Water Safety Awareness Focus During Annual Festival


BERKELEY SPRINGS, W. Va. - Berkeley Springs is home to the largest and longest running water festival in the world. But this year, the festival is getting some national attention after the chemical spill in Charleston earlier this year. 

It's a weekend dedicated to water: how it looks, where it comes from and yes even how it tastes.

"I think we kind of take it for granted 'til either there's something wrong, tastes wrong, smells wrong, you get a warning from the water department or in the case of Charleston you get a serious contamination issue. We take water for granted, but here we don't take water for granted it. We realize how important it is, it's second to air the most important thing to life," said Arthur Von Wisenberger, Watermaster.

This year, water safety awareness is a major focus, especially after the recent chemical spill in Charleston.

"I think a lot of people at first blush will say gee water in West Virginia where's this big crisis but that's the best reason to have this festival in West Virginia because it brings the focus about how important water is and how important clean water is," said Wiesenberger.

And officials say this festival is the best places to talk about how to learn from what happened in Charleston.

"And trying to deal with how to do we move forward from that, how do we take steps to avoid that kind of problem in the future and how do we react to those kinds of problems, in order to insure the population is safe," said Wiesenberger.

But to keep our water safe, some experts say it brings with more education and public awareness.

"And I hope that we're able to get out to the public more education about water and what we all can do to protect, converse, reserve water because it's our responsibility as individuals to manage water properly. And to also recognize there's a cost involved in serving good quality drinking water," said Dian Taylor, President and CEO of Artesian Resources Corporation.

During the seminars, many experts say water will continue to be a crucial global issue in the future.

The 24th annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Festival runs until this Sunday.

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