Water from sources all across Queensland went head-to-head in a blind taste off at the Burke & Wills Hotel in Toowoomba on Wednesday, 5 September 2023 as part of the TracWater Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test. Held as part of the qldwater Annual Forum, around 50 attendees sniffed, swirled, sipped and scored 18 samples from across Queensland in the quest to find Queensland’s best tasting tap water.
The winner of the 2023 competition is Fraser Coast Regional Council with water from the Burgowan Water Treatment Plant getting the highest score.
The Burgowan Water Treatment plant sources water from Lake Lenthall on the Burrum River and takes it through a pre-treatment process of lime and carbon dioxide to produce a non-corrosive product water. The treatment includes clarification, ozonation to remove dissolved organic matter, taste compounds and any algal toxins, biological activated carbon filters to remove readily biodegradable bi-products and residual floc particles and finally disinfection and water pH correction with sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide respectively.
Fraser Coast Regional Council’s Director of Wide Bay Water & Waste Services, Mark Vanner, said the award was recognition of the commitment Council’s staff to ensure that the Fraser Coast Community receive high quality water every day of the year.
Fraser Coast will now go on to compete in the National best tasting tap water competition to be held at the Lilydale & Yarra Valley Show on Saturday November 18th.
Other entries included samples from the Banana, Bundaberg, Central Highlands, Cherbourg, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Goondiwindi, Gympie, Isaac, Livingstone, Mackay, North Burnett, Palm Island, South Burnett, Southern Downs, Toowoomba and Western Downs council regions as well as a blend of water from the Wide Bay Burnett Water Alliance.
Toowoomba Regional Council’s sample from the Mt Kynoch Water Treatment Plant came second.
The qldwater state-wide taste test harks back to 2012 and it has since grown to become a coveted international competition with the Water Industry Operators Association (WIOA) introducing it in NSW, ACT, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand. It also includes the annual Water of Origin, where the winning samples from Queensland and NSW battle it out at the WIOA QLD Conference each year.
The winner from the Australian taste test goes on to compete in the International Taste Test event held in Berkeley Springs each year, with Toowoomba Regional Council representing Australia in 2018 and Mackay in 2020.
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 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.
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