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Annual Water Taste Test

Best Tasting Water in Alabama!

2017 Winner
West Etowah County Water Authority


ARWA’s 2017 Water Taste Test Winner
West Etowah County
Water Authority


L to R: James Golden, WECWA, Jim Mayo, WECWA, Kathy Horne, ARWA, Steve Jennings, WECWA, Barry Davenport, WECWA, Roger Kimbril, WECWA, Donna Purkey, WECWA, Sally Hathcock, WECWA


Thank You, Water Taste Test Judges!
Doug Anderton, Georgia Rural Water Association, Laura Taylor, ADEM, Phillip Carter, AL Cooperative Extension System


By George Marodis, FSA Source Water Specialist

Water as everyone knows is merely two hydrogen atoms bound to one oxygen atom. The water molecule has unique properties that makes life possible.

  • One of these properties is ice floats on liquid water rather than sinking to the bottom. This allows life to exist in lakes, ponds etc. rather than the ice filling them up.
  • Another unique property of water is it is the universal solvent, which means it dissolves salts, minerals, etc. in porous rock layers or aquifers as it travels through them. This quality makes the Alabama Rural Water Association’s (ARWA) Water Taste Test competition very interesting.

The Water Taste Test Competition took place Tuesday, March 14 with the preliminary judging beginning at 10:00 am. Utilities were only eligible to enter the Taste Test competition if they met ADEM approval having no violations of bacteriological or chemical or any type of monitoring violations.

Three judges were supplied with samples of water. The samples were not identified in any way so it was truly a “blind taste test”. The judges rated the water samples by clarity, odor and taste. By lunch time the list of potential winners was narrowing. As the names of the finalists were called out, as in years past, some of the same utilities placed in the top tier.

THE TOP 6 FINALISTS WERE:

  • City of Moundville Water Works
  • Freemanville Water System, Inc.
  • Leeds Water Works Board
  • Thomasville Water Works & Sewer Board
  • Town of Thorsby Water Works Board
  • West Etowah County Water Authority

The winner of the ARWA’s 2017 Water Taste Test is:
West Etowah County Water Authority!

Congratulations again to the West Etowah County Water Authority!

This phenomenon is very interesting because every year there are new judges and the utilities submitting water samples change as well! Take a look at the results and similarities for the past 7 years:

2010 Results
- Chilton County Water Authority (Winner)
- Lowndesboro Water Works System (Runner Up)
2014 Results
- Freemanville Water System, Inc. (Winner)
- Lowndesboro Water Works System (Runner Up)
2011 Results
- Chilton County Water Authority (Winner)
- Leeds Water Works Board (Runner Up)
2015 Results
- West Etowah County Water Authority (Winner)
- City of Fairhope Public Utilities (Runner Up)
2012 Results
- West Etowah County Water Authority (Winner)
- Douglas Water Authority (Runner Up)
2016 Results
- Mobile County Water, Sewer & FPA (Winner)
- West Etowah County Water Authority (Runner Up)
2013 Results
- City of Fairhope Public Utilities (Winner)
- Irondale Water System (Runner Up)
2017 Results
- West Etowah County Water Authority (Winner)
- City of Moundville Water Works (Runner Up)

 


ARWA’s 2017 Water Taste Test Winner
West Etowah County
Water Authority


L to R: James Golden, WECWA, Jim Mayo, WECWA, Kathy Horne, ARWA, Steve Jennings, WECWA, Barry Davenport, WECWA, Roger Kimbril, WECWA, Donna Purkey, WECWA, Sally Hathcock, WECWA

This is West Etowah’s 3rd win in the past 8 years with one runner up result as well. According to the West Etowah County Source Water Assessment, the major aquifers in Etowah County are the Pottsville Aquifer which is a sandstone, the Tuscumbia-Fort Payne Aquifer and the Knox-Shady Aquifer both of which are carbonates either lime-stone or dolomite. The West Etowah County Water Author-ity (WECWA) provides water to their customers from one water well producing from the Ft. Payne and the Cove Spring which appears to discharge from the Bangor Limestone.

While the geology in the area is very complex, it appears that water traveling underground in Etowah county is dissolving some very good tasting minerals!

The WECWA has seven water storage tanks with a combined storage capacity of 910,000 gallons of water. The Authority has 175 miles of main line pipe. By winning the “Taste Test” at the ARWA Conference, a representative from the WECWA will receive a round trip airline ticket to Washington, D.C. to compete in the National Drinking Water Contest scheduled to take place during February, 2018.

Having the best tasting drinking water in Alabama is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the West Etowah County Water Authority Management and Staff.

The West Etowah Water Authority is governed by the following Board Members:

  • Roger Kimbril-Chairman
  • Steve Jennings-Vice Chairman
  • Sally Hathcock-Secretary
  • James Golden-Board Member

The West Etowah Water Authority office is staffed by the following:

  • Kenny Smith-Superintendent
  • Jim Mayo-Operator
  • Sally Hathcock-Office Manager
  • Barbie Cleveland-Office Staff
  • Donna Purkey-Office Staff
  • Stacy Thompson-Office Staff
  • Barry (BO) Davenport-Field Maintenance
  • Bobby Huff-Field Maintenance
  • Mathew Pierce-Operator
  • Nathan Moore-Operator

*
 

2017 Runner Up
Fort Payne Water Works Board


ARWA’s 2017 Water Taste Test Runner Moundville Water Works

L to R: Daniel Fowler, Superintendent, Connie Black, Water Clerk, Cole Austin, Technician, Becky Townsend, Water Clerk, Cody Rester, Technician

The runner up was the Moundville Water Works located in Hale County, AL.

Moundville provides water to their approximately 1,475 customers from two water wells both producing from the Gordo aquifer which is primarily a sandstone. Moundville has 4 storage tanks with a total capacity of 1,470,000 gallons of water and has approximately 60 miles of water line in the ground.

This is the first-time Moundville has entered the Taste Test competition and I am sure they will continue to enter so they can win that top prize!

If a representative of the Taste Test winner cannot make the trip to Washington, D.C., then a representative from the runner up utility will be given the opportunity to participate at the national level.

Congratulations to the Moundville Water Works.

 

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