Washington, D.C. – Tahlequah Public Works Authority, located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, claims the 2019 title of America’s best tasting drinking water at the 20th Anniversary of the Great American Water Taste Test, held on February 6, 2019 in Washington, D.C. as part of the Rural Water Rally.
City of Clay Center of Nebraska won the Silver Medal with Douglas County Utilities, Montana System of Minden, Nevada receiving the Bronze Medal. Rounding out the top five were Rathbun Regional Water Association, Inc. of Centerville, Iowa and City of Sumas of Washington.
These five water systems competed against 42 total entries from across the country. State rural water associations hold their own taste test finals and send the winners to compete at the Great American Water Taste test.
These finalists are selected in a preliminary round, with the finals judged by a panel of experts. The honorary judging panel this year included Paul Balzano, Professional Staff, House Committee on Agriculture; Michael Pawlowski, Chief of Staff, Senator Lisa Murkowski, (AK); Edna Primrose, Assistant Administrator, Rural Development, Office of Water & Environment, U.S. Department of Agriculture; and Jean Kabre, Burkina Faso Rural Drinking Water Financier.
Judges rated each water sample based on its clarity, bouquet and taste. Pawlowski thanked the rural water operators and state associations attending the finals for everything they do everyday to provide America with safe, quality drinking water.
Bill Sims, Oklahoma Rural Water Association President, accepted the award on behalf of Gold Medal Winner. Tahlequah Public Works Authority started in 1970 and serves 7,500 connections in its community in Oklahoma.