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Competition for best tap water includes Whistler

Event marks BC Water Week


Whistler is again up for the No. 1 spot. But this time for its water.

For the third year, B.C. and Yukon communities that submit their samples will be judged in the “Best of the Best” Tap Water Challenge at the Fairmont Chateau on Tuesday, May 3.

The event coincides with BC Water Week (May 1 to 7) and the BC Water and Waste Associations’ annual conference, which will attract about 1,200 delegates to Whistler.

This year, 15 municipalities and regional districts are competing for bragging rights. Last year’s winner, Chilliwack,will not be competing, but Kelowna, which won in 2014, will.

A team of agualiers — similar to a sommelier but is someone who has a refined palate to discern the best water quality — will judge the water based on appearance, aroma, taste, mouth feel, aftertaste and overall impression.

Agualiers include: Ed McCormick, past president of the Water Environment Foundation; Brian Steglitz, vice-president of American Water Works Association; and Colwyn Sunderland, president of Canadian Water & Wastewater Association.

The judging this year also includes Samantha Rahn, wine director and manager at Araxi and a 2013 sommelier of the year.

Whistler water will be up against that of Squamish, Campbell River, Kelowna, Merritt, Nanaimo, Penticton, Salmon Arm, Whitehorse, Cherry Creek, Clearbrook, Columbia-Shushwap and Hope.

The event is not open to the public.