Sitka water takes second place in national contest

Sitka’s drinking water won second place in a national competition this month at the American Water Works Association’s annual conference in San Antonio, Texas.

The panel of judges rated Sitka’s water second only to WaterOne, a Kansas public utility that serves the Johnson County area, just outside Kansas City, Missouri.

“It’s a great honor to receive the award,” said Shilo Williams, Sitka’s municipal environmental superintendent. “We’re really lucky to have such a pristine water source, which is Blue Lake.”

To qualify for the national competition, Sitka water had to beat out entries from other municipalities in Alaska, Williams said.

The Alaska state contest took place in May, but proved to be uneventful: Sitka’s water was the only entry in the competition, held in Anchorage.

At the national competition, Sitka’s water was one of 26 entries from communities all over the country. They were tasted by a panel of three judges, who Williams described as water industry professionals.

Williams said water for the competition was sent in coolers to San Antonio, where each entry was identified by a number prior to the tasting.

The judges then narrowed the 26 water samples to five semi-finalists, and then tasted them again. The top three — WaterOne, Sitka, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota — received awards.

“We have very minimal treatment – low chemical addition – and a really wonderful, dedicated operations staff,” Williams said. “We’re just really lucky all around.”


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