North American water utilities have pitted their product against each other at the American Water Works Association's annual convention since 2005, but the Greeley, Colo., Water and Sewer Department didn't enter the "Best of the Best" Taste Test until this year.

Imagine how proud Operations Manager Bob Neal, Chief Engineer Adam Prior, and Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Randy Mitchell felt when their water utility's beat 33 regional winners from across the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico and earned the People's Choice award with 1,000 votes from AWWA annual convention attendees. It was the first time a municipality won both competitions in the same year.

The source of the city's water is the Poudre River; fed by snow melt, it's referred to as Greeley Gold. The city's two conventional treatment plants serve 103,000 residents.

  • Second Place: Montpelier Municipal Utilities, Montpelier, Ohio.
  • Third Place: City of Bloomington, Minn.