Mass. town wins water taste test

Southampton, MA, one of the finalists at the 9th Annual Great American Water Taste Test, walked away with top honors and the Gold Medal. Held each year on Capitol Hill in conjunction with the National Rural Water Association's Annual Rally, the test aims to prove that great-tasting water can come straight from the tap. State Rural Water Associations conduct preliminary competitions selecting the best water from small and rural systems to represent their state at the national finals...

WASHINGTON, DC, April 22, 2008 -- If you're looking for the best tasting water in the nation, move to Massachusetts. In this rural community, all you have to do is turn the faucet for pure "Quality On Tap!"

Southampton, MA, one of the top five finalists at the 9th Annual Great American Water Taste Test, walked away with top honors and the Gold Medal. The taste test is held each year on Capitol Hill in conjunction with the National Rural Water Association's Annual Rally in Washington, D.C. The nation's largest community based environmental organization, the National Rural Water Association (NRWA), held its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. along with the Great American Water Taste Test. The goal: to prove that great-tasting water comes straight from the tap.

Safe, clean, affordable water is a major issue anywhere in the world. In fact, nothing is more precious or raises bigger debate than quality water, whether it is bottled or straight from the tap. On Tuesday, April 22nd, the top water from small community drinking water suppliers from across the nation were in the hot seat, as judges tasted, slurped, sniffed, and gurgled their way to determine the best of the best.

NRWA represents over 26,242 rural and small utilities, so it's a big deal to make it to the final competition where Southampton competed against top water systems from around the nation. The other finalists included North Kingstown, Rhode Island; Lewes, Delaware; Lorain County, Ohio; and Avilla, Indiana.

Judges for the event were, EPA's Ben Grumbles, USDA's Teresa Lasseter, and Melanie Rhinehart-VanTassell with U.S. Rep. Pomeroy (ND). Water is judged based on three attributes: clarity, bouquet, and taste. State contests conduct preliminary competitions selecting the best water to represent their state at the national finals.

Each judge evaluated glasses of water from the five finalists measuring them on clarity, bouquet and taste.

State Rural Water Associations conduct preliminary competitions selecting the best water from small and rural systems to represent their state at the national finals.

Each April, the National Rural Water Association sponsors the Rural Water Rally and Great American Taste Test on Capitol Hill to give utility and state officials an opportunity to visit one-on-one with their Congressional representatives and discuss key water and wastewater issues.

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