Madison County voted 'Best Tasting Water in Missouri' - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Madison County voted 'Best Tasting Water in Missouri'

Tom Hyatt with MRWA and Dora Rosa (Source: MO Rural Water Association, Facebook). Tom Hyatt with MRWA and Dora Rosa (Source: MO Rural Water Association, Facebook).
(Source: MRWA) (Source: MRWA)

Where's the best drinking water in Missouri? It's Madison County Public Water District 1, according to judges.

Judges convened at the Missouri Rural Water Association (MRWA) annual Open House April 22 in Jefferson City, Missouri to select the “Best Tasting Water in Missouri.” 

The winner was Madison County Public Water Supply District (PWSD) 1.

The field of two dozen contestants representing water from around the state was narrowed down to five finalists. 

After winning the Missouri Rural Water Association (MRWA) statewide taste test in April, Madison County Public Water Supply District (PWSD) 1 officials accepted a plaque for having the Best Tasting Water in Missouri.

The system has already received a Senate resolution from District 27 State Senator Wayne Wallingford and a House resolution from District 145 State Representative Shelley Keeney.

These parchments exalt the achievement of the district in its win of the taste test.

In addition to the plaque carved in the shape of Missouri, water district representatives and interested individuals enjoyed a free pizza luncheon, courtesy of MRWA on May 15.

Public water systems in the upper bracket submitted additional samples in order to compete for top billing. 

Also in contention were the Barton/Dade/Cedar and Jasper Consolidated PWSD 1, City of Puxico, St. Francois County PWSD 2, and Village of Wardsville.

One of the greatest challenges facing drinking water systems across the nation is the importance of developing relationships between water system representatives and consulting engineers, according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Senior Environmental Engineer Benjamin Shuman. He was visiting from Washington, D.C.

“I look for the sample that I'd like to down in one big gulp,” judge Steve Sturgess of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Public Drinking Water Branch, said. "And, in this case, that sample turned out to be the winner.”

Administrator Joshua Hawkins from the City of Ashland was also a judge.

What's the secret to good tasting water?

Madison County PWSD 1 Office Manager Dora Rosa says that the system's product is "just good Missouri well water.”

“Madison County Water District is honored to receive this (best tasting water) award and continually strives to send customers the best quality of water it can," Rosa said.

Shuman and Hawkins had different takes on water. 

Shuman says that each sample's smell “was probably how they differed most.” Hawkins says “Odor was the hardest (category for judging) since I didn't detect any odor.” Different judges gaged samples for clarity, bouquet, and taste.

The Missouri Rural Water Association is a non-profit organization serving the needs of water and wastewater utilities.

More information about the MRWA can be found by visiting its website at or its Facebook page at

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