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Fargo’s Drinking Water Earns National Award for People’s Choice

Fargo places second in contest at American Water Works Association conference


The American Water Works Association’s Annual Conference & Exposition (ACE24) is renowned for its competition to determine the nation’s best-tasting drinking water. The ACE24 draws over 10,000 water professionals from both the United States and around the globe. This year, The City of Fargo’s Regional Water Treatment Plant, along with 31 other state’s contest winners, participated in this prestigious event in Anaheim, California. In the national “People’s Choice” competition, conference attendees sample and rank the water in a blind taste test. Fargo's water earned second place in the competition, marking The City’s first national best-taste award.

Water Utility Director Troy Hall credited the win to a collaborative effort among several departments at The City of Fargo, including Public Works, Engineering, Finance and Administration. “Our dedicated and diligent water treatment employees, alongside City staff members from various departments, have made this national recognition possible. Their hard work behind the scenes ensures our region enjoys some of the country’s best-tasting drinking water,” Hall said. He also acknowledged the support from elected City leaders for ongoing improvements to the water system. Hall played a key role in overseeing the construction of Fargo’s enhanced Water Treatment Plant, which became fully operational in 2019.

This national recognition adds to a series of recent accolades for Fargo’s Water Treatment Plant, which won awards for the best tasting drinking water in North Dakota in 2022 and 2023. Earlier this year, the plant was also named “Membrane Facility of the Year” at the Membrane Technology Conference, an award that honors outstanding water/wastewater facilities using membrane technology with high efficiency and environmental friendliness. Membrane technology uses pressure or a vacuum to filter out particles or dissolved materials from drinking water.

Fargo’s Water Treatment Plant sources its water from the Red and Sheyenne rivers, treating it to meet stringent drinking water standards. In 2019, leadership at The City of Fargo continued their commitment to investing in public infrastructure with the opening of a new Membrane Water Treatment Plant (MWTP) – including reverse osmosis and granular activated carbon treatment processes. This new system is used every day in parallel with the older 1997 Lime Softening Water Treatment Plant (LSWTP). The plant employs advanced technologies, including ultrafiltration membranes, reverse osmosis membranes, continuous water quality monitoring instrumentation and designed efficiencies for chemical usage and treatment costs. Together, the MWTP and LSWTP produce an average of 15 million gallons of drinking water per day, with summer peaks exceeding 30 million gallons per day. This high-quality drinking water serves residents in Fargo, West Fargo and parts of the Cass Rural Water District. All customers receive water from the same sources, treated through the same processes.

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) is an international, nonprofit, scientific and educational society dedicated to providing total water solutions assuring the effective management of water. Founded in 1881, the AWWA is the largest organization of water supply professionals in the world.