23 February 2024

Shepparton’s tap water will challenge water from across the state for the honour of the best tasting drop as part of an annual competition.

The IXOM Best Tasting Tap Water Competition will be held next week as part of the Water Industry Operators Association conference in Bendigo and is designed to celebrate the unsung heroes of the water industry.

Shepparton was chosen as Goulburn Vally Water’s 2024 nominee following a range of improvement works that have been carried out at the Welsford Street treatment plant over the past couple of years.

The nomination is also designed to recognise the incredible efforts of water treatment specialists to continually supply safe and reliable water during two flood events, in October 2022 and January 2024.

Shepparton sources its water from the Goulburn River, where it then follows a conventional treatment process where it is filtered, settled, and disinfected to remove colour, organics, microorganisms and harmful bacteria.

The Shepparton Water Treatment Plant also features a large, dissolved air floatation and filtration plant, designed to help produce better water quality and process high volumes.

In the past year, the plant’s filtration media has been replaced, while the large clear water storage tanks and water main infrastructure has undergone extensive specialist cleaning to improve water quality.

Goulburn Valley Water Acting Managing Director Emma Youill said continued investment in improving Shepparton’s treatment infrastructure and the passion of a dedicated team was key to producing Shepparton’s top quality drinking water.

“Our operators and specialists work around the clock to manage our treatment plants to ensure they’re producing high quality, reliable and safe water,” she said.

“They go above and beyond and worked through extreme conditions in the past two flooding events, both of which impacted the treatment plant in very different, unpredictable ways.

“They rose to the challenge, which meant we could continue supplying water through a 1-in-100-year flood event where river heights isolated the plant for days and flood water almost reached the plant’s infrastructure.

“In January, our teams responded and adapted to poor water quality at levels we’ve never seen before, which meant the water was increasingly difficult to treat.

“Choosing Shepparton’s water for the best tasting water competition recognises all of the hard work, plus the investment in the upgrades at the plant to continue producing high quality water.”

The Shepparton Water Treatment Plant supplies customers in Shepparton, Kialla, Congupna, Ardmona, Orrvale, Mooroopna, Tallygaroopna and Toolamba.

It has the capacity to treat up to 110 megalitres of water per day, a volume equivalent of 44 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

GVW has taken the honours twice in the past decade, winning gold nationally and silver internationally for its Marysville water in 2015, while a Merrijig sample also won the Victorian award in 2017.