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Montpelier wins top tap prize at water tasting contest

The Bryan Times wrote this amazing article

By Ron Osburn rosburn@bryantimes.com

Feb 28, 2022


Montpelier, Ohio, has the best tasting municipal water in the world. And they have the awards to prove it.

On Saturday, the Montpelier Water Treatment Plant took home the first place gold medal at the 32nd annual Berkeley Springs (West Virginia) International Water Tasting competition.

Montpelier excelled in the Best Municipal Water category, beating out last year’s winner, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which placed second. Another California entry, the Mission Springs Water District, was third. All three have won the gold medal previously.


It was Montpelier’s fifth win since 2003. Montpelier has won first place in 2003, 2006, 2007, 2017 and 2022.


“The consistency in winners from year to year with different panels of judges validates the choices,” water expert Arthur von Wiesenberger said in a statement. “It also speaks to the impressively high caliber of the waters entered.”

Montpelier’s water comes from the underground aquifer that runs underneath a nine-county, three-state area of northwest Ohio, northeast Indiana and southern Michigan — commonly referred to as the Michindoh.

Montpelier’s plant supervisor, Thane Apt, credited the quality of the aquifer’s water, and Montpelier’s lime softening process, as key ingredients in Montpelier’s water quality.

“Our water source is a big factor. We have a good quality source that’s stable. And our treatment process, our lime softening helps a lot, too. We’re unique in that we use a lime softening process. There’s no one else I know our size that uses lime softening,” Apt said at the plant Monday.

Lime softening uses calcium hydroxide, or limewater, to soften water by removing calcium and magnesium ions. In this process, hydrated lime is added to the water to raise its pH level and precipitate the ions that cause hardness.

Apt and operator Dan Ankney oversee the plant that supplies about 400,000 gallons of water per day to Montpelier and Holiday City.

Monday evening, the Montpelier Village Council also sang the praises of the water.

“It’s nice to be back on top, again,” Village Manager Jason Rockey said.

Since Montpelier first won the award, he said the village has built a new water treatment plant.

Mayor Steve Yagelski said it shows the importance of monitoring the water in the aquifer and making sure it’s safe for everyone who uses it.


“So, with what’s going on in the county north of here, that aquifer is here for the future of all of us and we have to preserve it the best we can,” he said.

World


The Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, the world’s most prestigious, gave out awards to waters from four continents. Five continents had waters among the nearly 100 entered.

Nine media judges spent hours tasting and selecting from waters sourced in 16 states, three Canadian provinces and 18 foreign countries.

“There were entries from two new countries this year: St. Kitts and Nevis, and Indonesia. The total of countries over the life of the event is 59, including waters from Tasmania, Turkey, Bosnia, Greece and Australia,” said Jill Klein Rone, event producer.

Third place in the municipal water category was Mission Springs Water District, in Desert Hot Springs, California. Fort Wayne, Indiana, was fourth, and Hamilton, Ohio was fifth.

Other categories and winners were as follows.

Best Non-Carbonated Bottled Water 2022:

First – Vortex Energy, Meriden, Connecticut

Second – Halstead Springs, Speedwell, Tennessee

Third (tie) – Asagiri no Shizuku, Shizuka, Japan, and Smeraldina Still Water, Sardinia, Italy

Fourth (tie) – Theoni Natural Mineral Water, Karditsa, Greece, and Grand Springs Spring Water, Alton, Virginia

Best Sparkling Water 2022:

First – Big Wet Sparkling Spring Water, Victoria, Australia

Second (tie) – Boston Clear Water, Lynnfield, Massachusetts, and Vortex Energy, Meriden, Connecticut

Third – Aqua To Go Sparkling Natural Spring Water, Victoria, Australia

Fourth – Antipodes Water, Otakiri, Whakatane, New Zealand


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