CLIFTON PARK: Good to the last drop

Halfmoon Director of Water Frank Tironi just earned some bragging rights.

Halfmoon beat out Clifton Park, Wilton, Saratoga Springs and Waterford in an informal water tasting contest on Wednesday, July 11, outside the Village Square Plaza in Clifton Park.

The town's water, along with runner-up Waterford, will move on to the next round of the statewide competition in Albany on Aug. 9. If either community advances past Albany, it will compete in the finals at the state fair on Aug. 28 in Syracuse.

The water-tasting contest has been held for the last 21 years, and is sponsored locally by the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County.

About 45 shoppers participated in the blind taste test. Testers filled out a ballot choosing their two favorites after tasting the five samples marked A through E.

Halfmoon Supervisor Mindy Wormuth was on hand to help with the event.

We think it's a fun little competition, and certainly we want people to be familiar with the quality of our water, Wormuth said. "It's an unscientific way of doing it, but it's nice to be here and see people from my community and Clifton Park."

Clifton Park resident Manoj Ajmera founded the event when he worked as an environmental engineer for the state Department of Health.

Now retired after 36 years with the DOH, Ajmera still attends the local Saratoga round of the competition as well as all of the regional rounds and the final at the state fair.

"Our purpose is to make people aware of their drinking water and try to appreciate that," Ajmera said. "A lot more goes on behind the scenes than what they get when they turn the faucet."

Ajmera wouldn't say which community finished last in the straw poll, but said that all of the communities received some votes.

"New York state is blessed with good quality water compared to many other states," Ajmera said. "Each and every water supply is regularly monitored, so they have to meet the standards."

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