Cumberland Times-News


February 27, 2013

Water, water

But whose is the best to drink? It depends.

Reading that Emporia, Kan., was judged recently to have the nation’s best tap water reminded us of a local urban legend our newspaper has never been able to track down.

As long ago as the late 1960s, those who are old-timers here began hearing that Cumberland was judged to have the best municipal water supply in the country.

It may be that someone out there in Newspaperland knows the source of this information. If so, we would welcome them to pass it on; it has eluded us.

Emporia won the prize at the Berkeley Springs (W.Va.) International Water Tasting. The rumor about Cumberland has been around for longer than the 23 years the water-testing has been held.

Berkeley Springs is an appropriate place for such a contest. Long known as a popular resort, it has drawn visitors that included George Washington and soldiers wounded in the Revolutionary War who came in the hope that water from the town’s springs would heal them.

One’s preference for water — or any other beverage or food item — is a matter of ... well, taste.

Pure water has no taste; that is conferred by the type and quantity of minerals it contains. When the combination is right, the product is considered good enough to bottle and sell.

A Cumberlander once reported after a visit to a famous bottled-water producer that he asked the source of the water and was told, “New York City.” (New York City? Shades of the salsa commercial.)

Much of New York’s water comes from springs in the Catskill Mountains, and that’s what makes it so good. As the people who once brewed Old Export Beer in Cumberland liked to say, “Mountain Water Makes the Difference.”

New York’s water has such a following that some of the city’s expatriates who operate bakeries and restaurants in places as far away as California actually have water shipped clear across the country from The Big Apple to use in their bread, pizza crusts and bagels. They say that water from local sources contributes to an inferior product.

There’s one other thing about water that puzzles us: Why do we often pay more for a bottle of water that contains only cost-free natural ingredients than we do for the same size bottle of soft drink, which contains ingredients that cost money to introduce?

Text Only
  • Get involved Get involved

    Cumberland residents who want to make an impact on their community have an opportunity in that the city is seeking applicants for five of its boards.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • If we don’t sell it to them, somebody else will

    The front page article on coal exports by AP writer Dina Cappiello is one of the most asinine and biased “news” articles I’ve read (“Not in my backyard: U.S. sending dirty coal abroad,” July 29 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 30, 2014

  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where is it?

    Once upon a time, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce held its annual conventions at the Bedford Springs resort hotel near Bedford, which is in Pennsylvania.

    July 28, 2014

  • Korean War Korean War

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sloppy lawmaking is to blame

    July 27, 2014

  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo