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Posted on: October 8, 2021

Where’s the Best Tasting Water in Virginia? Right Here in Norfolk!

Norfolk Utilities wins statewide competition

NORFOLK, VA – Norfolk has the best-tasting water in Virginia, according to an expert panel who drank samples from across the state this week. Norfolk’s Department of Utilities won the top prize in the “Best of Virginia Tap Water Taste Test” held at the 2021 American Water Works Association Distribution System Rodeo in Virginia Beach.

Water samples were judged in four categories – clarity, odor, flavor and after-taste. As winner of the statewide competition, Norfolk Utilities is now eligible to represent Virginia in the national American Water Works Association ACE Conference in June 2022.

Bob Carteris, acting director of the Department of Utilities, said the award is a testament to the hard work of hundreds of team members who make sure nearly one million people in southeastern Virginia have safe, great-tasting drinking water.

“We improve the quality of life for residents by providing excellent water and wastewater services at the best possible value,” Carteris said. “We’re proud and honored by this latest achievement.” 

It was truly a team effort, said Chris Harbin, water production manager. “Members of our Water Quality, Water Distribution and Water Production divisions all have an important role to play,” he said.

The contest samples were drawn from Norfolk’s water distribution lines, proving that residents have Virginia’s best-tasting tap water, said Sid Lowe, assistant superintendent of water distribution. “This water left the treatment plant and went into the distribution system before we pulled samples for the competition,” Lowe said.

Norfolk Department of Utilities provides water to approximately 1 million people in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and at area U.S. Naval facilities. Within Norfolk, Utilities has approximately 65,000 water service accounts, providing water service and wastewater conveyance for Norfolk’s residents and businesses. The department produces high-quality drinking water that achieves state and federal water quality requirements. Visit for more information.

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