The many Virginia City saloons lining the boardwalk with signs extolling the quality of their Bloody Marys might want to mention their water, too. It's the best tasting in the state, according to the Nevada Rural Water Association.
The Storey County Water System, serving the historic communities of Virginia City and Silver City, won first prize in a statewide water tasting competition run by the association. The water utility serves a little more than 500 connections.
Storey's water will now enter a national competition. It beat out 10 other districts to win the state honor.
"They say Nevada has a good chance," said Mike Nevin, Storey County Public Works director.
The award was given by the Nevada Rural Water Association at its annual conference last week in Reno.
The award will be presented to Nevin at an upcoming meeting of the Storey County Commission.
Association Executive Director Bob Foerster said Mike Miller, treatment plant operator for Storey County, brought a small sample of Comstock water to the conference. The plant gets its water from Marlette Lake, through a piping system built in 1883, then filters out particles in a modern facility, and adds chlorine to disinfect.
Like wine, the water was judged on color, odor and clarity as well as taste.
The three judges ranked Virginia City the winner. Comstock water won the same award in 2003. Other recent winners are Great Basin National Park and Stagecoach General Improvement District.
The national Great American Water Taste Test will be May 1 in Washington, D.C., and is run by the National Rural Water Association. In 2006, Beaver, Utah, took first place.
Previous national winners have come from Virginia, Alaska and Kansas.
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 882-2111 ext. 351.