Hope takes first place in water tasting competition

Hope wins the "Best of the Best" Tap Water Taste Test competition in Whistler.

District of Hope employee

The District of Hope placed first in the third annual “Best of the Best” Tap Water Taste Test competition hosted by BC Water & Waste Association (BCWWA,) a non-profit organization that serves over 4,600 water professionals, who are responsible for providing optimal sewer and stormwater systems in B.C. and the Yukon.

Hope beat out 13 entrants from across the provinces of B.C. and the Yukon earlier this week in Whistler for the coveted title of Top Tap Water.

“It’s just another reason to be excited about living in Hope,” said Mayor Wilfried Vicktor. “It’s truly an honour to hold the title of Top Tap Water this year.”

The friendly competition was held during a BCWWA conference for BC Water Week (May 1to 7) to help raise awareness about the important role water systems play in protecting public health and the environment. “Competition testing mirrored wine tasting, with a qualified and diverse panel of ‘aqualiers’ sampling and judging the water based on appearance, aroma, taste, mouth feel, aftertaste and overall impression,” said CEO of BCWWA Tanja McQueen.

This year’s judges included Samantha Rahn, wine director and manager at Araxi Restaurant, and the Bar 2013 VIWF Sommelier of the Year; Ed McCormick, immediate past president of Water Environment Foundation; Colwyn Sunderland, president of Canadian Water & Wastewater Association and Brian Steglitz, vice president (2015 to 2016) of American Water Works Association.

“Water is largely a personal preference, but it was difficult to make a selection, because the water was so good,” said McQueen, who told The Hope Standard the competition was incredibly close with Hope coming out ahead by only a few points.

Judges commented that water, once hailed by past resident and Rambo First Blood star Sylvestor Stallone, as the best water he’s ever tasted, was  “light and easy to drink, with no after taste.”

“B.C. has really good water systems and we can’t take it for granted,” said McQueen. “Right now we have aging pipes and pumps that are going to need to be replaced, and just because they’re out of sight doesn’t mean we can ignore them.”

Education and awareness are important components of the work BCWAA does, including informing Canadians of global water disparities, that leave many in need of clean drinking water.“Water related illnesses often fill hospital beds, so it’s important to remind people that not everyone can turn on a tap or take a shower at their convenience, and that they should respect and take care of the precious resource.”