The American Water Works Assn. (AWWA) announced that Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust, Okla. has won the annual “Best of the Best” Tap Water Taste Test. The event, composed of regional winners from water-tasting competitions across North America, was held at AWWA’s Annual Conference and Exposition in Denver.
The Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust delivers tap water to more than 200,000 homes and businesses, and more than 20 nearby communities and water districts everyday through a system of more than 3,200 miles of underground pipes. This is the second time the utility has won the title of “Best of the Best”.
Second place in the competition was a tie between the city of International Falls, Minn. and Northeast Sammamish Sewer and Water District, Sammaamish, Wash. The People’s Choice award winner, as determined by the conference attendees, was Louisville Water Co., Louisville, Ky.
Other “Best of the Best” participants in the competition included: Anchorage Water and Wastewater, Anchorage, Alaska; Arcadia Water Utility, Arcadia, Wisc.; Aurora Water, Aurora, Colo.; Canandaigua Water Treatment Plant, Canandaigua, N.Y; City of Baltimore, Md.; City of Barnesville, Ga.; City of Denton, Texas; City of Emporia, Kan.; City of Fairhope, Ala.; City of Hamilton, Ohio; City of Mount Clemens, Mich.; Denver Water, Denver, Colo.; E J Water Cooperative, Inc., Dieterich, Ill.; Greenville Water, Greenville, S.C.; Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority, Lakewood Ranch, Fla.; Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority, Trujillo Alto, P.R.; Sioux Rural Water System, Watertown, S.D.; Taylorsville-Bennion Improvement District, Taylorsville, Utah and Town of Silverthorne, Colo.
An esteemed judging panel rated each water system on its flavor characteristics. Judges included Dr. Pinar Omur-Ozbek of Colorado State University and developer of the first international odor standard to be adopted and used for Flavor Profile Analysis of drinking water; Dr. Susan Mirlohi a recent graduate of Virginia Tech and expert in water quality and treatment who has conducted research characterizing metallic off-flavors in drinking water; Ari Copeland, operational specialist for Black & Veatch; Kimberly Lord Stewart, director of content for Modern Healthcare Professional and contributing food editor for Denver Life magazine and CBS Denver; and Cathy Proctor, reporter for the Denver Business Journal.
This is the ninth year AWWA has held the national competition. Previous winners are Fremont, Neb (2012), Greenville, S.C. (2011), Stevens Point, Wis. (2010), Macon (Ga.) Water Authority (2009), the Louisville (Ky.) Water Company (2008), Oklahoma City Water and Wastewater Utility (2007) and Illinois American Water, Champaign District (2006 and 2005).
Source: American Water Works Assn.