CULVER, OR -- Jefferson County often boasts it has the best drinking water, but now it has the award to back up the claim. Culver-based Deschutes Valley Water District recently took home the title of "Overall Best Drinking Water in Oregon."
District General Manager Ed Pugh tells KBND News he collected the winning sample, himself. "If you use a plastic container, it’ll impart a little bit of a plastic taste; so, we use glass canning jars. And, basically, I take it out of my kitchen sink." The three-judge panel then tries each entry, similar to a "Blind" wine tasting, "You know, they kind of swirl it around, and swish it in their mouth, and smell it and all that type of thing."
The competition took place during the Oregon Association of Water Utilities annual conference, earlier this month, in Sunriver, "There’s groundwater and surface water, and there’s a winner for each of those, and then they have a runoff – a taste runoff, if you will – between the winners of each of those. So, the city of Stayton won the surface water and we won the groundwater, and apparently we won the runoff between the two."
This isn’t the first time the district has won the award. Pugh says the secret is doing nothing, "Our water is untreated, because it’s pristine at the source. Some people do have to treat water; we do not. There’s no filtration, no chlorination, no chemicals added, we just get it straight from the source and to people’s taps."