The City of Chilliwack earned bragging rights to the “best tasting tap water in B.C. on Thursday.
Chilliwack’s drinking water was up against tap water from 15 other communities from across B.C. in the second annual “Best of the Best” Tap Water Taste Test, hosted at BC Water and Waste Associations’ Conference, held this week in Kelowna.
A panel of selected “aqualiers” sampled and evaluated water based on appearance, aroma, taste, mouth feel, aftertaste, and overall impression.
It was the second annual event, held this year in Kelowna – home of the defending champion.
The taste test was held at the BCWWA’s annual conference, the largest peer-to-peer style conference for the water industry in Western Canada. The conference examines how communities can conserve and protect water resources, and build respect for water and and the role wastewater systems play in safeguarding public health, the environment, and quality of life.
“British Columbia has knowledgeable and passionate water professionals who ensure we have access to safe, secure and sustainable water and wastewater systems,” says Tanja McQueen, CEO of the 4,700-member BCWWA. “We all need to remember that there is no substitute for the water we use daily. We cannot take it for granted. The Tap Water Taste Test is a way to celebrate our water systems and remind everyone that investment in these essential systems is an investment in our health, a clean environment, and our economic prosperity.”
The victory comes more than a year after the City of Chilliwack was ordered by the Fraser Health Authority to begin adding chlorine to its drinking water – an order that drew harsh criticism from both the public and local politicians.
Prior to that, Chilliwack was one of the few communities in the country that did not chlorinate its water.
More than 90 per cent of B.C. residents source their water from municipal distribution systems. Many communities that entered to compete returned for a second year to prove their water was the best. Other communities that competed included City of Prince George, Furry Creek, Radium, City of Kamloops, Harrison Hot Springs, City of Penticton, Lillooet Lake, Bralorne, Gold Bridge, Squamish, Clearbrook, Rutland, City of Nelson, RDNO – Greater Vernon and City of Kelowna.