When it comes to water, Brainerd is the best.
While normally a designation given to area lakes, this time it refers to Brainerd's drinking water, which was recently voted No. 1 in the state at the Minnesota Rural Water Association's annual Water and Wastewater Technical Conference.
"I think we're fortunate that we have such an excellent resource," said Darwin Cole, Brainerd Public Utilities water supervisor. "It's amazing. We have a lot of people just traveling through town to fill up with some of our water. That's pretty neat."
Brainerd bested 39 other cities to claim the award at the association's March 4 conference in St. Cloud. Two years ago Brainerd's water was voted second best in the state. Isle drinking water was voted best in the state at the conference last year.
Darwin Cole, Brainerd Public Utilities water supervisor, on Tuesday held up a glass of Brainerd tap water outside the public utilities offices on Highland Scenic Road. Brainerd drinking water was recently voted best in the state by the Minnesota Rural Water Association. Brainerd Dispatch/ Matt Erickson» Purchase reprints of this photo.
"That was really good," said Tom Phelps, Brainerd Public Utilities superintendent, about Brainerd's first-place finish this year. "It's always good to get positive news here."
The drinking water, taken straight from the tap, was judged by a three-member independent panel on clarity, what it smells like and what it tastes like, said Ruth Hubbard, Minnesota Rural Water Association administrator.
Now Brainerd's drinking water will compete at a national taste test April 22 in Washington, D.C., part of the Quality on Tap! Campaign to emphasize the high quality, standards and, consequently, taste of water.
"Because of the quality of this water, Minnesota has a good chance at the national taste test," Hubbard said. "It means they're doing a good job up there (in Brainerd)."
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.