| Training, skills, dedication on display at ACE24 competitions
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Training, skills, dedication on display at ACE24 competitions

Amid cheering and high-fives, the water community celebrated its top contenders during the past week’s hard-fought competitions at the American Water Works Association’s (AWWA) Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE24) in Anaheim, California.

ACE24 Meter Challenge championshipFormer champions and newcomers representing AWWA sections battled for the 2024 titles and bragging rights in skills competitions and water taste tests, a crowd-pleasing tradition at ACE.

Below is a summary of ACE24 contest results. (Pictured right, Meter Challenge winners and sponsors from left: Sponsor Badger Meter representative, Dennis Laskowski, Leamon Anderson, Tim Sensibaugh (Meter Challenge Committee chair), Edward Navarette, Jacob Harrison, Badger Meter representative.)

Hydrant Hysteria: Two-member teams race to assemble a specified hydrant

  • 1st - Lake Meridian, Pacific Northwest Section, 1:12.66
  • 2nd - Beaufort Jasper Water and Sewer Authority, South Carolina Section, 1:12.82
  • 3rd - Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power, California/Nevada Section, 1:13.87


  • 1st - Elsinore Valley Hydrant Belles, California/Nevada Section, 1:31.25
  • 2nd - Region of Peel Pipe Wenches, Ontario Section, 1:35.19
  • 3rd - Elsinore Valley Sprinkle Squad, California/Nevada Section, 1:39.50

Meter Challenge: Individual contestants race to reassemble working water meters from parts

  • 1st - Dennis Laskowski, Texas Section, 33.97
  • 2nd - Leamon Anderson, Texas Section, 55:19 (includes penalty)
  • 3rd - Jacob Harrison, Virginia Section, 40:41
  • 4th - Edward Navarette, South Carolina Section, 46:16

Pipe Tapping: Three-member teams race to tap a cement-lined, ductile iron pipe

  • 1st - Servicios de Agua y Drenaje de Monterrey Apodaca, Mexico Section, 1:21.65
  • 2nd - Birmingham Water Works Board, Alabama/Mississippi Section, 1:27.68
  • 3rd - Big Blue Tappers, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, Chesapeake Section, 1:30.03
  • 4th - Denver Water, Rocky Mountain Section, 1:42.79 
  • 5th - Beaufort Jasper Water and Sewer Authority, South Carolina Section, 1:49.63


  • 1st - Grit City Grind, Tacoma Water, Pacific Northwest Section, 2:24.72
  • 2nd - Big D Lady Tappers, Dallas Water Utilities, Texas Section, 2:25.97
  • 3rd - Alamo City Tappers, San Antonio Water Systems, Texas Section, 2:28.22

AWWA World Water Cup: International drilling and tapping competition

  • 1st - SADM Apodaca, AWWA, 11:59.4
  • 2nd - Waterbedrijf Groningen, KNW Netherlands, 21.35.2

Top Ops: Teams of operators and lab technicians compete to score the most points answering scientific questions and math problems

  • 1st - Tulsa Terminators (Steve Thomas, Curt Ellis, Lainee Carner), Southwest Section
  • 2nd - Str8 Drippin, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (Robert Nally, Glenn Johnson, Robert Holmberg), Chesapeake Section
  • 3rd - Chloramine Machines (Riley Smith, Mark Edwards, Matt Walker), Skagit, Washington, Public Utilities District, Pacific Northwest Section
  • 4th - Reservoir Dawgs (Aaron Caudillo, Monica Vasquez, Mark Taylor), Sacramento Suburban Water District, California/Nevada Section

ACE24 Best of the Best taste test winners with trophyBest of the Best Tap Water Taste Test – A panel of experts determines which AWWA Section taste test winner is “best of the best”

  • 1st - City of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Atlantic Canada Section (Pictured right, Richard MacEwen, treasurer,  and Michael Pigott, superintendent, Charlottetown Water & Sewer Utility)
  • 2nd - New Jersey American Water, Camden, New Jersey Section
  • 3rd - Northeast Sammamish Sewer & Water District, Washington, Pacific Northwest Section

People’s Choice Tap Water Taste Test – ACE participants at tasting stations vote on their favorite AWWA Section taste test winner

  • 1st - City of Janesville Water Utility, Wisconsin Section
  • 2nd - City of Fargo Water Treatment Plant, North Dakota Section
  • 3rd - Prince William County Service Authority, Woodbridge, Virginia Section