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Water on tap for national taste test

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The U.S. Conference of Mayors will put Toledo's drinking water in competition with that of four other cities in a taste-off.

Jetta Fraser/The Toledo Blade / The Blade/Jetta Fraser
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Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is hoping that a national competition taking place this weekend in California will propel the city into yet another "best of" category - drinking water.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors will put the drinking water of five finalist cities through a taste-off over the next three days.

Mr. Finkbeiner yesterday boasted of the crystal-clear concoction that Toledo likes to call "The Champagne of the Great Lakes."

He credited the city's water treatment technicians who test the drinking water 50,000 times a year at various locations in the system.

Toledo's water was one of 93 entries in the U.S. Conference of Mayors 2007 City Water Taste Test Competition.

A celebrity panel narrowed the field to 15 semifinalists and then again to five finalists June 6, according to the organization.

The water was judged based on taste, aroma, and clarity, with each sample identified by a number rather than the name of the city that produced it.

A winner will be selected by the votes of several hundred mayors who will be at the 75th annual meeting of the mayors' association this weekend through Tuesday, according to the organization, which is meeting in Los Angeles.

Mr. Finkbeiner won't be among them.

The other finalists are Anaheim, Calif.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Long Beach, Calif., and St. Louis. The winning city will receive a cash award of $15,000, the organization said.

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