The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

By Sean C. Morgan
Of The New Era 

Sweet Home wins second water taste competition of this year


May 24, 2016

THE OREGON ASSOCIATION OF WATER UTILITIES presents statewide awards to the City of Sweet Home for its drinking water. From left are Mike Collier, deputy director and source water specialist with OAWU; Mayor Jim Gourley; D.J. Fox, plant operations manager; Tim Riley, mechanic with Public Works; Mike Adams, Public Works director; and Jason Green, executive director.

The City of Sweet Home has won its second drinking water competition this year, this time with the Oregon Association of Water Utilities.

Sweet Home placed first for surface water plants and first overall and is now qualified to move to a national drinking water competition.

Association Executive Director Jason Green recently presented a trophy to the City Council.

“Your city is a member of our association, has been a member for many years,” Green said. “We provide primarily technical assistance or consulting and formal classroom training throughout the state for both members and non-members.”

Sweet Home staff brought water to the group’s annual conference, he said. “They competed against a number of other participants. The two categories are ground water and surface water because there’s a difference between treatment techniques.”

Water samples were evaluated on taste, odor and aesthetics, which is what customers deal with, Green said. Judging is blind.

“Not only did the City of Sweet Home take first in surface water but you took the top overall, best in Oregon contest. Congratulations on your workers as a whole. It’s not just your city employees. It’s not just at the plant. It’s in the distribution system. It’s back in the office. It’s the person that reads the water meters. It’s a joint effort that makes these things possible.”

Green said his association would be in touch around February to get a gallon of water to ship back to DC “so those folks can tell what really good water tastes like. Sweet Home will be entered in the nationals representing the State of Oregon.”

D.J. Fox, who manages the city’s treatment plants for CH2M Hill, emphasized the team effort throughout the plants and the distribution system required to provide good water.

Earlier this year, Sweet Home placed first in a regional drinking water contest, edging out two cities that use ground water, which tends to prevail in drinking water contests.


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