Miss America of H2O: Collier tap water crowned Florida's tastiest

Greg Kahn/Staff
Collier County's tap water was voted Florida's tastiest.

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Greg Kahn/Staff Collier County's tap water was voted Florida's tastiest.

In a state almost completely surrounded by water, a gallon-sized sample of Collier County's tap water was crowned this week the best tasting in Florida.

At the Florida Water Resources Conference in Orlando, judges advanced Collier's water to the second round of competition, including it with three other finalists from 12 regions. In the second round, three judges unanimously agreed that Collier County water was the most delicious in Florida.

"It's a pretty rigorous thing to get there," said Paul Mattaush, Collier County water department director. "We're the Miss America of waters, I guess."

To qualify for the competition, all participating water utilities from the 12 regions submitted a gallon of water taken from their distribution systems no more than 24 hours before judging. All water was kept room temperature to help judges more easily pick up on distinctive odors and tastes.

In Collier, the water is a half-and-half mix of fresh water and water produced with reverse osmosis, Mattaush said.

"It does make a very high-quality product," he said.

At Sea Salt restaurant on Third Street South in Naples, diners sometimes ask if they can taste the tap water before they upgrade to bottled water, manager Liset Celya said.

"We always offer our guests bottled water, but some of them have commented that the tap water tastes better," she said.

Daniel Lockie, a cook and server at Fred's Food, Fun & Spirits on Immokalee Road, said he prefers the taste of local tap water to those of other places he has lived.

"It tastes a lot different than in California and Maryland. Better," he said. "It's all about the ecosystem and the minerals."

Collier County's water sample will next advance to a national competition in Dallas as part of an annual conference hosted by the American Water Works Association in June.

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Comments » 27

blueblueblue writes:

Yeah, if you can get past the yellow tint...

BigOrangeKitty writes:

Too bad there's still fluoride in it.

mr_1_term_proposition writes:

in response to blueblueblue:

Yeah, if you can get past the yellow tint...

I thought it was green but there is definitely some funk there.

Captian_Cataracts writes:

Remember before being too judgemental this was within Florida not nationwide.

ALL Florida water has strange odors & tastes funny. The ice cubes are where you really notice it.

And I didn't think water was supposed to have a flavor; since it does make my bourban please.

410 writes:

It all tastes like crappy beach water. Being the best tasting water in Florida is like being crowned the King of the North Pole. Meaningless.

CarpeVeritas writes:

A Florida tasty tap water contest? Our tap water is "the Miss America of waters?"

OMG

Here4Now writes:

in response to blueblueblue:

Yeah, if you can get past the yellow tint...

Yeah, what the heck is up with that?? Sometimes it's really yellow. You notice it when boiling a pot of water for pasta - God help you if you're filling the bathtub!

I've installed RO water filtration systems for our drinking water and ice cubes - that's the only way to be safe.

namsod writes:

never trust a government contest... if ever there was a tainted contest...

How in the world can our chlorine flavored, yellow tinted water be the best? If they wanted the real winner, any cup of pool water will do. If you check the water in northern Florida near the springs - yeah - good water. Our Chlorine flavored stuff just cannot be the best.

naplesregular1 writes:

Really hard for me to understand what everyone else is talking about. We're live in North Naples area and our water tastes and looks great.

John_Galt writes:

Take out the fluoride! It's called Brush and Floss your teeth! No poison required.

Golden234Girl writes:

the water is so bad i become ill when i drink it. i called the water company about it's bad effect on me and they told me i was the only person who had ever complained. let them hear from you and perhaps something will be done. in the meantime i continue to buy our drinking water.

lemonjello writes:

All of you should move. Naples is the WORST place to live in the history of mankind. Great Weather, Great Food, Beaches...Yea this place really is awful.

Did we bring every Moron from the NE to Naples. Get a grip. Neu Yak/Neu Joesee water is so much betta....Then go back.

Pacia writes:

in response to columbia:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hah, Hah

BackwoodsBill writes:

I prefer county water to bottled water. I use the tap instead of the water from our water cooler service at work.

But I end up changing the water service bottles most of the time. Users of this water service all mysteriously disappear when it's time to swap out the bottles in the cooler.

Maybe it's something in their water.

dmarko326 writes:

Government propaganda to make you feel good about paying through the nose for water here.

Throat_Yogurt writes:

extra fluoride means extra taste!

joeblow writes:

Poop water...Naples blows.

tampacoco writes:

No Thanks ! I will keep buying bottled water LOL

teazle writes:

in response to naplesregular1:

Really hard for me to understand what everyone else is talking about. We're live in North Naples area and our water tastes and looks great.

Me too. Our water is fine. There must be a difference in water from Naples proper and unincorporated Naples.

babbas writes:

I implemented a filter system in 2004. The water tastes perfect and the filter system costs less than drinking bottled water.

nplsrez writes:

Seriously everyone. GET A LIFE. Where do you live that you have yellow water? Tastes like pee, really ? do you drink pee?

drolds writes:

in response to nplsrez:

Seriously everyone. GET A LIFE. Where do you live that you have yellow water? Tastes like pee, really ? do you drink pee?

I don't believe many people around here drink pee. But I do believe the British, still to this day, use it as a tooth whitener.

beetlejuice writes:

Naples water makes you cower
bleachy blah

tampacoco writes:

in response to coIumbia:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I will take my chances LOL

Taxpayer_vs_Govt writes:

Although not practicing in the field presently, I still hold my Class A Florida Drinking Water License. Valid, as I keep up with continuing education regulations.

The point. Most of you are ignorant. Or take a tour of one of Collier Counties Facilities.

If you don't hold a license, and haven't done the water chemistry, shut up. It makes intelligent operators mad. I blasted near would drink the reclamation water, because its standards are so strict nowadays.

The R.O. unit might be fine for Golden Gate unincorporated areas. But anyone suggesting that you need something in our Collier Municipal area is selling you a load a crap. And giving the utility a bad name.

Steve B.

Golden234Girl writes:

in response to taxpayer_v_goverment. I do not need a license to know when something makes me ill. a plumber told me his calls increased three fold when collier co utilities added ammonia to the drinking water. since i can drink water every where else i suspect the ammonia.

ParadiseSold writes:

Taxpayer v govt's been drinkin some kind of KoolAid...The water does taste bad, but if you cool it in the refrigerator, the taste improves. If this is the Miss America of water, the rest of FL must have some nasty H20...

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