That water, once pumped out of the ground, moves through one of the plant’s four aerators to dissolve any gases, like carbon dioxide and oxidize, and any existing metals. Then the water flows into a massive basin where lime is added to the raw water to decontaminate it and is further treated to soften the water. Through further filtering and decontamination, the water is constantly monitored, with one of the plant’s 10 operators taking samples every two hours from every step of the process to ensure the right level of hardness, its cleanliness, and ultimately its trademark taste.
The plant also produces about 55 cases of bottled water a day to sell to local businesses like Fort Hamilton Hospital or to use at promotional events or to donate to charitable events and disaster sites around the world. But as only one retired volunteer works the entire bottling line, filling bottles, capping the tops, creating the labels and stacking the bottles in cases, there’s no room currently for expansion, Bui said.
Soon, Hamilton’s water may even become a household name out of state, as the writers of “Saturday Night Live” found the win significant enough to use during the show’s “Weekend Update” routine on Feb. 28.
Hamilton’s tap water was named the “Best Tasting Tap Water in the World” at the 25th Annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting on Saturday in Berkeley Springs, W. Va. Hamilton’s water was judged against former gold medalists, including Clearbrook, British Columbia (three-time champion, including 2014); Emporia, Kansas (2013) and Greenwood, British Columbia (2012), according to a press release.
It’s even more significant that this is the second time in five years Hamilton’s water has been judged the best, having won first place in 2010. It also took home the 2009 Silver Medal as the Second Best Tasting Tap Water in the World and the Best Tasting Tap Water in the U.S, as well as the 2012 and 2014 “Best of the Best” award for Ohio’s best tasting tap water by the Ohio Section of the American Water Works Association.
“We are very fortunate to have the source that we have in this area, and a lot of time we take water for granted, where you wake up in the morning, you turn on the water and you expect it to be there,” Bui said.
And is there any worry of this great-tasting water running out? Not right now, Bui said.
“We monitor the groundwater levels, and collect samples throughout the aquifer area and we see fluctuations, but it’s all averaged out,” he said.