City water has chance at best in Northwest

Sweet Home’s water goes up against the best of the rest in the big taste test of the Northwest this week at the American Waterworks Association sectional competition in Tacoma May 12-14.

The city won the organization’s third Cascade to Coast Best Tasting Water contest on April 15, which included 14 water providers, said Public Works Director Mike Adams. Judges were members of the general public. Judging criteria included odor, taste and aftertaste.

Treated at the city’s new Water Treatment Plant, the water was pulled from the city’s distribution system, stored in a glass bottle and delivered at 4 degrees Celsius.

The city’s new plant, which went online last summer, is able to produce up to 6 million gallons of water per day. It can be expanded to 10 million gallons per day.

The new plant replaced a plant built in the 1930s that was physically incapable of always meeting drinking water standards set in the late 1990s.

The new plant uses a Siemens’ package plant process that uses up-flow clarifier basins with tube settlers, rapid sand filtration and on-site chlorine generation to treat water from Foster Lake.

Second place went to the Springfield Utility Board, which pulls water from a Thurston-area well field.

The Eugene Water and Electric Board, pulling water from the McKenzie River, placed third.