The Search Has Begun for the Best Tasting Water in Missouri

Ashland, Missouri
April 4, 2012

The Missouri Rural Water Association (MRWA) is searching for the best tasting water in the State. The Great American Water Taste Test showcases the high quality of water in Missouri.

Judges will determine the top-ranked water during final judging April 18th at the MRWA Office in Ashland.

During preliminary judging April 2nd, five finalists surfaced out of the 29 entries.

Finalists include the Franklin County Public Water Supply District (PWSD) 1, the City of Freeburg in Osage County, the City of Nixa in Christian County, the Ripley County PWSD 1, and the City of Rockaway Beach in Taney County.

Determining the winner will be Steven Sturgess of the Public Drinking Water Branch within the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Tim Rickabaugh of the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development, and the Honorable Mayor Michael Jackson of Ashland.

The annual even coincides with an open house and fish fry that welcomes representatives from water systems and agencies that support these public utilities and interested legislators.

The winner of the water test enjoys multiple benefits: a plaque commemorating the achievement; recognition before peers at the April 19th Jefferson City Day breakfast; introduction on their respective State Senator and House floors in the Capitol; resolutions from both legislative branches honoring this accomplishment; a free pizza party at the water system for all involved; and a chance to capture the national title.

The National Rural Water Association, of which the MRWA is an affiliate, sponsors a nationwide event each year for the title of “Best Tasting Water in the Nation”. The City of Puxico in Stoddard County, last year’s State winner, captured 3rd place in this year’s national taste test. This was the best showing that Missouri has achieved so far!

Water sample entries for the preliminary judging arrived at the MRWA Office from every geographic location in Missouri. Samples came from as far northwest as the City of Craig in Holt Country and as far southeast as the City of Steele in Pemiscot County.

Samples this year represented both major types of water sources: surface water, such as lakes, rivers and streams; and groundwater, usually deep wells.

The MRWA uses the water taste test as a means of educating the public about the important role of the water operator who ensures the quality and safety of our drinking water. These individuals are tasked to fulfill stringent federal and state regulations, attain professional state certification, and earn continuing education.

The MRWA is non-profit, member-based organization. It provides technical services and training to water and wastewater systems in Missouri. To learn more about its many services, see the MRWA website at

Tom Hyatt
Event Coordinator
Missouri Rural Water Association
901 Richardson Drive
Ashland, MO 65010
573-783-1745 (cell)