Clearbrook’s water supply has once again scored big among judges at an international competition.
The supply was named Best in the World in the municipal water category over the weekend during the 28th annual Berkley Springs International Water Tasting event.
The win makes Clearbrook – an area of Abbotsford – the biggest medal winner in the event’s history.
The Clearbrook Waterworks District previously won gold in 2008, 2009, 2014 and 2016.
There were 15 entrants in the municipal water category, which saw second place go to the City of Hamilton in Ohio and third place go to Mission Springs Water District in Desert Hot Springs, Calif.
The best water in the U.S. was in Santa Ana, Calif.
The 12 judges were instructed to look, sniff and taste each water under guidelines similar to those in wine tasting.
The waters were rated for attributes including appearance (it should be clear), aroma (there should be none) and taste (it should taste clean).
Waters were tested in four separate flights over two days.
Ryan Federau, water quality technician at Clearbrook Waterworks District, said the award affirms what local residents have known for 65 years: “We have the best water there is.”
“We take a lot of pride in ensuring that this award-winning water is of the same quality and taste at your tap as it is at the source,” he said.
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.