The City of Temple Terrace has something new to brag about.
It has won the 2012 Best Tasting Drinking Water award in a contest sponsored by the Florida chapter of the American Water Works Association.
At J.C. Weaver Park in Dunedin on Feb. 25, a panel of five judges evaluated tap water from 14 Tampa Bay area water utilities in Region IV, which includes the cities of St. Petersburg, Zephyrhills, Tarpon Springs, Lakeland and others, along with Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and other counties. The judges, made up of water and public officials, sipped samples of various tap water without knowing which utility it came from. They were looking for best taste, appearance and odor.
Mike Darrow, the city’s deputy public works director, accepted the award on Temple Terrace’s behalf, calling it “the culmination of the hard work we do every day,” according to a city press release.
“We have received many compliments about the quality and taste of our drinking water from our customers,” said Director Robert Gordon in the release. “To be singled out by our peers as having the best-tasting water in a seven county region is really icing on the cake and a tribute to the stellar efforts of our water department employees, who treat and monitor our water supply 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Temple Terrace derives its drinking water from municipal wells tapped into the upper Floridan aquifer, the release states. It is treated before being distributed to about 38,000 customers, officials said. The city was awarded a “Stanley Cup” style trophy, which it will proudly display, Gordon said.
As the Region IV winner, the city will compete in a statewide water-quality contest in Orlando May 1.