Australia’s tastiest tap water of 2021 revealed

After putting their tastebuds to the test a group of thirsty judges has decided the best drinking water in the country is from the Richmond Valley Council in the New South Wales Northern Rivers region.

The blind tasting was hosted in Tasmania by The Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA), and was comprised of six different samples that had been shipped down to Hobart.

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How it happened

Water authorities from various regional and metropolitan areas around Australia participated in state competitions before the state winners went head to head for the national title.

Australia’s tastiest tap water of 2021 revealed

The competitors for the 2021 national competition were:

“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,” WIOA Chief Operations Officer Craig Mathisen said.

“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.”

Winning characteristics

The panel judged the entries based on a selection of criteria, including colour, clarity, odour, and taste, and they all commented that the samples were of very high quality, noting small variations.

“There was one with a touch of chlorine, I thought. One was a little bit saltier. One was quite earthy,” guest judge and Cricket Australia national selector George Bailey said.

“One thing I think we are really lucky to do in Australia is drink water straight out of the tap, and that’s something not to be taken for granted.”

“I’m a little bit shocked to be honest,” Richmond Valley Council Manager of Infrastructure Services David Timms said.

“We’ve had a lot of challenges over the last two years with the plant and with staffing issues,” he said, before thanking the Casino Water Treatment Plant for their efforts, along with all of the other contestants.

The 2020 winner of the IXOM national competition was Tasmania’s Rossarden, whose water was once deemed unsafe for consumption, but went on to win gold at the world championships.

Tasmanian local, Mr Bailey went on to joke that his favourite water was actually straight from the bathroom tap, where it’s usually colder - although he noted that he generally feels quite tired on those trips to the bathroom faucet, which may play a part in the favouritism.