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St. Lawrence County to hold water taste-off event

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POTSDAM — The search for the best tasting water in St. Lawrence County and New York state will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of Walmart Supercenter, 7494 Route 11.

The state Department of Health sponsors an informal taste testing for counties across the state to determine the location of the best tasting water.

The county Public Health Department and Water Quality Coordinating Committee also are sponsoring the local taste-off.

Public Health Sanitarian Myrna J. Barney said municipalities from across the county will bring samples from their water supplies to be taste-tested by the public. Without knowing which cup of water belongs to which area, participants will cast votes.

Ms. Barney said it’s not a scientific experiment and the judging is “purely subjective.” She said it is being done mainly for educational purposes.

“There’s a lot of work involved in keeping the water supply safe and protecting the quality,” she said. “Most people take it for granted and turn on the tap without thinking about what goes on behind the scenes to make sure the water’s safe.”

The winner in the county will go on to a regional event, and the final competition will be held at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, where the best tasting water in the state will be announced.

Last year, the St. Lawrence County taste-off was held in July, but since May is Water Awareness Month, organizers changed the date, Ms. Barney said.

Canton won the St. Lawrence County taste-off last year against Ogdensburg, as they were they only two municipalities to participate.

“We’d like to see more participants compete this year,” Ms. Barney said. “The more, the better, but a lot of it depends on the manpower the municipalities have to send a sample over that day.”

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