If you’re drinking bottled water in Oak Creek, you may want to switch to the tap because the city has the best-tasting water in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Section American Water Works Association on Sept. 22 awarded that title to Oak Creek at a conference in Madison. The AWWA is a nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water. Oak Creek won both the award for best-tasting surface water and the best-tasting overall Wisconsin water for 2021.
In June 2022, Oak Creek will compete for the title of best-tasting water in America.
“Great water comes from great employees and we certainly have that at Oak Creek,” said Mike Robe, plant manager for the Oak Creek Water Utility.
The Oak Creek Water and Sewer Utility, which provides water to Oak Creek, Franklin and Caledonia, pumps on average 7.5 million gallons of water each day from Lake Michigan.
“This win is also a testament to our great resource, we are so fortunate to have Lake Michigan water,” said Mike Sullivan, the general manager of the Oak Creek Water and Sewer Utility.
Representatives lugged at least two quarts of their city’s water to the Madison conference. A panel of judges blindly drank samples of the room temperature water and took color, odor and taste into consideration. Judges this year included AWWA CEO David La France, 2020 AWWA President Melissa Elliott and UW-Madison professor Manny Teodoro.
Surface waters such as lakes and rivers went head-to-head with ground and well waters. Once all points were tallied, Oak Creek flowed to the top.
The event has been an annual tradition for more than 30 years — though the competition was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The Oak Creek Water and Sewer Utility serves about 60,000 people over an 83 square-mile service area, according to the city website.