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2009 Best Tasting Water in Alabama!
Perdido Bay Water, Sewer, & FPD

Back (L to R): Tony Allen, Operator; Kim Thomas, Office Manager; Dawn Spivey, Office Clerk; Bruce Hartmen, Superintendant; Greg Gates, Operator.
Front (L to R): Mark Bohlin, General Manager; Mike Fitts, Operator; Mac Burt, Operator; Kathleen Mitchell, Office Clerk.

WTT Judges
Jerena Webb, ARWA, brings additional water samples for the judges to sample. From left to right: Ed Jackson, Allen Bowen, Jerena Webb, Fred Sheldon.
Alabama Winner
Kathy Horne, ARWA, and Mark Bohlin, Perdido Bay Water, Sewer, & FPD

by George Marodis, USDA Source Water Protection Specialist

On March 15th through March 18th, 2009 the Alabama Rural Water Association Annual Technical Training Conference was held in Montgomery, Alabama, at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center.

The Water Taste Test is one of the most exciting activities that is held during the Conference. Water utilities from the entire State of Alabama are invited to submit samples of their water for the competition.

Twenty-two utilities throughout the State entered the competition meeting preliminary qualifications of having no chemical or monitoring violations. The water was judged on the following criteria:

  • Taste
  • Clarity
  • Odor

The Judges for the competition were Fred Sheldon with the National Rural Water Association, Ed Jackson, Alabama Department of Environmental Management and Allen Bowen, USDA Rural Development. Preliminary judging allowed an opportunity for the water system entries to be reduced to the following six finalists:

  • Daphne Utility Board
  • East Central Baldwin County Water & FPA
  • Eufaula Water Works & Sewer Board
  • Irondale Water System
  • Perdido Bay Water, Sewer & FPD
  • Poarch Band of Creek Indians Utility Authority

Final judging continued during the Rural Water Country Luncheon where over 500 attendees gathered to await the judge's selection. When the last taste test sample was judged and the ratings were calculated, the 2009 Water Taste Test Winner was announced.

Congratulations to the Perdido Bay Water, Sewer & Fire Protection District!


Perdido Bay Water, Sewer and Fire Protection District

The Perdido Bay Water, Sewer and Fire Protection District is a Non Profit Organization that was incorporated August of 1973 for the purpose of delivering clean, safe drinking water to the communities of Lillian and Perdido Beach. The District started delivering water to its first customers in 1978. Over the years the District has taken in the community of Josephine and unincorporated areas of Elberta. In 1997 the District bought the Spanish Cove Water System and expanded its lines on the western boundaries of the district on County Road 20. It was at this time that the District added a well on County Road 95 that is capable of delivering 1,000,000 gallons of water per day and constructed a 500,000 gallon elevated water storage tank. At this time the district has three wells with a pumping capacity of 2,520,000 gallons of water per day and three water tanks with a storage capacity of 1,000,000 gallons. The District currently serves a population of approximately 3,100. The District is governed, managed and operated by a five member Board of Directors and a staff of nine employees.

East Central Baldwin County Water & FPA

The runner up in the "Water Taste Test" competition was the East Central Baldwin County Water & FPA located in Robertsdale, Alabama, Baldwin County, East Central supplies drinking water to approximately 1,600 people. East Central has two ground water wells and has enough storage capacity to hold 600,000 gallons of water.

Congratulations to the Perdido Bay Water and the East Central Baldwin Water Systems!

As a result of winning the “Taste Test” at the ARWA Conference, a representative from the Perdido Bay Water, Sewer & FPD received a round trip airline ticket to Washington. D.C. to compete in the National Drinking Water Contest held on April 20, 2009. The competition was strong and resulted in a run-off, but Perdido Bay Water, Sewer & FPD was named the Winner!

Congratulations to Perdido Bay Water, Sewer & FPD Board of Directors and staff for bringing home the National Drinking Water Taste title and the gold medal.

The National Water Taste Test was covered by several televised media outlets. More details to come in the next magazine. Read more in our Web Site Newsroom.


Alabama's Gold Medalist - Perdido Bay Water, Sewer, & FPD - Read about the National Competition and learn more about the winners in this Waterline article (pdf).

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