It is piped to only a few hundred rural homes, but according to leading water quality experts the best tap water in the state is from Goulburn Valley Water.
Tap water from the small town of Merrijig was judged as being the best tasting tap water in Victoria by industry experts at the Victorian Water Industry Operations Conference and Exhibition in Bendigo last week.
Goulburn Valley Water operations manager Steven Nash said Merrijig’s tap water swayed the judges with its pure mountain taste.
‘‘You’ve got really good water quality up there from the Delatite River,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a really pure, natural environment, it’s top of the catchment really.’’
Merrijig’s tap water went up against the big players in the state’s water industry, including Yarra Valley Water which services 1.7million Melburnians.
Merrijig’s micro filtration plant services 500 to 600 homes and produces a maximum of 1Gl/day, or just 14litres/second.
By contrast, Shepparton’s facilities can produce between 40Ml and 100Ml/day when demand is high.
Experts swilled, smelled, looked at and tasted the final 14 samples in a blind test before awarding Goulburn Valley Water’s Merrijig the top prize.
Mr Nash said the key was not just having a pure source of water, but having the right plant for the water supply and treating the water to give it a consistent taste.
It was not an easy job, and he said the operator who took care of the Merrijig plant oversaw multiple plants in the area, as well as being on call 24-hours-a-day.
‘‘It’s a nice little pat on the back for us, all the operators take their jobs very seriously,’’ Mr Nash said.
It is not the first time the team has won the award, with Goulburn Valley Water winning in 2015 for its water from the Marysville plant.