Clearbrook’s water supply has been named the best in the world for the seventh time.
The supply won the gold medal at the 33rd annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting event, which ran from Feb. 23 to 26 in Berkley Springs, West Virginia.
The Clearbrook Waterworks District, located in west Abbotsford, previously won gold in 2008, 2009, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019.
There were 23 entrants in the municipal water category, which saw second place go to North Muskoka, Ont., and third place go to Paris, Ohio.
A tie for fourth place went to former gold medalist Emporia, Kansas and first-time entry Miryang-si, Gyeongsangnam-do, Republic of Korea. In fifth place was former gold medalist Eldorado Springs, Colorado.
Prizes were also awarded in the categories of best non-carbonated water, best sparkling water, best purified drinking water and people’s choice package design.
Nine media judges spent hours tasting and selecting from waters sourced in 18 states, three Canadian provinces and 14 foreign countries.
They were trained to look, sniff and taste each water under guidelines similar to those in a wine tasting.
The waters were rated for each attribute including appearance (it should be clear – or slightly opaque for glacial waters), aroma (there should be none), taste (it should taste clean), mouth feel (it should feel light), and aftertaste (it should leave you thirsty for more).
All judges are presented with a diploma designating them as a certified water taster.
The Clearbrook tap water is pumped direct from a 100-square-kilometre underground aquifer to more than 15,000 people. No chlorine, fluoride or other chemicals are used.
The system goes back to a 1953 agreement when members of what was then Clearbrook Village decided to build a piping network to supply potable water directly to houses.
Today, residents in Clearbrook still use this system, improved many times since the original setup. The rest of Abbotsford gets chemically treated water mainly from Norrish Creek in Mission.