Delegates attending our regional conference in Cloncurry on Friday, 18 May participated in a blind taste-off of five water samples from across North West Queensland, with water from Burke Shire Council's Gregory Water Treatment Plant selected as best in the region as part of the 2018 Ixom Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test.
Burke Shire Council Executive Manager – Works & Infrastructure, Mark Poynter said the winning drop came from the Gregory River and was treated using a conventional treatment process of filtration, chlorination and flocculation before it was distributed to residents.
“Undoubtedly starting with the pristine water of the Gregory River helped us to win this accolade, as did the hard work of our utilities staff, and the recent modifications and modernisation that have gone into our treatment plant. We are continuing to upgrade the plant at the moment, so I believe that our entry next year will be even better.”
The other entries were from Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Mornington Island and Burketown.
While the Queensland competition has been running for several years, it has since grown to become a coveted national competition with the Water Industry Operators Association (WIOA) introducing it in NSW, ACT, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.
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.
The taste test and regional conference formed part of the Queensland Water Directorate’s thirteenth annual Water Connections Tour, which took representatives from the water industry and state government to visit remote communities and learn more about the issues they faced in providing water and sewerage services.
Starting in Normanton on 14 May, the group of ten visited the North West Queensland shires of Carpentaria, Mornington, Burke, Doomadgee and Mount Isa before finishing in Cloncurry.
The Water Connections Tour play a crucial part in promoting sector collaboration, showing key decision-makers in government the issues our members are faced with on a daily basis – particularly in remote locations.
Regional providers can be fiscally and operationally challenged and any steps we can take to help government understand community drivers and capacity to pay for services help lead to a smarter regulatory and policy environment.
The tour provided valuable technical information and knowledge exchange, as well as a chance to raise issues, face to face with representatives from the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Department of Environment and Science, Local Government Association of Queensland and qldwater.
We are very happy that the State continues to participate, and as costs increase, organisations
like Dial Before You Dig and Ixom
have been able to support this initiative through sponsorship. It is the eighth year DBYD has invested in the Tour and our broader Water Connections Events program.