CWEA Journals, Newsletters, and Magazines: CWEA Print Publications Through the Years


Dr. Nicholas Pinhey, CWEA Historians Work Group

Our History in Publications

A significant benefit of an association is its ability to facilitate the distribution of information between its members. This communication can take many forms and use a variety f channels such as meetings, conferences, training sessions, networking, social media, and the distribution of published materials to the membership.Journals, conference programs, and newsletters have historically formed the backbone of an association’s print communications.


CSWA Journal, Vol. II, 1929

CWEA has a long history of publishing journals, newsletters, and magazines. These publications document theAssociation’s evolution, leadership, and involvement in protecting California’s water resources over the last 93years. Thus the publications are invaluable for researching CWEA’s past. In this “Our History” article, we take a look at CWEA’s publications through the years, focusing on the print publications that benefit our Association’s members.

The California Sewage Works Journal–1928 to 1944

Our Association was founded with the mission of “advancing fundamental and practical knowledge of wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal through the exchange of relevant information between our membership and others.” When the precursor to CWEA, the California Sewage Works Association (CSWA), was founded in 1928, leadership quickly recognized that not all members would attend the conferences, meetings, and short-schools due to logistics and the cost of travel across California. A quarterly California-based journal, mailed to every member, was deemed the best way to meet the mission of providing up-to-date and relevant information to the CSWA membership.

CSWA’s leaders had the challenge of finding the right balance of information to include in the association’s first publication, the California Sewage Works Journal. The CSWA Publications committee understood that a large segment of the membership was looking for practical, hands-on information that they could apply to their operations–in other words, “best practices.” They also understood that a certain amount of information on research and engineering would need to be published to keep moving the field forward. Additionally, the membership would need to be kept up-to-date on CSWA organizational activities, including Association governance, committee activities, and Association programs. These elements–best practices, research and engineering, and CSWA organizational activities based on the CSWA conference proceedings–formed the core contents for the California Sewage Works Journal (CSW Journal).


Typical Journal Contents. CSW Journal, 1929

The CSW Journal was well-written, contained detailed conference proceedings and discussions, CSWA meeting minutes, illustrations, and a few photographs. Typical CSW Journals ranged from 70 pages to 200 pages and contained advertising to offset the cost of publication.It should be noted that the CSW Journal was published by Western Construction News, Inc. (WCN), located in San Francisco,California. This mutually beneficial arrangement allowed WCN’s advertisers of equipment, supplies, and services for the growing wastewater collection and treatment industry to reach their target audience directly, with the advertising revenue supporting a high-quality publication for the CSWA. Philip Schulyer managed this arrangement at WCN, who was a significant figure in the formation and start-up of the Association.

The contents of these early CSW Journals are a “gold mine” of information on the state of wastewater collection and treatment technology, regulations, and issues during the late 1920s through the first years of the 1940s. CWEA is fortunate to have a complete collection of these early journals in digital format for research.


CSW Journal, 1933

“The New Deal and A New Look”

The CSW Journal was published from the fall of 1928 until the spring of 1944. The costs of publication during World War II, conservation of materials for the war effort, coupled with the cancellation of CSWA conferences during wartime, ended the publication of the CSW Journal.


The last CSW Journal in the archives, 1943

The CSWA/CSIWA Newsletter Era–1950 to 1960

We have no records of CSWA print publications from 1944 through late1949. During this gap in CSWA publications, news of the Association’s activities continued to be published in the Federation Journal under the section dedicated to member association news.

The CSWA “publication gap” ended in December 1949, when the first CSWA Newsletter was mailed to the membership. The 1949 newsletter was a basic typewritten document containing a notice for the 1950 Annual Convention, some news about members, a Federation notice, news that the CSWA’s only local section, the Northern San Joaquin Section, had been re-activated, and a message from the Association Secretary explaining that the new newsletter was an attempt to reconnect the membership with one another and establish a way to provide Association news to the members.It was noted that the newsletter would be published and mailed when the Association Secretary had time, and that publication depended on members providing news and information for publication.


The first CSWA Newsletter, December 1949

The CSWA Newsletter evolved rapidly after 1949, and by1953 the newsletter had become more professional looking due to the addition of an editor and the inclusion of some illustrations and photos. An ongoing “President’s Message” was added as a feature, as well as pages devoted to member news, CSWA governance and activities, local section activities, and technical topics.

In 1954, the CSWA name changed to the California Sewage and Industrial Wastes Association (CSIWA), and the number of CSIWA local sections expanded to 10 sections across the state. The CSIWA Newsletter started featuring cover photos of wastewater facilities and members. W.G. “Bill” Curry became the chief editor, and Gerson Chanin became the technical editor, starting his regular “S.O.S.” column (Sewage Operator Screenings) featuring technical articles. The “CSWA Cross-Sections” feature for local section news was added to keep up with the growing local section events and activities. Overall, the look and articles became more polished and professional under the guidance of Bill Curry. During this time, advertising for employment (help wanted/jobs wanted) was added with Rod Antrim as the employment editor.



The CSIWA Quarterly Newsletter, 1954

New Name, New Look


“Cross-Sections” CSIWA Local Section News (and a warning from the editors), 1954

In response to the membership’s requests, the CSIWA Newsletter moved to a bi-monthly publication in 1956. The team of Curry, Chanin, and Antrim formed the CSIWA Newsletter Committee and became responsible for the overall production of the bi-monthly newsletter. In 1956, the chief editor solicited input from the membership for a new newsletter name. Per subsequent newsletters, no new name suggestions were submitted.It was felt that The Newsletter was not a distinctive name for the Association’s official publication, and the Board of Directors authorized a $15 cash award for the best name and a $15 cash award for the best suggestion for content.


An early CWPCA Newsletter, 1961

The CWPCA Newsletter–1960 to 1963

While the newsletter “name” remained the same, the Association name changed from the unwieldy California Sewage & Industrial Wastes Association to the California Water Pollution Control Association (CWPCA) in 1960, and the CWPCA Newsletter era started.


The CWPCA Newsletter, June 1963. Increased photo coverage of conferences and events.

The CWPCA Newsletter took on a new format in 1960, and the CWPCA Newsletter committee was reorganized to the positions of a chief editor and three associate editors. Archie Greenberg had stepped in as chief editor (former Editor Bill Curry had passed away in 1958). While the ongoing “President’s Message” column remained, the overall feel of the CWPCA Newsletter was slightly less structured than the CSIWA Newsletter. The focus shifted more to member news. The new newsletter format included more photos of members, conferences, training sessions, and other meetings. Most notably, the dedicated local section news segment was dropped as a regular feature, as was the technical column written by Gerson Chanin.

Typical Cover Format During the 1960s

In 1963, the CWPCA Newsletter gained some of the elements of a magazine with additional event photos and a more “eye-catching” look than a simple newsletter. The local section news was restored as a regular feature, along with a good balance of member news, technical articles, and conference reporting. The evolution of the newsletter was clearly leading to the next phase–a full magazine format.


The first CWPCA Bulletin – July 1964. President Harvey F. Ludwig on the cover (donated by CWEA Past President Frank Dryden).



Example of color advertising in the CWPCA Bulletin, July 1964.



CWPCA Bulletin, 1983. Red cover layout.


The CWPCA/CWEA BULLETIN–1964 to 2001

The CPWCA BULLETIN made its debut in 1964, and what a debut. Color, advertising, and quality technical articles were all part of the new magazine format. The early CSW Journals contained advertising for manufacturers, vendors, and consultants, but advertising was noticeably absent during the CSWA/CSIWA newsletter years. The new CWPCA BULLETIN brought back advertising, and it contained extensive ads to help support the cost of publishing the magazine. For the first time, color, limited at first to two-color advertising and the red-yellow-green-traffic signal colors-cover title layout, appeared in a CWEA publication.


CWEA Bulletin, 1998. The 1990s cover layout – more color, glossy cover, more photos.

CWPCA BULLETIN, Volume 1, Number 1, was published July 1964 as a quarterly magazine under the direction of the CWPCA BULLETIN Committee chaired by John D. Parkhurst, general manager of County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County. Donald R. Anderson, professor of Sanitary Engineering at Loyola Marymount University, served as the CWPCA BULLETIN editor and Gerson Chanin resumed his publications duties in the role of associate editor.

In addition to the technical articles and advertising, the CWPCA BULLETIN also included the now-familiar “President’s Message,” news from the local sections, a roster of CWPCA officers and local sections officers, conference information, training session information, member news, Federation news, CWPCA Board meeting updates, state government news, and Association business reports. This was the basic content format that continued throughout the entire run of the CWPCA BULLETIN. Minor changes over the years consisted of dropping the red, yellow, and green cover colors in favor of single-color covers in the mid-1970sand later adopting glossy color photos in the contents and glossy color magazine covers in the 1990s.

The CWPCA/CWEA BULLETIN holds the record for the longest continuous publication run for CWEA’s print publications at 37 years. By the end of 2001, the costs of producing and mailing the BULLETIN, coupled with forecasts of potential Association revenue shortfalls, led to the Board’s decision to end the publication of the print magazine with the winter 2001 edition. The Board’s direction was “go paperless” and launch the CWEA E-Bulletin to replace the magazine.


The last issue of the CWEA Bulletin, Winter 2001



Post-CWEA BULLETIN Publications

The CWEA E-Bulletin is a great way to communicate our news briefs to our Association members, and it has evolved through the years to serve the needs of the membership. However, there is something about a print publication that people like–maybe because it is the tactile, or sensory, the experience of holding a magazine in your hands and being able to turn the pages. Maybe it is the feeling that a print publication is more lasting or “eternal” compared to electronic publications. Perhaps it’s because magazines are easier to read than electronic media (as studies have shown). Whatever the reason, or combination of reasons, CWEA brought back its magazine communication format in 2003 with the publication of the quarterly Wastewater Professional, which then transitioned to Clean Water in 2018.

The CWEA E-Bulletin, 2011

The CWEA E-Bulletin, 2011


E-Bulletin, 2017

E-Bulletin, 2017



CWEA Wastewater Professional, 2012



CWEA Clean Water, 2020

The Member Value Report edition of Clean Water continues one of CWEA’s longest-lasting member benefits –the Association’s official print publication for the membership. The CWEA Historians Work Group is pleased to say that Clean Water represents a member benefit and tradition that bridges the 20th and 21st centuries for CWEA.