WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Easthampton Water Department from Easthampton, Mass. won the gold medal for best tasting water and the 16th annual Great American Water Taste Test, held as part of the Rural Water Rally on February 11th in Washington, D.C.
“I’m really proud of this,” Tom Newton, supervisor of Easthampton Water Works, told ABC News. “I’ve put 40 years of my life into this. I’m retiring this year. This is the victory lap.”
Newton says the water’s exceptional taste comes from its Ph.
“It’s very crisp,” he said. “It takes very little treatment.”
Easthampton water completed against water samples from across the nation in the areas of clarity, bouquet, and taste. Each state rural water association holds a drinking water taste test from among their members, and the winners of those competitions are eligible for the national taste test. Rogerson Water District from Buhl, Idaho won the silver award and City of Whittier, Alaska won bronze. Del Paso Manor Water District from Sacramento, Cal. and Francis City, Utah were the other five finalists.
The five finalists were selected from a preliminary round of tasting. A panel of special guest judges then selected the winners from the five finalists. This year’s guest judges included Jasper Schneider, acting administrator of the Rural Utilities Service, Chris Heggem, director of Coalition & Outreach for the House Ag Committee, and Daniel Ulmer, legislative assistant for Senator Thad Cochran.