About the Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test

qldwater started the Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test to promote the good work done by the 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.

The water industry continues to experience numerous challenges from natural disasters to changes in water regulation that impacts 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 over time 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 is divided into six regional semi-finals before the final six go head to head at a State Finals event.

Previously a panel of four independent judges judged the taste test entries at our regional events, but recently we started to engage conference attendees in the decision-making process. This was the format again in 2015, giving all conference attendees the opportunity to decide the winner!  The taste test rules and entry form are available here.

The 2015 Taste Test:

It’s been a great year for Queenslanders with the iconic win over NSW in the State of Origin and the knowledge that our water tastes great.

Congratulations to 2014 taste test winner, Richmond Shire Council, who laid claim to the top drop title when delegates at the WIOA Conference gave its sample top scores in the 2015 Ixom Water of Origin taste test, beating the 2015 NSW taste test winner, Orange City Council.

We are now honing in on the 2015 Ixom Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test winner with the six regional finals decided. The 2015 regional finalists are:

  • Central Queensland: Livingstone Shire Council (Woodbury WTP)
  • Far North Queensland: Cairns Regional Council (Mountain View WTP)
  • North Queensland: Townsville City Council (Ross River Scheme)
  • West Queensland: Barcaldine Regional Council (Barcaldine Scheme)
  • South West Queensland: Balonne Shire Council (Dirribandi Scheme)
  • South East Queensland: City of Gold Coast

The six regional winners will battle it out at the grand final in Maroochydore on 5 November.  Good luck to all, and may the best water win this unique, handmade sandstone and glass trophy!


We would like to thank our taste test sponsors, Ixom for their support again this year.

The 2014 Winner and Finalists:

Richmond Shire Council won the Queensland Grand Final of the Orica Australia Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test at the IPWEAQ State Conference on Thursday 9 October 2014. Water from its pilot water treatment plant was selected as best tasting by the conference delegates through some 440 individual tastes. The results were very close and Richmond narrowly piped Rockhampton, with Bundaberg a close third.

The six regional finalists vying for the title were:

  • Bundaberg Regional Council’s Lovers Walk Scheme in South East Queensland
  • Toowoomba Regional Council’s Mt Kynoch Water Treatment Plant in South West Queensland
  • Rockhampton Regional Council’s Glenmore Water Treatment Plant in Central Queensland
  • Mackay Regional Council’s Nebo Road Water Treatment Plant in North Queensland
  • Richmond Regional Council’s pilot filtration plant in Western Queensland
  • Cairns Regional Council's Mirriwinni Water in Far North Queensland

Richmond will compete against the New South Wales winner next year in the "Water of Origin Taste Test".

Taste Test Regions:

South East Queensland Region

Logan City Council, Redland City Council, City of Gold Coast, Bundaberg Regional Council, Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council, Gympie Regional Council, North Burnett Regional Council, Queensland Urban Utilities (Brisbane, Somerset, Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley, Ipswich Council areas), South Burnett Regional Council, Unitywater (Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast Regional Council areas) and Wide Bay Water Corporation (Fraser Coast Regional Council). 

Central Region

Banana Shire Council, Central Highlands Regional Council, Isaac Regional Council, Gladstone Regional Council, Gladstone Area Water Board, Livingstone Shire Council,  Rockhampton Regional Council and Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council.

Far North Queensland Region
Aurukun Shire Council, Cairns Regional Council, Carpentaria Shire Council, Cassowary Coast Regional Council, Cook Shire Council, Douglas Shire Council, Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire Council, Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council, Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council, Mareeba Shire Council, Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council, Tablelands Regional Council, Torres Shire Council, Torres Strait Island Regional Council, Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council and Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council.

Northern Queensland Region
Burdekin Shire Council, Charters Towers Regional Council, Hinchinbrook Shire Council, 
Mackay Regional Council, Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council, Townsville Regional Council and Whitsunday Regional Council.

South West Region
Balonne Shire Council, Bulloo Shire Council, Goondiwindi Regional Council, Maranoa Regional Council, Murweh Shire Council, Paroo Shire Council, Quilpie Shire Council, Southern Downs Regional Council, Toowoomba Regional Council and Western Downs Regional Council.

Western Queensland Region

Barcaldine Regional Council, Barcoo Shire Council, Blackall-Tambo Regional Council, Boulia Shire Council, Burke Shire Council, Cloncurry Shire Council, Croydon Shire Council, Diamantina Shire Council, Etheridge Shire Council, Flinders Shire Council, Longreach Regional Council, McKinlay Shire Council, Mornington Shire Council, Mount Isa City Council, Richmond Shire Council and Winton Shire Council.

Read more about the evolution of the taste test and the regional winners from our links below. 

Water Taste Test 2011         Water Taste Test 2012           Water Taste Test 2013