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10th Annual Water Taste Test

Congratulations to our 2011 winner, Chilton Water Authority!
Water Taste Test Winner
They will compete in the National Drinking Water Taste Test in Washington DC in February 2012.

From left to right: William Hayes, Operator; Diane Little, Office Manager; Doug Bice, General Manager all with Chilton Water Authority and Kathy Horne, Executive Director, Alabama Rural Water Association

2011 Runner Up

From Left to Right: Dennis Abernathy, Operator; Danny Howard, Chief Operator; Bill Morris, General Manager all with Leeds Water Works Board, Kathy Horne, Executive Director, ARWA; Jack Courson, Board Chairman, Leeds Water Works Board.

Best Tasting Water in Alabama!

By: George Marodis, USDA Source Water Protection Specialist

One of the most exciting events at the Conference is the Water Taste Test. Water utilities from the entire State of Alabama are invited to submit samples of their water for the competition.

Utilities from throughout the State entered the competition meeting preliminary qualifications of having no chemical or monitoring violations.

Judging Criteria:

A panel of judges was selected to choose the winners. Judges will consider:

    •  Taste
    •  Clarity
    •  Odor


The Judges for the competition were Jason T. Wilson and Whit Slagle with the ADEM and Steve Feaga with the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.

After the preliminary judging the water system entries were reduced to the following six finalists:

  • Chilton Water Authority
  • Leeds Water Works Board
  • Lowndes County Water Authority
  • Mobile County Water, Sewer & FPA
  • Town of Lowndesboro Water Works System
  • West Etowah County Water Authority

The final judging continued during the Rural Water Country Luncheon where over 600 attendees gathered to await the judge's selection. When the last taste test sample was
judged and the ratings were calculated, there was a tie, after an additional round of sampling, the 2011 Water Taste Test Winner was announced.

The winner was the Chilton Water Authority located in Chilton County, Alabama. The System serves over 8,700 people, and has seven wells. The Chilton Water Authority has ten storage tanks that provide and distribute water throughout their 900 miles of main line pipe. Having the best tasting drinking water in Alabama is the result of hard work and proper management, and that's exactly what you will find at the Chilton Water Authority. This hard work and dedication
is evident through the quality of their drinking water having won the Taste Test in 2010 as well. It is highly unusual for a drinking water sample to be selected two years consecutively, so we know the folks at Chilton Water Authority are doing something right!

Jerena WebbBy winning the "Taste Test" at the ARWA Conference, a representative from the Chilton County Water Authority will receive a round trip ticket to Washington, D.C. to compete in the National Drinking Water Contest scheduled to take place in February, 2012.

The runner up in the "Taste Test" competition was the Leeds Water Works Board located in Leeds, Alabama, Jefferson County. Leeds Water Works Board is no stranger to the "Runner Up" category. Throughout the history of Taste Test contests we have seen them selected before demonstrating their good quality drinking water. Leeds supplies drinking water to approximately 20,000 people. Leeds utilizes four ground water wells and two springs as source sites and has
enough storage capacity to hold 3,740,000 gallons of water. If a representative of the taste test winner cannot make the trip to Washington, D.C., then a representative from the runner
up utility will be given the opportunity to participate at the national level. Congratulations to the Leeds Water Works Board!

Read the Waterline article with more pictures! (pdf)

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