The taste and character of any brew - including your morning cuppa – will vary depending on the minerals and chemicals found in your local water, and good water plays a crucial part in the happiness index of any community. Today, Mackay and Sarina residents can kick back and enjoy their cuppa knowing that their water is the tastiest in all of Queensland.
Water from Mackay Regional Council’s Nebo Road Water Treatment Plant was selected top drop in the 2018 Ixom Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test held at the qldwater Annual Forum on the Gold Coast on Wednesday, 5 September.
Around 60 forum delegates put their senses to the test, judging entries from around Queensland by colour, odour and taste.Mackay Regional Council Chief Operating Officer Water and Waste, Dr Nicole Davis, was pleased to accept the trophy on behalf of the Mackay water team.
“This award is a testament to the treatment team and the good work they do in providing top quality drinking water to our communities,” Dr Davis said.
The winning water is sourced from the Pioneer River, and undergoes conventional treatment before being distributed to households and business in Mackay and Sarina.
Runners up were Livingstone Regional Council, whose winning water from the 2017 competition had been immortalised in a very tasty limited edition craft beer – Livingstone Lager with a tropical twist of Pineapple.
The other entries were from Southern Downs Regional Council, Toowoomba Regional Council, Veolia Aus NZ (Gold Coast Desalination Plant), Central Highlands Regional Council, Fraser Coast Regional Council and Logan City Council.
qldwater CEO Dave Cameron said that while the Queensland competition had been running for several years, it has now grown to become a coveted national competition with the Water Industry Operators Association (WIOA) introducing it in NSW, ACT, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.
Queensland reigned supreme for the first four years, taking out the Water of Origin series from 2014 to 2017 before the current Queensland champion, Livingstone Shire Council, was ousted by Port Macquarie Hastings this year.
Previous champion Toowoomba Regional Council basked in glory for over a year, 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. Their winning water then went on to represent Australia at the International Water Tasting Competition held in Berkeley Springs, USA in February 2018.
“The taste test is about more than just how good the water tastes: it is a way to help inform the community about how much effort goes into providing quality drinking water – an essential, sustainable service provided 24/7 by the staff of our local water utilities,” Mr Cameron said.
The taste test formed part of the qldwater Annual Forum held on 5 to 6 September that brought together water and sewerage service providers, other industry representatives and government departments to look at ways of dealing with future urban water challenges in a constrained funding environment.
Day one of the forum also included a technical tour of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games infrastructure before returning to the Turf Club for a range of local presentations and the second annual Vendor Pitch challenge, with proceeds going to support scholarships for representatives from small and remote councils to attend future forums.
The beer theme continued with dinner speakers from Lion outlining the company’s journey from manual plants to state of the art processes to create some of Australia’s finest drops.