Page last updated at 09:59 GMT, Thursday, 31 July 2008 10:59 UK

Britain's 'best' tap waters named

Water testers
Testers concluded that tap water quality varies

Water supplied by Severn Trent has been named Britain's best tasting tap water by a panel of food and drink experts.

The panel, including Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens, gave 10 firms' samples a mark out of five for clarity, smell and most importantly taste.

One panellist described water from Severn Trent, which covers large parts of the Midlands and mid-Wales, as like "a mountain stream of freshness".

Anglian Water was second, Thames Water was third but Wessex Water came last.

Judges gave marks in a blind taste test at the Chelsea-based restaurant Tom's Kitchen in London.

Mr Aikens described Severn Trent Water as having a "clean taste" and being "very fresh".

Richard Rotti, head of wines at Annabel's and a panellist, said the water was "beautifully pure, a mountain stream of freshness".

Severn Trent said it took the production of high quality drinking water seriously.

TAP WATER RANKINGS
1. Severn Trent Water
2. Anglian Water
3. Thames Water
4. Dwr Cymru Welsh Water
5. Southern Water
6. Scottish Water
7. South West Water
8. Yorkshire Water
9. United Utilities
10. Wessex Water

The company covers Birmingham, Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, Nottingham, Leicester and parts of mid-Wales.

Anglian Water, which covers East Anglia and parts of the East Midlands, was placed second.

In third place was Thames Water, which covers Oxfordshire, London, Wiltshire, north Kent, Thames Valley and Surrey.

The British Soft Drinks Association said the survey showed that each type of water had a different taste - and stressed that was true of bottled water too.

"Bottled water has the added advantage of being naturally pure and not treated with chemicals. Over 30 million people in the UK choose to drink bottled water knowing it is completely traceable and comes from fully sustainable sources."

The tasting competition was set up to celebrate the launch of a new initiative from the environmental group Green Thing.

The Drink Tap campaign will encourage people to stop drinking bottled water and switch to tap water during August.




SEE ALSO
Bottled water 'popularity rising'
13 Jun 08 |  Business
Los Angeles is tops for tap water
25 Feb 08 |  Americas

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