Hamilton's water off to the world stage

19 February 2019

Off to the USA

From left, Wannon Water’s Manager of Operations John Harris, Board Chair Jacinta Ermacora, Western Treatment Operations Coordinator Tim Holmes and Managing Director Andrew Jeffers are hoping for success at the International Water Tasting Championships this week.

Samples of Hamilton’s award-winning drinking water will vie for world acclaim at the International Water Tasting Competition in the United States this week.

The water has been entered in the competition after it won the title of Australia’s best tasting tap water during an event in Queensland last October. In blind taste tests, the water was judged at local, state and national competitions, even beating store-bought bottled water at a local level.

The water is sourced from streams in the southern ranges of the Grampians National Park and treated at Wannon Water’s Hamilton Water Treatment Plant. It is supplied to customers in Hamilton, Dunkeld and Tarrington.

Manager of Operations John Harris and Western Treatment Operations Coordinator Tim Holmes will represent Wannon Water at the international competition to be held in the historic spa town of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, from February 21 to 24.

More than 100 waters from across the globe will compete for the coveted title of the world’s best tasting tap water. Known as the Olympics of Water, the Berkeley Springs event is the largest and longest running water tasting competition in the world. Judges are challenged to evaluate a product where tastelessness is the most sought-after quality.

Mr Harris, Wannon Water’s longest-serving employee who celebrates 45 years of service this month, has been invited to give a presentation at the conference. He will outline Wannon Water’s journey to Berkeley Springs and the dedication of the water treatment operators who work behind the scenes to ensure customers receive clear, fresh drinking water every day.

During their trip to the US, Mr Harris and Mr Holmes are also touring La Verne’s massive F.E. Weymouth Sewage Treatment Plant which services Los Angeles, and will visit one of the country’s largest water treatment plants in Detroit. They will gain an insight into the infrastructure and technology used at the facilities to support Wannon Water’s focus on continuous improvement.

Wannon Water Chair Jacinta Ermacora wished the pair luck in their quest to place Hamilton on the world stage. “We’re very proud of our role in providing secure and safe services to our customers, not just in Hamilton, Dunkeld and Tarrington, but right across our region. Safe drinking water is fundamental to healthy lives and prosperous communities.”

Managing Director Andrew Jeffers said winning the Australian title provides valuable opportunities for economic investment and regional promotion. “If Hamilton’s water won the international award, it would take it to the next level,” Mr Jeffers said.