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Illinois American Water, Champaign District took home top honors at the American Water Works Association's (AWWA) Water Taste Test held at AWWA's 124 th Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE) in San Francisco, Calif. The national competition pitted regional water-tasting winners against one another in an in-depth water profile analysis.
"We take a lot of pride in delivery the best quality water to our customers," said Walter Voegel, production operations superintendent, Illinois American Water. "This win is truly a testament to the hard work of the employees of Illinois American Water.”
Illinois American, which provides water to Champaign, Ill., residents and re-sells water to three other Illinois towns, previously won the Illinois Section AWWA tasting competition. In addition to Illinois American, other regional winners competing for the national honor included Catoosa (Ga.) Utility District and Kahili (Hawaii) Water System, as well as San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the host city for ACE05.
An esteemed judging panel rated each water system on several factors, including taste and odor, the determining flavor characteristics. Judges included Leah Garchik, a San Francisco Chronicle columnist; Diane Griffin, an aquatic toxicologist for East Bay Municipal Utility District; and Djanette Khiari, chair of the AWWA Taste and Odor Committee. A close competition decided by very few points, the judges agreed that the Illinois America water tasted both pure and slightly sweet, a high-quality water.
The World's Water Event, ACE05 will draw more than 12,000 water professionals and 500 exhibitors. It will feature a professional program with more than 100 sessions -- the largest professional program of any industry conference. Topics covered will include infrastructure management, security, emerging issues, water conservation and water resources, and legislative and regulatory issues. ACE05's economic impact on San Francisco is predicted around $19 million.