SA Water’s Woolpunda Water Treatment Plant has been pipped at the post by the Rossarden facility in Tasmania at this year’s Water Industry Operators Association of Australia’s (WIOA) national best tasting tap water competition.
The annual event – which like each state competition this year – was held virtually for the first time, with an interstate judging panel announcing the results online. Six samples from water facilities across Australia, which were assessed on colour, clarity, odour and ‘mouthfeel’.
Liam Tothill from SA Water’s Production and Treatment team said South Australia is yet to take home a win at the event, with Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland the only states able to secure the national title to date.
“TasWater are well-deserved victors, but I think now more than ever, we’re determined to come out on top at next year’s competition,” Liam said.
“Of course it was disappointing to not reach that goal today, but we can still walk away knowing that water produced from our Woolpunda facility in the Riverland and plants right across the state is safe, clean and good tasting.
“The South Australian winners from the past five years have all been from the Riverland or Murraylands region, so we must be doing something right, and for a one person-operated site that supplies less than 800 people, it was a pretty fantastic achievement for Woolpunda represent the state, even without a win.
“The aims of the event were to acknowledge the ‘behind the scenes’ work of water operators, get people talking about tap water and showcase great tasting water from across the country. I therefore think today was a success, and plus, we’ll get another chance next year to go for glory!”
Woolpunda Water Treatment Plant provides water to mostly rural properties and farms, as well as towns including Wunkar and Mantung. It delivers up to 1.8 million litres of drinking water a day, which is treated with a disinfection method known as chloramination, which has a less distinctive smell and taste compared to chlorinated supplies.
Entries in today’s competition included Woodbury in Queensland (Livingstone Shire Council), Wauchope in New South Wales (Port Macquarie Hastings Council), Rossarden in Tasmania (TasWater), Yalgoo in Western Australia (Water Corporation), Woolpunda in South Australia (SA Water) and Mildura in Victoria (Lower Murray Water).
The national winner will represent Australia in the international competition in the United States next year.
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