SCHENECTADY COUNTY A battle of taste buds on a searing summer day ended with the Town of Niskayuna reclaiming the right to call its tap water supreme.
The annual Best Tasting Drinking Water in Schenectady County contest on Thursday, June 28, had the public tasting five samples of tap water from different municipalities, including the City of Schenectady, the towns of Glenville, Niskayuna and Rotterdam, and the Village of Scotia. Niskayuna captured first place, with 42 points, squeezing past Schenectady, with 39 points.
The competition was held outside Schenectady City Hall amongst the Farmers Market stretching from the corner of Jay and Franklin Streets. Taste testers were presented with samples from each municipality labeled with a letter so as to disguise the source.
After tasting the samples, tasters were told to select their first and second place choices, with first granting two points and second one point. County officials said about 75 people cast ballots.
“We are very proud and honored to have once again been selected as the Best Tasting Drinking Water in Schenectady County,” said Niskayuna Town Supervisor Joe Landry in a statement. “This is a reflection of the hard work put in by our Water Department employees, especially those at our water plant.”
Two years ago, Niskayuna surprised some by capturing the title. The content was historically fought between former state title winners Schenectady and Rotterdam. Last year, Schenectady reclaimed the local title.
Niskayuna’s water will travel to the regional competition held in Albany, and the regional winner will head to the state finals at the New York State Fair in Syracuse.
Water temperature can play a bigger role than taste in a person’s decision, especially on a hot afternoon, but Schenectady County Groundwater Management Planner Jason Pelton said efforts to quell an unfair advantage are taken.
“They always come now with ice-packed coolers,” Pelton said.