Wannon Water and its tap water from the Hamilton Water Treatment Plant will represent Australia at the 29th Annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting to be held in the US in February 2019.

Its participation in the international competition follows its win at the Fourth Ixom Best Tasting Tap Water in Australia competition in October 2018, hosted by The Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA).

Wannon Water won the Ixom Best Tasting Tap Water in Australia competition in 2018 with a blind taste test approach that judged water samples on colour, clarity, odour, mouthfeel and taste. Having tackled issues with water quality in the past, the installation of a new water treatment plant at Hamilton helped them to overcome its problems and ultimately win the Australian title.

While the competition itself was all in the spirit of good fun, there is a meaningful undertone to it, recognising the hard work of those who ensure safe, clean drinking water is available every day.

Stephen Rasdell, Ixom’s General Manager of Water, said that there was an important reason for Ixom’s involvement in the taste test competition.

“We have been involved in Australian water treatment for some 80 years and are incredibly proud of the work being done in this space. IXOM has the expertise and experience to ensure high-quality drinking water is supplied to homes around Australia. We’re thrilled to be a part of this event and to celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals and communities in supplying and maintaining exceptional water quality,” Mr Rasdell said.

Craig Mathisen, WIOA Chief Operations Officer, said, “Members of the general public would probably be surprised to learn the complexities involved in delivering high-quality water to our taps each day.

“The competition is a testament to the excellent quality of Australian water and to the diligence and commitment of the operational employees who deliver it to our communities.

“Many of us turn on taps for a drink, to cook and shower, with little consideration of what it takes to operate and maintain the water infrastructure.

“We want to celebrate our unsung heroes — the water operators and the maintenance crews who work all year-round to ensure we have high-quality water, which is essential to keep us alive.”

Australia has never won the international competition, but Marysville Water, which won the Australian competition in 2015, was a runner up in the international competition in 2016.

The Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting will be held at The Country Inn of Berkeley Springs in the centre of downtown Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. Preliminary judging will take place on Thursday 21 February and the final tasting will be conducted on Saturday 23 February, followed by a reception to announce winner for both bottlers and municipalities.

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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