FAYETTEVILLE, WV, (WVNS) – The statewide award for best tasting water in the Tap Water Taste Test competition held in late May went to West Virginia American Water’s New River water system.

The Tap Water Taste Test was held at the annual American Water Works Association (AWWA) West Virginia Section conference in Wheeling. Nineteen water utilities had the opportunity to participate in the competition, which was judged by three independent water industry representatives. Other competing water systems included Glade Springs, Bluefield, Bluestone, Gassaway, Huntington, Kanawha Valley, Weston and New River. To be eligible to participate, water systems had to have a clean bill of health regarding violations in the previous year, and the utility itself or an employee of the utility must be a member of AWWA.

“We are so proud of our New River treatment plant operators and water quality team for this accomplishment. This award showcases their water treatment expertise and their dedication to producing high quality drinking water. Our New River water system has demonstrated its remarkable commitment to providing safe, reliable and great-tasting water service to the community.”

Robert Burton, president of West Virginia American Water

Judges for the taste test were given unmarked room-temperature water samples from each of the participating water systems. They graded each sample on aesthetic and flavor characteristics, like appearance, odor, mouth feel, aftertaste and overall impression.

West Virginia American Water’s Bluestone water system took second place in the taste test competition. The two treatment plants are multi-year Director Award winners as part of the EPA’s Partnership for Safe Drinking Water program.

The New River water treatment plant is located in Beckwith and has the ability to produce up to 4 million gallons of treated water daily. It serves 12,000 customers in Fayette County. A detailed water quality report for this system and others can be found on West Virginia American Water’s website.