Washington, D.C. – Five cities have been selected as finalists in The U.S. Conference of Mayors 2011 Best Tasting City Water in America contest following the preliminary round of competition held at the USCM headquarters in Washington, D.C. The five cities are: Albany, N.Y.; Denton, Texas; Racine, Wis.; Rochester, N.Y.; and, Pembroke Pines, Fla.
The finalist cities will advance onto The U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting in Baltimore from June 17-20. Mayors attending the annual meeting will serve as judges for the final round of competition, and the winning city will be announced on the morning of Monday, June 20.
In addition to receiving the bragging rights of “Best Tasting City Water in America” as determined by their mayoral peers from around the nation, the winning city will receive a cash award of $15,000, which can be used to publicize the outstanding quality of their water to the public and the successful efforts of that city’s water department to produce it.
Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, stated that the competition provides an opportunity for cities to showcase their achievement in providing clean water to America’s citizens. He stated, “American cities are world leaders in providing high-quality water to protect public health, plentiful water supplies for public safety and fire protection, and the water necessary to run the nation’s economy. There is nowhere else on this globe where can you get safer tap water than in this country.”
The conference conducts the periodic water taste test to bring attention to the increasing amount of money that local governments spend for water and sewer services and infrastructure. While city water comes from natural sources, local governments, with little assistance from the federal government, provide the pipes, pumps, treatment works and services.
The select panel of judges included: Keith Castaldo, counsel and economic adviser to U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (N.J.); Justin Field, staff to Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.); Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water; Ben Grumbles, former assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water; G. Tracy Mehan, III, former assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water; and, Michael Deane, executive director, National Association of Water Companies.
The Conference of Mayors thanks American Water, headquartered in Voorhees, N.J., which is the sole corporate sponsor of the 2011 Best Tasting City Water in America competition. Jeff Sterba, president and CEO of American Water stated, "American Water is pleased to partner with The U.S. Conference of Mayors in this event that highlights the great value and quality of our country’s tap water.”