mewea Honored by USEPA for “Save Your Pipes” Campaign

mewea Honored by USEPA for “Save Your Pipes” Campaign (4/16/14)

I’m pleased to have the honor of announcing that the Maine WasteWater Control Association has been selected to receive USEPA New England’s Environmental Merit Award for the “Save Your Pipes: Don’t Flush Baby Wipes” public education campaign, developed and implemented in conjunction with INDA, the wipe industry association.  The Award Ceremony will be on the 22nd of April 2014 at 1:00 pm in Boston’s Historic Faneuil Hall.

The USEPA’s Environmental Merit Awards recognize outstanding accomplishments during the past year or over a lifetime. Maine DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho informed mewea in February that she’d nominated the campaign (including representatives from both mewea and our partner, INDA) for this award under the “Public/Private Partnership” category.

It took more than two years of discussion and negotiation (after LD 781 failed) to develop a message and approach that was acceptable to both mewea and INDA, would produce measurable results, and could be scaled up for use around the country.  This wouldn’t have happened without the support, hard work, and dedication of the following:

  • * Scott Firmin and Michelle Clements (Portland Water District), with support from General Manager Ron Miller. They coordinated the wipes sorting events/data and the public outreach/marketing components, respectively… and did so much more.
  • * Jen McDonnell (Casella Organics), who worked closely with Michelle to develop the pre- and post-campaign market research questions and provided insight into the design of the creative component of the campaign.
  • * Tom Connolly (Yarmouth WWTF), who helped solicit donations that allowed mewea to contribute $15,000 to the $113,000 campaign.
  • * The Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources, whose direction that mewea and INDA continue to work together and report on progress kept us at the table.
  • * All the mewea volunteers who donated their time “in the trenches” to help sort wipes and document data. (It’s not too late to volunteer, by the way!! Sign up at
  • * Joan Kiszely and Melissa Carver (Maine Municipal Association) and Al Jellison (Bangor WWTF) who helped us manage the donations.
  • * Burgess Advertising and Marketing’s excellent professionals, who coordinated and implemented the campaign very effectively through their comprehensive networks and relationships, and worked well with the mewea team.
  • * Our partners around the country, including NEWEA, WEF, NACWA, and many, many more!!  They assisted with both financial and moral support through the whole project.
  • * Others I’m sure I’m missing…..

mewea and INDA are still in the post-campaign data gathering stage (wipes sorting and market research), but we’ll be sure to share the final, customizable materials and results with all of you.  Until then, the campaign posters, videos and flyers can be downloaded here:

Thank you.


Aubrey L. Strause, P.E.
2014 President, Maine WasteWater Control Association