Savoring the Heartlands Finest

Savoring the Heartland's Finest
By: Arnold Wyrick
MURPHYSBORO, IL --When you think of sampling a taste of something, what comes to mind? For some it's a glass of wine, or a special dessert. But for residents living in the Murdale Water District, in Jackson County Illinois, all they have to do is turn on their faucets to sample some of the best water in the nation.
That's right, the districts water placed 3rd in the Great American Water Taste Test Competition in Washington D.C..
"Well we entered a sample in the Illinois Rural Competition in Effingham, just to see how we'd do. I always thought we had good water. But I didn't think we'd win there. And when we won there they said we were invited to Washington D.C. to represent the State of Illinois," says District Manager Curt Mezo.
So they filled a glass gallon jar with the some of the water districts finest and shipped it off to the competition.
Some of districts customers never gave much thought about what was flowing through their pipes, until now.
"I think that's really exciting 3rd in the nation, is really quiet an honor. And we find the water is quiet acceptable taste wise. And I've never had it stain anything in the laundry," says Georgia Kelley of Murphysboro.
So what's the districts secret to great tasting water, you ask?
"In the last 20 years we've spend over $2,500,000 dollars rehabilitating, and rebuilding new water mains. And probably 50 miles of pipe. So we're trying to get rid of the old iron pipe that was put in the 60's," Mezo said.
Their work paid off during the competition, both at the state and national levels. Now they can brag about having the best water in Illinois, and the 3rd best in the nation.
"You just take the water for granted and you use it as you normally would. But then you go somewhere else, and you start drinking their water. You can taste the difference," says Larry Meyers of Murphysboro.
Now some of the districts customers are concerned their rates might be going up on their award winning water.
"It's always been good quality water and tasted fine. I hope they don't raise the rates on me now though," says Don Kelley of Murphysboro.
The water districts manager says not to worry, their just happy to fair so well in the competition.
"No this won't affect the rates. This is just the plum on the cake. We're going to enter again next year and see how we do," Mezo said.
So if you live in the Murdale Water District drink up, and share some with your neighbors in Southern Illinois.