Ashland, Missouri – April 20, 2012 – Ripley County Public Water Supply District (PWSD) 1 stakes claim as the best tasting drinking water in Missouri!
“It boiled down to taste that set the winner apart,” said Ashland Mayor Michael Jackson, one of three judges.
Ripley County PWSD 1 has six deep wells. Water System Manager Rodney Hoefer credits underground springs for the clarity and purity of the water. “Current River is so clear; so you know the groundwater is clear when it passes through rocks and minerals.”
Kristina Hoefer, in attendance with her husband, pointed out that the entire district, which has 1,324 connections, is run by a staff of only three individuals: Office Manager Judy Davis, the water system manager, and Water Operator Joedy Roam.
The Ripley County PWSD 1 has been serving customers since 1940. Kristina recalled that her great grandfather had three hookups to the system.
The kick-off event started at 5:00 p.m., April 18th, with the Legislative Open House and Fish Fry. Legislators, regulatory and financial agency representatives, and public water system employees were invited to gather and share good food in a relaxed atmosphere.
After the fish fry had started, judges took their seats to determine the winner of the Great American Water Taste Test.
Other judges were Terry Timmons of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Public Drinking Water Branch and Nathan Chitwood of the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development.
Mayor Jackson observed the importance of drinking water. “As an elected official, I’d feel like I had neglected my duties if the system became compromised in any way. Water is so vital to life.”
This year, 29 public water systems submitted samples. Five finalists are determined in advance from these submissions from across the State. Other finalists included the City of Freeburg in Osage County, Franklin County PWSD 1, the City of Nixa in Christian County, and the City of Rockaway Beach in Taney County.
The Missouri Rural Water Association (MRWA) awards to the water taste test winner a plaque, recognition at the State Capitol with the system’s State representative and senator, a pizza party, and a trip to Washington, D.C. to hand-deliver a water sample to compete for the
best tasting water in the nation.