Sarasota County Government wins Best Tasting Water award from Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority

Outgoing director of Public Utilities Department makes announcement during ceremony at water treatment facility near Venice

Mike Mylett, then the director of the Sarasota County Public Utilities Department (right), announces the honor as County Commission Chair Ron Cutsinger looks on. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Government

This year, the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority has honored Sarasota County Government for having the Best Tasting Water.

The announcement was made on Nov. 6, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the completion of a rehabilitation project at the county’s T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Water Treatment Facility outside Venice.

Mike Mylett, then director of the county’s Public Utilities Department, presented the award to County Commission Chair Ron Cutsinger.

The county is one of four that are partners in the Peace River Authority, which supplies the largest percentage of Sarasota County’s drinking water. In 2022, the figure was 62%, the county’s Consumer Confidence Report for that year noted.

The other counties associated with the Peace River Authority are Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto.

As part of the Nov. 6 ceremony, Mylett pointed out that the county’s priority is to provide “clean, reliable [and] good-tasting water” to its customers.

During a November 2020 presentation to the County Commission, Mylett noted, “We’ve won [the award for] best-tasting water in this region four out of the last six years.” The county did not enter the competition in 2020, he explained, because the Carlton facility was off-line while the rehabilitation work was underway.

The county’s University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension service points out on its website, “Sarasota County’s drinking water meets and exceeds all Safe Drinking Water Act standards. So, skip the plastic bottle and drink local!”

During the Nov. 14 County Commission meeting — the last time Mylett appeared before the board for formal presentations prior to his retirement — Commissioner Neil Rainford commented on the drinking water award.

Addressing Mylett, Rainford said, “The water that you produced last week was phenomenal. I think we should bottle it and sell it as ‘Sarasota County Water,’ ” Rainford added with a laugh.

During Mylett’s final presentation to the board on Nov. 14, he provided data showing that the county, as of then, had 101,900 water accounts, 30 wells, 1,430 miles of pipe, 7,740 hydrants and seven pump stations in its water system.

He also reported that the county’s water consumption per person was 80 gallons per day in 2021 and 82 in 2022.