Ecology

Why Birmingham Tap Water Tastes So Good

Why Birmingham Tap Water Tastes So Good

You know it, I know it, we all know it: Birmingham tap water is in a league of its own. While people elsewhere are grimacing over the taste of their tap water, we Brummies are sipping on liquid gold. But what makes our water so darn good? Let’s dive in and uncover the secrets behind Birmingham’s liquid treasure.

Table of Contents

A Taste Test Triumph

Back in 2008, when the nation was thirsty for answers, a panel of food and drink aficionados embarked on a mission to find Britain’s best tap water. Ten regions went head-to-head in a blind taste test, with Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens among the judges. And guess what? The West Midlands emerged victorious, with Severn Trent Water taking the crown. Judges praised its clean taste, freshness, and purity – qualities we Brummies have long appreciated.

The Soft Water Advantage

One of the key factors setting Birmingham tap water apart is its softness. You see, Birmingham lies in a ‘soft water area’, where the liquid gold flows naturally without the added bitterness or saltiness often associated with hard water. Rainwater, blessed with Birmingham’s soft touch, cascades onto porous rock, skipping past minerals like calcium and magnesium that can taint the taste. In contrast, regions with hard water, like parts of the South and London, often suffer from a less-than-palatable water experience.

A Journey from Wales

Now, you might be wondering: where does Birmingham’s liquid gold come from? Well, it embarks on a 72-mile journey from the picturesque Elan Valley in Wales, courtesy of a Victorian aqueduct. Yes, you heard that right – a Victorian aqueduct. This historical marvel ensures that the water reaching Birmingham is as soft and pure as can be, a far cry from the polluted waterways of the Industrial Revolution era.

A History of Health

Speaking of history, Birmingham’s water story has its fair share of twists and turns. Back in the day, the city grappled with diseases like typhoid and cholera, courtesy of contaminated water sources. Enter Joseph Chamberlain, the hero of our tale and the mastermind behind Birmingham City Council’s campaign for clean water from the Elan Valley. Thanks to Chamberlain’s vision and determination, Brummies today can quench their thirst with confidence, knowing that their water is safe and clean.

Aqueduct Adventures

But the journey doesn’t end there. Every year, Severn Trent undertakes maintenance on the century-old aqueduct, ensuring that the liquid gold continues to flow uninterrupted. And if you ever detect a slight change in taste, fear not – it’s just a sign that the aqueduct is getting a well-deserved tune-up. Oh, and did we mention that Severn Trent even penned a quirky children’s book about Birmingham tap water? It’s a delightful read that sheds light on the fascinating journey of our liquid lifeline.

So, there you have it – the tale of Birmingham tap water, from its humble beginnings in the Welsh hills to its arrival in our glasses. Next time you take a sip, remember the journey it’s taken to reach you, and savour the refreshing taste of Birmingham’s liquid gold.