Int'l Falls Earns 'Best in Glass' Title with Best Tasting Water
Posted at: 09/19/2012 6:18 PM
| Updated at: 09/19/2012 6:30 PM
By: Alan Hoglund
It's not the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word "competition." But how your water tastes, and how it gets to your house was at the core of contests at Duluth's Entertainment and Convention Center Wednesday afternoon.
Pipe tapping was the louder, more fan-driven competition, drawing in spectators at the American Water Works Association Convention. Public utilities teams from Duluth, Minneapolis and students from St. Cloud raced to cut a hole in a water main, and connect it to a meter with copper piping, like they would do when connecting a house with water.
As the St. Cloud team tapped their water main, Chris Glassing, Minnesota's American Water Works Association Competitions Committee Chair, told Eyewitness News "they only assembled their team about two weeks ago when school started in early September so it's pretty impressive they were able to practice."
Glassing said the other teams had all year to practice.
Duluth won last year, but this time Minneapolis came out on top. Duluth came in second, and St. Cloud finished last.
Meanwhile, across the DECC arena, ten different Minnesota cities entered a sample of their water to be tasted by the public, and by judges. After a popular vote, the top three get judged by what Brian Bergantine, of Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, dubbed "the elite panel of judges."
International Falls took the win, earning the title “Best in Glass.” Bergantine explained how judges made the decision.
He said "we're looking for clarity. We're looking for color, and we're looking for taste." Water pitchers on the table in front of him came in clear, cloudy, and a little bit yellow. Yellow isn’t good, according to Bergantine.
"There's a little bit of color within some of them,” he said. “A water should basically have no color."
As for taste, Bergantine said the best water doesn’t taste like anything.
Winners in the water taste competition and the pipe tapping contest do get a prize. They’ll go to Denver, Colorado for the national competition.