MUB awarded first place in statewide water taste test competition
Morgantown Utility Board received First Place in the West Virginia Rural Water Association’s Annual Water Taste Test Competition. The competition, held Monday, September 10th in Charleston, included water systems from across West Virginia. During the competition, a select panel of three judges rated each anonymous contest entry on appearance, odor, flavor, mouth feel, aftertaste, and overall impression.
“This award is a direct reflection on the professionalism of our water treatment plant staff,” said MUB General Manager Tim Ball. “The Morgantown area is extremely fortunate to have such a skilled staff on duty, working to provide world-class water twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year.”
This isn’t the first time the water treatment plant staff have been recognized. In 2016, MUB water was rated number one in a taste test hosted by a different organization and in 2017 was recognized with the nationally prestigious Area-Wide Optimization Program Award presented by the WV Bureau of Public Health. During 2017 MUB water was also named an ‘elite’ system by the Associated Press with articles appearing in numerous national and international media.
According to Ball, this recognition doesn’t come by chance. Rather, it’s the result of both hard work and strategic investments in the water treatment process.
“Several years ago we made three investments toward ensuring our area had world-class water. The first involved upgrading our water treatment plant. This upgrade substantially increased the plant’s efficiency and capacity, updated our software, hardware and water monitoring technology, and included the installation of a cutting-edge membrane filtration system,” Ball said.
“We also engaged in a very detailed source water protection plan that far exceeds Department of Health and Human Resources requirements. This plan is an important component of ensuring our raw water supplies are safe and clean,” he said.
While these certainly provide substantial benefits, Ball adds that it’s the third area of investment that provides the greatest benefits.
“We’ve made a concerted effort to invest in continuous learning and to actively encourage staff to further their professional careers. In particular, we focus on operator licensing by ensuring that staff are afforded the opportunity of seeking the highest level of licensing possible. Of course, each level of attainment is rewarded in commensurate compensation,” he said.
Ball adds that the program has proven a success.
“The result has been a highly motivated and professional staff. Any water system in the country would be thrilled to have the level of expertise and dedication that MUB retains. If I had one word to describe our staff it would be the word remarkable,” said Ball.
Ball says that such recognition not only reflects well on MUB but on the Morgantown community overall.
“This award demonstrates the emphasis that Morgantown leadership and residents place in having clean, safe water,” said Ball. “Because we are willing to invest in our system we are able to produce world-class drinking water. This award is testament that Morgantown area residents have high expectations for their drinking water and that we meet those expectations.”