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Queensland council takes silver at world water awards

Australia can once again lay claim to the world’s second best tasting tap water, with Queensland’s Mackay Regional Council (MRC) named runner up at the Academy Awards of water this weekend. 

The decision, announced at the annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition in West Virginia, follows Victorian utility Wannon Water’s silver medal at the awards last year.

MRC Director of Engineering and Community Infrastructure Jason Devitt was there with Water Treatment Manager Stuart Boyd, and said it was a tough competition against 18 of the world's best.

Beating out over 100 waters from across the globe over three days, the final 19 entrants were judged by a panel on clarity, taste and odour.

Berkeley Springs locals were also invited to try the samples and make their own judgements.

"Stuart and I had a go at that ourselves, it was really tough,” Devitt said.

"We always thought our water was pretty good, but to be up there with the best, we could never have expected or anticipated where we would come."

The council was just one vote behind the winner, California’s Mission Springs Water District.

“We knew we had high quality water in our region, and to have that confirmed at an international level is so exciting,” Devitt said.

“This is absolutely testament to the entire water treatment team, who all work so hard every day to make sure we can provide the very best water to our community.”

The Queensland council’s win followed its victory at the 2019 Ixom Best Tasting Tap Water Competition in October.

Water from MRC’s Marian Water Treatment Plant was judged against samples from across the country, including New South Wales’ Shoalhaven Water; TasWater; SA Water; Western Australia’s Water Corporation; and Barwon Water in Victoria. 

MRC’s sample came from the Pioneer River, which originates in the tropical rainforests of Eungella National Park and the Crediton State Forest. 

It was then treated at the Marian plant and distributed to more than 6000 Marian and Mirani residents.

Devitt said the silver medal would help show Mackay locals how high quality their tap water is.

He also commended the “unsung heroes” at the Marian treatment plant for their tireless efforts to provide safe, reliable water year-round.