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Deja vu as Mackay Water Wins Taste Test Again - blog post image

Deja vu as Mackay Water Wins Taste Test Again

Deja vu as Mackay Water Wins Taste Test Again

The taste and character of any brew - including your morning cuppa – will vary depending on the minerals and chemicals found in your local water, and good water plays a crucial part in the happiness index of any community. Today, Mackay residents can kick back and enjoy their cuppa knowing that their water is the tastiest in all of Queensland.

Water from Mackay Regional Council’s Marian Water Treatment Plant was selected top drop in the 2019 Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test held at our Annual Forum in Logan on Wednesday, 11 September, claiming the title for the second year in a row! Around 60 forum delegates put their senses to the test, judging entries from around Queensland by colour, odour and taste. 

Mackay Regional Council Manager Water and Sewerage Planning, Sarah Lethbridge, was pleased to accept the trophy on behalf of the Mackay water team.

“This award is a testament to the treatment team and the good work they do in providing top quality drinking water to our communities,” Ms Lethbridge said.

“The source of water is the headwaters of the Pioneer River which originates in the tropical rainforests of the Eungella National Park and the Crediton State Forest. It is treated at the Marian Water Treatment Plant which provides water to more than 6,000 Marian and Mirani residents. The plant uses clarification, filtration and chlorine disinfection processes to treat the water to meet the Australian Drinking Water Quality guidelines.”

Runners up, again for the second year in a row, were Livingstone Regional Council, whose winning water from the 2017 competition had been immortalised in a very tasty limited edition craft beer – Livingstone Lager with a tropical twist of Pineapple.

The other entries were from Toowoomba Regional Council, Veolia Aus NZ (Tugun Desalination Plant), Fraser Coast Regional Council, Bundaberg Regional Council and Logan City Council.

Other than bragging rights, the winners and runners up received a trophy featuring a mounted piece of copper pipe from Thargomindah in the south-west of the state, where town water drawn from a Great Artesian Basin bore comes out of the ground at 72 degrees Celsius and the water is cooled through evaporative cooling towers and  the copper pipes submerged in ponds before reticulation. 

The water is aggressive, so the pipes are currently being replaced due to significant corrosion. We are hoping that the winners and runners up of this year’s competition will appreciate this collectors’ item from the West which well demonstrates the diversity and challenges of the state’s drinking water systems.

While the Queensland competition had been running for several years, it has now 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. The competition 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.

Toowoomba Regional Council made it all the way to the International Water Tasting Competition in Berkeley Springs, USA in 2018, first taking out the 2016 Queensland title, then the 2017 Water of Origin against NSW before finally claiming the Ixom Best Tap Water in Australia competition in 2017 and representing Australia at the world event. 

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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