News, Events and Culture

It’s official. Palmerston North has the best drinking water in New Zealand

Friday May 13 2016

Palmerston North City Council has been acknowledged as the city with the best tasting drinking water following the annual Water Industry Operations Group of New Zealand Conference held in Auckland last week.

Smiling Water Treatment Plant workers hold the trophy for New Zealand's best drinking water.

Water Treatment Plant technician Wayne Brownie holds the trophy for New Zealand's best drinking water, flanked by apprentice Alby Shaw and Graeme Colqhoun from IXOM, who was the taste test organiser at the conference.

Water samples from 12 councils around New Zealand were submitted under strict guidelines. The competition consisted of two heats, with the best two samples from each heat going onto the final round of judging.

The water was judged on taste, odour and appearance.

Treatment Plants Manager Mike Monaghan said he was confident Palmerston North had great tasting water of very high quality.  “When it was announced that we had made it into the final I was thrilled.”

The judging panel for the final round consisted of John Clemens, Executive Officer of WIOG, Sarah Croswell, national water educator with Opus, Phil Eccles, Business Unit Manager with IXOM (chemical supplier to the water industry) and water taste expert Udo Van Deventer, who is a brewer with Lion breweries.

“When they read out Palmerston North was the winner I was over the moon,” Mike said.

I am really proud of my team here in Palmerston North, they do an outstanding job at producing the best quality water. It’s a real credit to PNCC and the utilities team to win this award.

Mike Monaghan

Ray McIndoe, General Manager for City Enterprises said operators are dedicated to ensuring that our water is always delivered to the very highest of standards and it’s understandable that the title “Best in NZ” is keenly contested by operators from all Councils.  

“All our Operators and Palmerston North can be immensely proud that our water is of such a high standard. The water we took to Auckland was from the Kelvin Grove zone sourced from the Roberts Line bore.”

Water quality was not the only award given at the conference. Wastewater Treatment Technician Elysia Butler, also won an award for Best technical paper entitled, ‘Iceberg Analysis of Industrial Waste – An Operators Experience’,  for her work on trade waste analysis. Her prize is to travel to the Australian WIOA conference in Victoria to present the same paper to the Australian audience.

“I am thrilled that both the water and wastewater treatment plant teams have been recognised in such a high profile way nationally, Mr McIndoe said.  “We are indeed fortunate to have such a high calibre of dedicated staff looking after our water and waste water treatment processes.”

Photo shows the four water technicians who look after Palmerston North's drinking water supply, holding a trophy.

Water technicians Alby Shaw, Joshua McIndoe, Wayne Brownie and Simon Mahoney.