PORT ORCHARD — If you happen to live in the McCormick Woods area, the City Council thinks your water supply is the best Port Orchard has to offer.
And just how did council members come to that conclusion? Through a quick water taste test during a City Council meeting on Feb. 25, which was a precursor to the public works department’s entry this spring in the American Water Works Association’s annual water taste test competition.
If you didn’t think such a competition exists, think again. Water districts and municipalities from across the nation compete in the organization’s drinking water competition each year for the right to call their own as America’s best-tasting water.
That’s not to take away from other city water sources council members sampled, including those from wells sprinkled around Port Orchard. Jacki Brown, utility manager for the city’s public works department, said she also tapped into supplies from Port Orchard’s new treatment system for iron manganese at Well 9 at the corner of Tremont and Sidney, and water from Well 8 at the dead-end side of Sidney. She also took a sample of H2O from City Hall — right out of the tap.
The blind taste test was conducted in the City Hall Chambers, with clear plastic cups labeled “A” through “D” lined up on the podium. With a survey form in hand, each council member sniffed, then swirled the contents across their palate and swallowed. Most of the council members sat poker-faced as they filled out the survey forms. Fred Chang, however, let out a grin (or a grimace, depending on your viewpoint) as he examined his water cup’s contents for clarity.
After notating their water samples for taste, odor and aftertaste, the council members turned in their surveys, which ultimately judged McCormick Woods’ water supply as rated highest. But that entry has plenty of obstacles ahead in its quest to be rated the nation’s best water. It first must win the South Sound subsection competition against formidable challengers from Kitsap, Pierce, Mason, Thurston, Grays Harbor and Pacific counties. Then the winner must prevail in the Pacific Northwest competition, which will include top competitors from Washington state, Oregon and most of Idaho.
Brown said she expects competition to come from the Silverdale, Bremerton, Manchester and Mountainview Edgewood water districts in the South Sound subsection and regionals.