Cedar Rapids wins award for best-tasting water - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids wins award for best-tasting water

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL)-- After the devastating floods of 2008, many people living in Cedar Rapids wondered how their drinking water supply would be affected. But as it turns out, the city won an award from the Iowa Chapter of the American Water Works Association for having the best-tasting drinking water in the state.

It was judged in a blind taste test alongside water from several other cities, including Waterloo, Ames and Des Moines. Water was rated on appearance, odor, taste, after-taste, and overall texture.

The award came as no surprise to Tariq Baloch, who manages the city's water treatment plant. Even after a major disaster threatened to ruin its drinking water, he said the dozens of workers at the plant kept water flowing to customers' homes.

"Without the efforts of our employees here at the water division in its entirety, we would not have been able to perform that function," Baloch said.

Water comes up through natural wells along the Cedar River, then goes through a process of filtration and disinfection at the plant.

"We allow certain gases to be released, and certain chemicals within the water to settle out," Baloch explained. pH (acidity) levels are constantly monitored by waterworks employees, as they flush water from one process to the next.

But as much work as they put into all of this, Baloch told us that mother nature deserves just as much credit.

"Riverbank filtration, the ability for the water to seep through the ground," Baloch said.

Having water that's already naturally clean and palatable means Cedar Rapids has an advantage in this yearly which Baloch hopes to win again.

"We are confident that we'll be, if not a winner, at least very competitive in this contest," Baloch said confidently.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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