South Canterbury tap water the best in New Zealand

South Canterbury tap water the best in New Zealand

South Canterbury boasts two of the top three best tasting tap water in New Zealand, according to a competition hosted by the Water Industry Operations Group.

The tap supply, in the small township of Pleasant Point in the Timaru District, was named the best tasting tap water in the Ixom Water Taste Test for the second time at the awards event in Napier on Thursday night, with an unnamed supply in the Waimate District one of the two other finalists, also for the second time.

The three finalists were chosen from numerous samples entered from around the country and Pleasant Point township was recognised as providing the best drop.

Judges noted the winning sample’s good clarity, clean taste and soft mouth feel.

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The win was announced live on television on Thursday night with Timaru District mayor Nigel Bowen saying they were pretty excited to win the award again after success in 2019.

“Pleasant Point, what a great name and they have some awesome water there as well,” Bowen said.

Bowen noted that in the two years between awards for the township, chlorine has been added to the supply.

“It shows that you can have really safe water, and it can also taste really good as well.”

South Canterbury tap water the best in New Zealand

Pleasant Point Community Board chair and Timaru district councillor Richard Lyon said the water was pristine, but the chlorination was necessary.

“We still do the chlorination for the safety of our residents.”

Jaimee McCarthy, a Pleasant Point resident for 11 years, said he thought the town was very lucky to have such great water quality.

Karen Styles, a Timaru resident who worked in Pleasant Point, shared McCarthy's’ view about the town being fortunate to have the water quality it had, but one resident who didn’t wish to be named, disagreed.

“It (the water) is over chlorinated. I don’t drink it. I drink bottled water. There’s a lot of people in Point drinking bottled water,” the resident said.

She said Pleasant Point water winning the award “is a whole lot of b.......”

WIOG chairperson Nick Hewer-Hewitt said the public would probably be surprised to learn the complexities involved in delivering high-quality water to our taps each day.

“This competition helps to educate the public on how reliable our water supply is, and how much work goes into ensuring safe drinking water.

"A lot happens to water before it gets to people’s taps, and this competition honours the commitment of those people who ensure the high standard of water delivered every day,” says Hewer-Hewitt.

When judging the best tasting tap water, the judges are looking for:

The judges were Graeme Thacker, founding member and life member of WIOG; Seaton Rolleston, sales manager Water and Energy NZ, Ixom; Jim Graham, principal technical advisor, Taumata Arowai; Richard Painter, winemaker, Villa Maria Estate.