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Poster and Writing Contests
for the 2019-2020 School Year

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority


It's MWRA contest time! Once again the MWRA is sponsoring Poster and Writing Contests for students who live in or attend school in a community served by the MWRA.

2019-2020 Topic
for Poster and Writing Contests

image of contest poster

Even if they are small, even if the package says
“flushable” – some everyday items can cause messy and expensive problems for the plumbing in your home or school if flushed down the toilet. They can cause sewer backups or get caught in machinery on the way to or at Deer Island.

Students in the MWRA service area are invited to use their creative skills to design a poster and/or write an essay, poem or story explaining what should or should not be flushed down toilets or put down drains. So-called “flushable” wipes are a big issue, but it’s so much more than that!

School Program Main Page
Contest Main Page
Research Resources
MWRA YouTube Page

MWRA Photos on Flickr

Contest Entry Packet:

All rules, FAQs, forms, labels and other important details

contest entry packet (PDF)


Contests are limited to schools in the MWRA service area.
Eligible communities


A winning poster from last year

Last Year's Winners

Classroom Presentations

Meg Tabacsko
(617) 305-5646

Danielle DiRuzza
(617) 305-5681

Teacher and Student Materials Orders
on-line order form

We hope the students will have fun with this topic and learn some important facts in the process.  Good luck to all participants!

Poster Contest (grades K-12)

Students are asked to use their creative skills to create a poster explaining what should or should not be flushed down toilets or put down drains.

Posters should be no smaller than 8.5x11 inches and no larger than 18x24 inches. Posters received bigger or smaller than these dimensions will not be judged.

POSTERS WILL BE JUDGED IN 4 CATEGORIES: Gr. K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.

Writing Contest (grades 3-8)

Use your creative skills to write an essay, story, or poem explaining what should or should not be flushed down toilets or put down drains.

Writing entries must be no more than 2 single-sided pages.



Entries must be postmarked by Wednesday, March 4, 2020. Early entries are encouraged.

Rules are included in the contest entry packet (PDF).
Required Forms and Labels

Every group of student entries must have a Contest Registration Form and each entry must have a Student Label attached securely to the back of the entry. Forms and labels are included in the contest entry packet (PDF).

Students may enter on their own if they live in or attend a school in the MWRA service area. You must include the student label on the back of your entry. Labels are included in the contest entry packet (PDF).


First prize in each category is a $100.00 gift card, 2nd prize is a $50.00 card, and 3rd prize is a $25.00 card.

All winners, including honorable mention winners, are invited with their families to an Awards Ceremony at Deer Island on Friday, May 22, 2020.

How to Submit Contest Entries

All entries must be mailed to:

MWRA School Program
2 Griffin Way
Chelsea, MA 02150

Early entries are encouraged!

What Makes a Good Poster Entry

Make sure your poster is on topic. Don't try to include too many ideas or activities
on your poster. A single message, clearly illustrated, is more effective. If you use
lettering, make sure it can be read from across a room. For inspiration and examples, check out our poster contest winners for 2019-2020.

What Makes a Good Writing Entry
First, be sure your entry addresses the question.  As good as a piece might be, if it isn't on topic, it can't win a prize.  Then, use your creativity to make your entry stand out.  The reader should remember your work because there was something unique about it. An essay can be just as creative as a poem or dialogue, if it has a clear theme and is developed cleverly. For ideas, take a look at our writing contest winners for 2019-2020.
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions and answers for teachers and students are included in the contest entry packet (PDF).

What if I still have some questions?

If you still have questions, please contact Meg Tabacsko, MWRA School Program Manager, at If you do not have access to email, please call Meg at 617-305-5646.

Back to top

Only schools located in the MWRA Service Area listed below are eligible to participate in the Annual Poster and Writing Contests.

Water Communities
Chicopee Peabody
Clinton Saugus
Leominster Southborough
Lynn  South Hadley
Lynnfield Swampscott
Marblehead Weston
Marlborough Wilbraham
Nahant Worcester
Sewer Communities
Ashland Lancaster
Braintree Natick
Burlington Randolph
Hingham Walpole
Holbrook Weymouth
Water and Sewer Communities
Arlington Newton
Bedford Norwood
Belmont Quincy
Boston Reading
Brookline Revere
Cambridge Somerville
Canton Stoneham
Chelsea Stoughton
Dedham Wakefield
Everett Waltham
Framingham Watertown
Lexington Wellesley
Malden Westwood
Medford Wilmington
Melrose Winchester
Milton Winthrop
Needham Woburn
Schools located on Cape Cod and within the Quabbin and Wachusett Watershed are also eligible to participate.
Updated October 2, 2020