Greenville, S.C., Wins "Best of the Best" Water Taste Test

The American Water Works Association announced that the Greenville Water System, of the City of Greenville, S.C., won the annual “Best of the Best” 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 (ACE11) in Washington, DC.

The Greenville Water System meets the drinking water needs of more than 350,000 South Carolinians and receives most of its water from two large mountain watersheds. These 26,000 acres of pristine watershed are located about 25 miles north and northwest of the City of Greenville in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The award-winning water collected in the outcropping springs gradually flows into the streams which are then carried into either of two man-made reservoirs; one on the headwaters of the South Saluda River (Table Rock) and the other on the headwaters of the North Saluda River.

Second place in the competition was shared between Denver Water from Denver, Colorado and Glencoe Water Utility from the Village of Glencoe, Ill.

Other “Best of the Best” participants in today’s competition included: Anchorage (AK) Water and Wastewater Dept.; City of Anniston, AL; City of Arlington (TX) Water Utilities; City of Baltimore, MD; City of Cashmere, WA; Cooper City (FL) Utilities Department; City of Fremont, NE; Hamilton (OH) Public Water System; Kansas City (KS) Board of Public Utilities; Louisville (KY) Water Company; Mancelona (MI) Area Water and Sewer Authority; Manchester (NH) Water Works; City of Mayville, ND; Moorhead (MN) Public Service; Artesian Water Company, Newark, DE; Rio Arriba, PR; City of Rocky Mount, NC; Sioux (SD) Rural Water System; Sun Valley (ID) Water and Sewer District; Washington (DC) Aqueduct; and City of Watertown (WI) Water Department.  

An esteemed judging panel rated each water system on its flavor characteristics. Judges included Dr. Russell Ford, Deputy Director of Drinking Water Infrastructure for CH2M Hill and vice chair of AWWA’s Taste and Odor Committee; Monique Durand, engineer at Hazen and Sawyer, P.C and member of the Taste and Odor Committee; Dr. Andrea Dietrich, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech and past chair of the Taste and Odor Committee; and Neal Augenstein, reporter for Washington, DC’s WTOP Radio.

This is the seventh year AWWA has held the national competition. Previous winners are Stevens Point Water Department (WI) (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).

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