Water Taste Test

Show off your water quality and compete against other councils in the 2024 TracWater Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test at the qldwater Annual Forum Awards Dinner on 22 August. Submit your entry form now for a chance to win bragging rights and potentially national and international glory!

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Fraser Coast Regional Council won the competition in 2023 when water from Fraser Coast's Burgowan Water Treatment Plant was selected top drop in a blind taste off of 18 samples from across Queensland.

qldwater started the Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test to promote the good work done by Water Service Providers in producing a great quality product to their communities 24/7. By no means a technical test, it’s what makes local communities proud, typically measured by what makes a good cup of tea.

Previous champions Mackay Regional Council won the Queensland title in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022, the Water of Origin in 2022 and 2023, the National Ixom Best Tasting Tap Water competition in 2019 and 2020 and silver at the 2020 International Water Tasting Competition in Berkeley Springs, USA. What an incredible achievement!

In 2021 Australia finally won the grand prize at the US event with Tasmania taking the international title. Aussie water has now won second place three times, with Wannon Water and their tap water from Hamilton Water Treatment Plant in Victoria finishing second in 2019 and Marysville Water from Victoria placing second in 2016. Toowoomba Regional Council made it to Berkeley Springs in 2018, first taking out the 2016 Queensland title, then the 2017 Water of Origin against NSW before finally claiming the Ixom Best Tap Water in Australia competition in 2017 and representing Australia at the world event. 

The 2017 and 2020 QLD champions, Livingstone Shire Council, immortalised their winning water in a very tasty limited-edition craft beer – Livingstone Lager with a tropical twist of Pineapple.

The water industry continues to experience numerous challenges from natural disasters to changes in water regulation that impact the way water service providers including councils supply and manage water and wastewater within their communities. While the taste test is about how good tap water tastes, it is also meant to help inform the community about how much effort goes into providing clean drinking water; with far greater controls and lower cost than other retail sources like bottled water.

With 75 drinking water service providers around the state - mostly owned and run by local government organisations - and over 300 schemes (or community water supplies), the quest to find the top drop of tap water in Queensland keeps evolving as we trial different formats to decide the winner each year.

In the past we narrowed down the entries through six regional semi-finals, but since 2016 we hosted one statewide event only with attendees at our Annual Forum deciding which service provider produces Queensland's top drop.

We've also had some fun trying a range of different trophies - starting with Lego water treatment plants (unfortunately discontinued by Lego) and having a crack at reusing some old pipes from one of our member organisations out west. Last year we returned to the much loved glass trophies produced by Brisbane artist Gayle Shaw.


In 2019 we also produced a couple of short videos to stir up excitement about the competition.

Seven Steps to Water Tasting Glory

If your goal is to get your boss to send you on an all-expenses paid gig to the US, then follow our seven steps to water tasting glory.

The Quest to find Queensland’s Best

It’s the wide variety of sources that makes QLD water one of the greatest drinks in the universe, and we’re set to find the best of the best…

Previous Winners

Read more about previous winners by clicking on the heading for each year.

Taste Test 2023

Winner: Fraser Coast Regional Council's Burgowan Water Treatment Plant

Taste Test 2022

Winner: Mackay Regional Council's Nebo Road Water Treatment Plant

Taste Test 2021

Winner: Mackay Regional Council's Marian Water Treatment Plant

Taste Test 2020

Winner: Livingstone Shire Council’s Capricorn Coast Scheme

Taste Test 2019

Winner: Mackay Regional Council's Marian Water Treatment Plant

Taste Test 2018

Winner: Mackay Regional Council’s Nebo Road Water Treatment Plant

Taste Test 2017

Winner: Livingstone Shire Council’s Capricorn Coast Scheme 

Taste Test 2016

Winner: Toowoomba Regional Council’s Mt Kynoch Scheme 

Taste Test 2015

Winner: Barcaldine Regional Council with water from the Great Artesian Basin

Taste Test 2014

Winner: Richmond Shire Council with water from a pilot water treatment plant

Taste Test 2013

Winner: Cook Shire Council's Cooktown Water Treatment Plant

Taste Test 2012

Winner: Burdekin Shire Council's Ayr Water Treatment Plant

Taste Test 2011

Winner: Barcoo Shire Council for the Jundah potable water supply