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Ocala
Friday, June 14, 2024

Ocala’s drinking water earns ‘best tasting’ award at regional competition

During a competition that was held last week, the City of Ocala was recognized for having the best tasting drinking water in the region.

Presented by the Florida Section American Water Works Association, the 2024 Region XI North Central Florida Best Tasting Drinking Water Competition was held in Ocala on Thursday, May 16.

Ocala Best Tasting Drinking Water Contest 2024 winner
From left to right: Austin Johnson, Operator II; Robyn Preston, Water Resources Operations Manger; Joseph Davoll, Apprentice Operator; Andrea Ditto, Florida Section American Water Works Association Region XI Chair; Jaimie Wilson, Basic Trainee Operator I; and Christopher Murphy, Basic Trainee Operator I. (Photo: City of Ocala).

During the competition, five judges completed a blind taste test of six water samples from municipalities within the region before awarding the City of Ocala with the best-tasting drinking water.

Ocala Best Tasting Drinking Water Contest 2024 winner 3
From left to right, the judges of this year’s Region XI North Central Florida Best Tasting Drinking Water Competition were Dean Blinkhorn, Councilmember Ire Bethea, Olivia Ortiz, Amanda Lola Rivera, and Jamie Gilmore, Jr. (Photo: City of Ocala)

Each of the water samples was judged on its taste, color, odor, and clarity.

Ocala Best Tasting Drinking Water Contest 2024 winner 2
Two of the judges, Dean Blinkhorn (left) and Councilmember Ire Bethea (right), inspecting the water samples. (Photo: City of Ocala)

The City of Ocala will now move onto the “Best of the Best” Tap Water Taste Contest, which will feature the regional winners from across the state. The event will be held in early December at the Florida Section American Water Works Association Fall Conference in Orlando.

To learn more about the City of Ocala water treatment process, or to schedule a free group tour of the Water Treatment Plant, contact the Water Resources Department via phone (352-351-6772) or email (wrcoordinator@ocalafl.org).