Which City In America Has The Best Tasting Tap Water?

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is hosting the preliminary round of the 2011 Best Tasting City Water in America competition on Friday, May 20 at its headquarter office in Washington, D.C. Sponsored this year by American Water Works, the blind taste-test competition provides an opportunity for cities to showcase their achievement in providing clean water to America's cities.

The conference conducts this periodic water taste test to bring attention to the amount of money that local governments increasingly spend for water and sewer services and infrastructure.  While city water comes from natural sources, local governments, with little assistance from the federal government, provide the pipes, pumps, treatment works and services.  In 2008, this expense totaled over $100 billion.

St. Louis won the last award in 2007.

A select panel of judges will conduct a blind taste test of the water submitted by cities using a point-scale basis.  

Judges include: Tommy Jacomo, Proprietor of The Palm restaurant in Washington, D.C. (invited); Keith Castaldo, Counsel and Economic Advisor to Representative Bill Pascrell (NJ); Justin Field, staff to Senator Robert Menendez (NJ); Nancy Stoner, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Water; Ben Grumbles, Former Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Water; G. Tracy Mehan, III, Former Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Water; Juliet Eilperin, Environmental Reporter for The Washington Post newspaper (invited); and Michael Deane, Executive Director, National Association of Water Companies.

Following the judging, the five highest scoring cities will advance as semi-finalists onto the U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting in Baltimore from June 17-20.  Mayors attending the annual meeting will serve as blind judges for the final round of competition, and the winning city will be announced on the morning of Monday, June 20.

In addition to receiving the bragging rights of "Best Tasting City Water in America" as determined by their mayoral peers from around the nation, the winning city will receive a cash award of $15,000, which can be used to publicize the outstanding quality of their water to the public and the successful efforts of that city's water department to produce it.