Their air might bring pollution complaints, but residents of Los Angeles drink the nation's tastiest tap water, according to the judges of an international competition.
More than 120 water sources competed in the 18th annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, held Saturday.
A panel of 10 journalists and food critics sampled sparkling, tap and bottled water from 19 states and other countries, including New Zealand, Romania, Macedonia and the Philippines.
The title of best municipal water was shared by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which serves Los Angeles, and the town of Clearbrook, British Columbia.
Los Angeles won a gold medal in 1998 and has been in the top five in four other competitions since then, according to the competition organizers.
"It means they give special care and attention to their water and how it is processed," said event producer Jill Klein Rone.
The bottled-water trophy went to Tumai Water of Martinsburg, W.Va., which donates profits to AIDS relief and water needs in Africa. Best sparkling-water honors went to Slavus Mineralwasser Medium of Emsdetten, Germany.
Berkeley Springs, in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, is known for its own spring water. George Washington was among visitors in the Colonial era.