Trevor Dean (right) from Wide Bay Water receives the taste test award from sponsor TracWater's Len McKelvey
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18 different water samples from across Queensland competed in a taste off at the TracWater Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test as part of the qldwater Annual Forum, marking a record number of entries for the annual competition. 

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 of Council’s staff to ensure that the Fraser Coast Community receives 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, 18 November. 

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 of Australia (WIOA) introducing it in New South Wales, ACT, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand.

It also includes the annual Water of Origin, where the winning samples from Queensland and New South Wales 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 2017. 

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.

Toowoomba Regional Council Water and Waste Committee Chair, Rebecca Vonhoff, said it was reassuring to hear the Region’s water is among the best in Queensland.

“There is a lot of pride in the work our team does to treat the water we drink every day,” Cr Vonhoff said.

“Thanks to the staff who work tirelessly to ensure we all have access to a safe and reliable water source.

“A clean, sustainable water supply is vital for our health.

“Our drinking supply has previously been named the best in the state and a sample from our Mt Kynoch treatment plant was used to represent Australia at a world event in 2017 after we claimed the Ixom Best Tap Water in Australia competition in 2017.”

Featured image: Trevor Dean (right) from Wide Bay Water receives the taste test award from sponsor TracWater’s Len McKelvey. Image credit: Queensland Water Directorate.

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