As a judge in the Best Tasting Tap Water in Wisconsin contest, La Follette School Professor Manny Teodoro used tried and true sommelier techniques to swirl, sniff, and taste his way through the finest H20 in the Badger state.
The event, hosted by the Wisconsin Section of the American Water Works Association, a nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, was held in September at Madison’s Monona Terrace.
Crunching palette-cleansing oyster crackers along the way, Teodoro and fellow judges sipped plastic cups of room temperature water, taking color, odor, and taste into consideration. Cities that serve up surface waters from lakes and rivers to their citizens went head-to-head against cities that rely primarily on ground and well waters.
“With so many great water utilities in Wisconsin, the competition was tough for the 2021 Wisconsin Section American Water Works Association Drinking Water Taste Test,” shared Teodoro in a tweet. “But emerging victorious was the City of Oak Creek on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, from which it draws its supply.”
The Oak Creek Water and Sewer Utility serves about 60,000 people over an 83-square-mile service area, according to the city website and pumps on average 7.5 million gallons of water each day from Lake Michigan.
Teodoro, who joined the La Follette School in 2020, teaches PA 366: U.S. Environmental Politics and Public Policy and PA 874: Policy Making Process. His research focuses on utilities and the water sector, and he has developed novel methods for analyzing utility rate equity and affordability. His interesting and entertaining blog is widely read in the water sector.
You can watch Teodoro and the other tasters at work in this story from WISC-TV.
Written by Will Keenan