tables and figures may be submitted separately or embedded in the text file.
  • Major headings should be uppercase, boldface, and appear flush left on a separate line.
  • Subheadings should be boldface, indented, and end with a period, with the text continued on the same line. Only the first word of subheadings should be capitalized.
  • Cite references in the text in parentheses. Style them according to the examples given in the “References” section to follow.
  • Refer to specific products or services by generic names in the text. Cite the trade name, the manufacturer or consultant, and the manufacturer’s or consultant’s location (city and state/province or country) in a numbered endnote. List all endnotes in numerical order at the end of the paper before the references.
  • Spell out all initialisms, acronyms, or abbreviations (not units of measure) on first use. Put the initialism or abbreviation in parentheses after the spelled-out version.
  • Conclude the text with a summary or conclusion section.


  • The acknowledgment should give essential credits and should include the persons full name, title, and affiliation.

Author Photograph

  • A photo of the first author will be requested prior to publication. (The “first author” is the one whose name is listed first if there are multiple authors.) The photo should be in color and should be long enough to include the chest and wide enough to include the shoulders. Photo should be:
    • saved as a jpg or tif file,
    • high resolution (the equivalent of 300 ppi [pixels per in.] at a 1½ × 2 in. in size or larger), or
    • in separate files (not embedded in the text).


    Reference Citations in Text
    Journal AWWA uses the author–date citation method. General examples of how to cite references in the text of an article are provided below.

    • For single authors of single studies: The findings of this study (Smith 2000) showed that Cryptosporidium oocysts were resistant to chlorine disinfection.
    • For single authors of multiple studies in the same year: The findings of these studies (Smith 2000a, 2000b, 2000c) showed that Cryptosporidium oocysts were resistant to chlorine disinfection.
    • For two authors of a single study: The findings of this study (Smith & Jones 2002) determined that Cryptosporidium oocysts were resistant to chlorine disinfection. Or, In their study, Smith and Jones (2002) found that Cryptosporidium oocysts were resistant to chlorine disinfection. Please use “and” between authors’ names in text only; parenthetical citations citing two authors should use an ampersand (&).
    • For multiple authors of single studies: The findings of this study (Smith et al. 2000) showed that Cryptosporidium oocysts were resistant to chlorine disinfection.
    • For multiple authors of different studies, list the references in order of year, with the most recent first: The findings of these studies (Smith et al. 2000, Doe 1998, Jones & Johnson 1997) showed that Cryptosporidium oocysts were resistant to chlorine disinfection.

    List of References
    Provide an alphabetical list of references at the end of the paper per the following examples. Do not use reference-formatting software or the reference function provided in Word (endnotes).

    • All authors’ names should be listed. For a reference with 11 or more authors, list the first seven authors followed by “et al.”
    • Journal names must be spelled out in their entirety; do not use abbreviations. Publishers and organization names should also be spelled out.
    • Include the volume number, issue number, and page number, if available, for periodicals (e.g., 21:11:126).

    AWWA References

    • AWWA Conference Proceeding: Collins, J.; Cotton, C.; Jousset, J.; Dotson, A.; & Linden, K., 2010. Evaluation of Hydrogen Peroxide Quenching Alternatives for AOP Treatment. Proc. 2010 AWWA WQTC, Savannah, Ga.
    • AWWA Manual: AWWA, 2012 (5th ed.). Manual of Water Supply Practices, M6. Water Meters—Selection, Installation, Testing, and Maintenance. AWWA, Denver.
    • AWWA Standard: AWWA, 2005. AWWA Standard for Cold-Water Meters—Multijet Type. AWWA, Denver.
    • Standard Methods: Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 1998 (20th ed.). APHA, AWWA, and WEF, Washington.


    • Carson, R., 1962. Silent Spring. Houghton Mifflin, New York.
    • Tabatabai, S.A.A., 2014. Coagulation and Ultrafiltration in Seawater Reverse Osmosis Pretreatment. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla.

    Book chapter

    • Carson, R., 1962. A Fable for Tomorrow. Silent Spring. Houghton Mifflin, New York.
    • O’Leary, R. & Raines, S.S. (editors), 2003. Dispute Resolution at the US Environmental Protection Agency. The Promise and Performance of Environmental Conflict Resolution. Resources for the Future, Washington.

    Book with edition and editor

    • Letterman, R.D. & Yiacoumi, S., 2011 (6th ed.). Coagulation and Flocculation. Water Quality and Treatment (J.K. Edzwald, editor). McGraw-Hill, New York.

    Doctoral dissertation

    • Friedrich, E., 2001. Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Potable Water Production. Doctoral dissertation, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Natal, Durban, South Africa.

    DOI (digital object identifier)

    • Lee, C.S.; Wetzel, K.; Buckley, T.; Wozniak, D.; & Lee, J., 2011. Rapid and Sensitive Detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Chlorinated Water and Aerosols Targeting gyrB Gene Using Real-time PCR. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 111:4. 


    • Association of State Dam Safety Officials, 2007. An Incomplete History of Dam Failure and Near Failures in the U.S. (accessed Aug. 20, 2007).
    • IEPA (Illinois Environmental Protection Agency), 2001. Arsenic in Illinois Groundwater. (accessed May 29, 2012).
    • WWC (Water Works Co.), 2000. Studies Show That Cryptosporidium Is Ubiquitous. www.wwc.infosheets.crypto.htm (accessed Nov. 14, 2011).

    Journal article—one author

    • Aiken, G.R., 1998. Chloride Interference in the Analysis of Dissolved Organic Carbon by the Wet Oxidation Method. Environmental Science & Technology, 26:12:2435.

    Journal article—multiple authors

    • Baek, H.K.; Park, N.S.; Kim, J.H.; Lee, S.J.; & Shin, H.S., 2005. Examination of Three-Dimensional Flow Characteristics in the Distribution Channel to the Flocculation Basin Using Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation. Journal of Water Supply Research & Technology–Aqua, 54:6:349.
    • Nguyen, C.K.; Stone, K.R.; Dudi, A.; & Edwards, M.A, 2010b. Corrosive Microenvironments at Lead Solder Surfaces Arising From Galvanic Corrosion With Copper Pipe. Environmental Science & Technology, 44:18:7076.

    Master’s thesis

    • Friedrich, E., 2001. Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Potable Water Production. Master’s thesis, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Natal, Durban, South Africa.

    Meeting proceedings/abstract

    • Dunce, N.; Cox, B.; & Partridge, A., 1998. Method Development and Interspecies Comparison of Estrogen Receptor Binding Assays for Estrogen Agonists and Antagonists. Preprints of Extended Abstracts, 216th National ACS Meeting, Boston.
    • Maddaus, W. & Maddaus, M., 2004. Evaluating Water Conservation Cost-Effectiveness With an End Use Model. Proc. AWWA 2004 Water Sources Conf., Austin, Tex.

    Newspaper article

    • Jaltman, L.A., 1993. Uncommon Parasite Tied to Ills in Milwaukee. New York Times, Apr. 9.

    Personal communication

    • Smith, A., 2011. Personal communication.

    Press release

    • Orange County Water District, 2002. Press Release: Orange County Takes a Proactive Stance on Contaminants of Concern. Released Jan. 29, 2002; inactive Aug. 20, 2008.

    Published ahead of print

    • Chen, L.; Zhou, N.; Li, J.; Chen, Z.; Liao, C.; & Chen, J., 2011. Synergy of Glutathione, Dithiothreitol and N-acetyl-l-cysteine Self-assembled Monolayers for Electrochemical Assay: Sensitive Determination of Arsenic(iii) in Environmental and Drinking Water. Analyst, Sept. 16. [Epub ahead of print]


    • National Research Council, 1999. Hormonally Active Agents in the Environment. The National Academy of Sciences, Washington.
    • Nguyen, C.; Stone, K.; Clark, B.; Edwards, M.; Gagnon, G.; & Knowles, A., 2010a. Impact of Chloride:Sulfate Mass Ratio (CSMR) Changes on Lead Leaching in Potable Water. Water Research Foundation, Denver.
    • Water Research Foundation, 2010. Leak Detection Methods for Plastic Water Pipe. Denver.
    • USEPA (US Environmental Protection Agency), 2008. Water Security Initiative: Cincinnati Pilot Post-Implementation System Status. EPA 817-R-08-004, Washington.


Journal AWWA requires graphics to be submitted in two phases—first for the initial peer-review process and for routing purposes, and second when a paper is accepted for publication.

  • During the initial submission for peer-review document routing, graphics can be embedded into the manuscript document that is uploaded to Journal AWWA’s web-based submission service, or they may be submitted as separate files. The format for figures and tables at this stage of the process is up to the author, with the caveat that the online submission system may have limitations in processing some file types and converting them to PDF format for the review process. The primary requirement is that reviewers be able to understand the data presentation by the author.
  • If a paper is accepted for publication, Journal AWWA requires submission of the original source files used to create the graphics. Source files offer optimal translation into press-ready file formats. Examples of common graphics source files are .xls, .ppt, .eps, .ai, .psd, and .svg.
  • Source graphics may have been generated with software or systems that Journal AWWA does not support. Most software allows graphics to be exported into press-ready formats. In this case, authors may be asked to export files as .pdf, .eps, .svg, or .emf.

Contact the Journal AWWA directly with any questions about these requirements.

General Instructions

  • Each graphical element (e.g., figure, table, photograph) plus caption must be able to stand on its own; i.e., readers should have all information needed to understand the image without having to refer to the text.
  • Adherence to the following graphics guidelines is considered best practice for Journal AWWA submissions; however, the format outlined in the sections below and as shown on the example are only suggestions. Journal AWWA graphics personnel will finalize all graphics to these standards for publication.
  • Refer to figure and table examples at the end of this section for suggested graphic treatment guidelines.


  • For publication purposes, the width of figures may be one of two sizes: one-column figures = 3.25 in., or two-column figures = 7.25 in. Figures that are submitted with different widths will be resized for publication.
  • Figure height should not exceed 9 in., including figure caption elements.
  • Figures that are submitted with an Expanded Summary of a peer-reviewed article are published in print in a slightly different template. Figures for an Expanded Summary may be 3×3 in., 3×6 in., or 6×3 in.
  • When published, the font size of graphical elements will be 7 points. When creating graphics, authors should allow adequate space for legibility, particularly for graphics that are likely to run in one-column format (i.e., prepare figures in an adequate size that they will still be legible after being reduced in size).


  • Maps are treated in the same style as figures, with figure reference numbers, captions, credits, sources, and footnotes as applicable.
  • If preparing a map with labels, size it first at one or two columns and then add labels in 8-point type. (If labels are applied before sizing the map, the labels may become illegible after resizing.)

Title and Caption

  • Figures and tables require titles and may include captions as needed. Photographs require captions but do not need a title.
  • T%he title of the figure or table should be placed at the top of the graphical element and be numbered according to the order in which they are cited in the text (eg, Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.; and Table 1, Table 2, etc).
  • The title should use sentence-style capitalization (i.e., capitalize the first word and any proper nouns, initialisms, or acronyms.)
  • Do not put a period at the end of the figure or table title.
  • Figure and table titles should be no longer than 15 words.
  • Additional information or clarification should be placed in footnotes, including definitions of any initialisms or acronyms that are used in the figure/table title or text.
  • Photo captions should be written in complete sentences and clearly explain what is depicted.


  • Use only whole numbers for figure titles—e.g., Figure 1, not Figure 1.2 or Figure 1a.
  • See the “Multiple parts” section for how to cite figures with multiple parts in the text.


  • Optimal line widths for figures and arrows is 1 point.
  • All figure text should be 7-point bold font.
  • Do not place a border around the figure (this can be removed in Excel or Word).
  • The x and y axes must be 8-point bold font and each axis must be labeled.
  • Unit of measure signs (such as the percent sign) should be placed following the axis label, be italicized, and be separated by an em dash—e.g., Respondents—%. (The PC keyboard shortcut for an em dash is Alt+0151 or Option/Shift/- on a Mac.)

Multiple Parts

  • For a multiple-part figure, the figure should span two columns, and the width of the combined figure parts should be approximately 7.25 in. Multiple-part figures may also run vertically in one column with a width of 3.25-in. The figure height should not exceed 9 in., including figure caption elements.
  • Figure parts should be labeled with capital letters (i.e., A, B, C, etc.), and letters should be placed in the upper-left corner of the graph area.
  • Do not label figures as Figure 2a, Figure 2b, etc. For figures with multiple parts, refer to the parts in the text as in this example: “As shown in Figure 2, part A, the concentration increased with temperature.”


  • Submission of photographs or other illustrative material is appreciated.
  • Color photos are preferred.
  • Photos are treated separately from figures and so should not be numbered sequentially with the figures; rather, they should be referenced separately in text as in this example: “See the photograph on page XX [photo #]”. Use XX for page numbers—these will be filled in by Journal AWWA staff after the article is paginated; and use sequential numbers for the photo # based on order of discussion in text.
  • Photos should be saved as .jpg or .tif files; high resolution of 300 ppi (pixels per in.) or greater; 4 × 5 in. or larger.
  • Each photo should be identified and explained by a photo caption.
  • Photomicrographs should have a scale in micrometers and should not be referenced as figures.
  • Photos that could be considered for the Journal cover are also welcome.


  • Tables may be embedded in the manuscript Word document or submitted as a separate Word file.
  • Tables should be simply formatted in Word—they should have clear column and row headings and clear delineation between columns and rows.
  • Because of the formatting process used by the Journal production team, additional formatting is unnecessary. (See the table example at the end of this section.)


  • Place equations on separate lines, centered, and numbered in parentheses at the right margin.
  • If equations are not called out in text, they do not need a number. If they are mentioned in the text, they should be referred to as Eq 1, Eq 2, etc.


  • Legends should accompany graphics where necessary. If possible, graphics should be designed with the legend placed outside of the chart area.


  • Endnotes, when necessary, should be placed at the bottom of the figure or table.
  • Use superscripted letters in alphabetical order: a, b, c, d, etc. Examples are available in the tables at the end of this section.

Figure and Table Examples

The following illustrations will help yield production-ready figures and tables. Please contact the Journal AWWA directly with any questions.

Sample Journal Figures



Sample Journal Tables


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