Colorado city wins top US tap water prize at tasting contest

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. – Eldorado Springs, Colorado, has won the top prize for U.S. tap water at an international tasting contest.

The judges gave out two gold medals for Best Municipal Water on Saturday at the 26th annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting in West Virginia. They awarded the top prize among U.S. entries to Eldorado Springs, while Clearbrook, British Columbia, won first place for best in the world. Last year Clearbrook finished third and Eldorado Springs tied for fourth.

“The consistency in winners from year to year with different panels of judges validates the choices,” said event longtime water master, Arthur von Wiesenberger. “It also speaks to the impressively high calibre of the waters entered.”

The award for best purified water went to Bar H2O of Richmond, Michigan, which was a silver medallist in 2015. Richmond is 60 miles east of Flint, which has been gripped by a lead-contaminated drinking water crisis.

An entry from Karditsa, Greece, Theoni Natural Mineral Water, won the top prize for bottled water, while the best sparkling water was awarded to Tesanjski Kiseljak of Tesanj, Bosnia.

The people’s choice winner for packaging went to Nakd Luxury Artesian Water of Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.

Ten judges tasted and selected from among dozens of waters from 18 states, seven Canadian provinces and five foreign nations. Judges based their rankings on taste, odour, mouth feel and aftertaste.

The event was held in an Eastern Panhandle town also known for its water. Natural warm springs produce water at 74.3 degrees, once attracting American Indians, settlers and George Washington.

Washington, who first arrived in 1748, helped build Berkeley Spring’s reputation as a getaway for the health-conscious. A stone bathtub serves as a monument to his visits.