Town of Gibsons has best-tasting water in the world

 The Town of Gibsons has won an international competition in which being tasteless is a good thing. The Sunshine Coast municipality won the coveted title of “World's Best Water” for 2005 at the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting contest. 60 municipalities vied for the prize at the spa town of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. The water-tasting competition has been held for 15 years as part of the Winter Festival of the Waters.

A panel of 11 judges gave Gibsons top marks. The judges, trained by water master Arthur von Wiesenberger, assess the municipal water based on odour, flavour, appearance, mouth-feel, after-taste and overall impression.

Judges of the municipal water category look for water that is colourles (no floating particles, pleas), devoid of odour (they hate the smell of chlorine or sulphur), refreshing (stale is bad) and thirst-quenching (lingering residue is not good).

Based on these criteria, the Gibsons water won 432 points, 15 points higher than water from Daytona Beach, Florida.

For more information on the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Competition, go to: or click here to go directly to the 2005 Water Award Winners.


February 28, 2005

Gibsons Mayor Toasts Best Water in the World

Gibsons: Gibsons Mayor Barry Janyk says he’ll be raising a toast — of water — today after his town won an international contest on the weekend that voted Gibsons water the best in the world. Gibsons was chosen as gold medal winner of the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting contest on Saturday.

“We always suspected we had the best water in the world,” said Janyk, following announcement of the win on the weekend. “It’s pretty neat when you win on your first try.” And it’s the first time any B.C. water has won the contest.

Held for the past 15 years in the spa town of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, the contest bills itself as “the largest and longest-running water tasting competition in the world. Gibsons water beat out over 60 municipal entries from around the world to win the best water title. Municipal and bottled waters competing at the water tasting came from as far away as Sweden, Scotland, France, Switzerland and 27 U.S. states.

“People have been asking me for years what makes Gibsons such a great place to live,” said Janyk. “I always suggested, ‘Must be something in the water.’ Turns out I was right!”

Gibsons water won the most points — 432 — out of all the municipal water contestants vying for the gold medal. The runner-up was Daytona Beach, Florida.

Gibsons managed to win the title despite a near disaster when one of the town’s water jugs broke in transit on the way to the contest. Last week, Town administrator Bill Beamish thought all was lost after sharing word from contest officials that Gibsons’ two one-gallon glass jugs broke on the way to Berkeley Springs. Janyk contacted the officials in West Virginia who held out little hope. Public works staff at the town was crushed after all the work they’d put into the contest entry. But just before the weekend, Janyk said he got a message that one of the containers had arrived intact — and the town was still in the running.

The Town of Gibsons water comes from an underground aquifer that feeds three wells in the municipality. It is not chlorinated or treated. It’s pure enough to meet health standards without taking any extra steps. Tastelessness is one of the most sought-after qualities in water judged in the competition.

Gibsons, on the lower end of Sunshine Coast, has a system that serves about 1,200 households, and has a population of 4,200. But the public water tap outside of Town’s Wynn Road pump station has long been a popular spot for people from other communities to fill their water bottles. So far, the town’s water has always been free, although Janyk said in the past couple of years the town council has been mulling over the idea of charging a nominal fee for their water.

“This quality of water is not a free commodity,” he said. “It costs real money to produce and protect pure water. Folks need to understand this basic.”

Janyk plans to celebrate the win with staff, Council, and the public at a Council meeting in March.

Another B.C. municipality — Chilliwack — came fifth in this year’s competition with 401 points.

For more information, please call:

  • Mr. Bill Beamish, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Gibsons – 604.681.8035 or 604.886.2274, email Bill Beamish/Gibsons
  • Mayor Barry J. Janyk – 604.681.8035 or 604.886.2274, email Barry Janyk/Gibsons
  • Mr. Bryan Shoji, Director of Municipal Operations – 604.681.8035 or 604.886.2274, email Bryan Shoji/Gibsons