Cities advance to final competition at U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting
Five cities were selected today as finalists in the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) 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 to 20. Mayors attending the annual meeting will serve as judges for the final round of competition, and the winning city will be announced the morning of 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 its 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 said that the competition provides an opportunity for cities to showcase their achievement in providing clean water to America's citizens. "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," he said.
The conference conducts this 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 advisor to Rep. Bill Pascrell (N.J.); Justin Field, staff to Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.); Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water; Ben Grumbles, president of the Clean Water America Alliance; G. Tracy Mehan III, former assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Water; and Michael Deane, executive director of the National Assn. of Water Companies.