MARION, Ill. — A panel of judges has determined the best tasting water in the country comes from Southern Illinois.

The 23rd Annual Great American Water Taste Test was hosted by the National Rural Water Association (NRWA) on March 30, 2022 in Washington, D.C. where a panel of three industry leaders evaluated the top five finalists. At the end of their judging, it was Illinois’ Lake Egypt Water District in Marion which stood above the rest.

Judges evaluated each sample of water on a scale of 1 to 10 in three separate categories: clarity, bouquet, and taste. It was a blind judging, meaning they did not know which of the five finalists they were tasting.

Second place went to the Town of Ten Sleep in Wyoming, while third went to the Village of Bloomington Water Department in Wisconsin.

To get to the final round of competition submissions had to first win at a state-level taste test, then survive a preliminary round in D.C. This was the first time in the competition’s history a winning water came from Illinois.

The judges for this year’s finals were: Charles Stephens, Assistant Administrator, Water and Environmental Programs, USDA Rural Development; Mikayla Bodey, Professional Staff Member, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; and Anna Lanier Fischer, Professional Staff Member, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies.

Those interested in watching the entire taste testing process can view the NWRA’s livestream on their Facebook page.