While many festivalgoers sample their share of frothy beverages over the weekend, a group of professionals are preparing for a taste test of a purer variety.
Water utility workers and engineers from Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming are gathering in Keystone to brush up on their skills and compete in a water taste test.
Members of the Rocky Mountain American Water Works Association and the Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association are holding the competition at a joint regional conference Sept. 8-11.
Large and small municipal water utilities will put their tap water to the test on Tuesday.
Each sample will be judged on its appearance, smell, taste and overall impression.
“We are a competitive bunch,” said Greg Baker, Aurora Water public relations manager. “We all think we have the best water in the state.”
The winner of the taste test will get bragging rights and an award — and move on to compete in a national tap-water taste test competition.
The taste test is only one component of the annual event for water- and waste-treatment workers. The conference is held to broaden the pool of knowledge, give utility workers access to resources and gain certifications to become compliant with rules and regulations.
“A conference like this allows for individuals in the arena to come together and network,” said Mary Preseca, chairwoman for the Rocky Mountain chapter of the American Water Works Association.
“Everyone is looking for the lowest cost but also the safest and cleanest water,” she said. “Providing water that is good quality and balancing it with cost is a constant battle and challenge for any utility. A conference like this enables you to know where to go to find answers to lower costs and achieve desired results.”