NewsWest 9 Special Report: Water Taste Test

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

WEST TEXAS - Lets face it, West Texas isn't known for having good tasting tap water, and many residents would agree.

"I don't like the taste, I just drink bottled water and RO system. I've been doing it for years, I just don't trust the water," Lt. Brian Bogart, with the Midland Police Department, said. 

So we decided to take matters into own hands, and put together a taste test to see which county has better tasting water. NewsWest 9 took samples from Big Spring, Midland, Odessa, Fort Stockton and Stanton. 

It was a bit challenging to find people to agree on becoming part of the 'tasting panel.'
The panel consisted of three well known officials, Martin County Sheriff John Woodard, followed by Midland Police Department's Lt. Brian Bogart and finally, Permian High's assistant Principal Buddy Hale. 

We lined up each cup with different county water and let their taste buds do the rest. Now keep in mind they had no idea which county's water was in each cup; first of was Odessa.

Woodward said: "clear spring water, taste like straight from the lake."
Hale said: "This ones clear not bad."
Bogart said: "This one is pretty good pretty clear didn't give me any bad feelings."

Moving on to Stanton's water.

Woodward said: "Definitely is has a bite to it, it's got a dirt taste to it, still good for human consumption."
Hale said: "This ones murky looks like horse water, and it's kind of got a bite to it."
Bogart said: "This has a bit of a mineral after taste and a bit musty."

Fort Stockton was up next.

Woodward said: "Didn't have too much of a taste, pretty good pretty clear."
Hale said: "This one is good and clear, a bit of an after taste but good."
Bogart said: "Very good goes straight to every vessel in your body."

Then it was time to test Big Spring's water.

Woodward: "This one is murky looks like mosquitoes in the water, and it tastes pretty rough kind of like the ocean water."
Bogart said: "This one has a tinge to it, are you sure you didn't get it from mud water? It tastes like it has mineral; it has strong after taste."
Hale: "Wow! Not good! Human consumption, livestock only! I'd hate to make municipal people mad but it needs some help. It needs some chemicals in it like chlorine. I'm not going to sample that again. I need to wait after that one, you got a candy bar or something?"

After a moment of recovering, it was time to move on to the last test; Midland's water.

Woodward said: "It's not bad, it has a hint of mineral, but overall not bad."
Bogart said: "A little bit of a mineral after taste, but not bad."
Hale said: "Good for gargling, better that the last one, I wouldn't give the last one to my grandchildren my worst enemy, but this ones good a bit of a mineral taste but good."

After tasting all five county waters, it was shocking for some to learn Odessa had the best tasting tap.

"Odessa? Really? that's a pleasant surprise. We're the last one on the list to get water so you'd think we'd have the worst, but that's good to know we have good quality water," Bogart said.

When it came to revealing the worst tasting water, they were almost speechless.

"Bless their hearts, just put coffee or tea in it. No, but really they shouldn't feel bad, my town wasn't that far behind," Woodward said.