The West Midlands has the country’s best-tasting tap water, according to a panel of food and drink experts.
Severn Trent was voted the UK’s top tap water at a blind taste test in a competition held at a London restaurant.
The panel of judges, which included Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens, gave each sample a mark out of five for clarity, smell and taste.
They praised Severn Trent water for its “clean taste” and for being very fresh.
Sommelier Richard Rotti even described the water as “beautifully pure, a mountain stream of freshness”.
The vote was a ray of sunshine for Severn Trent, which has its headquarters in Birmingham, after one of the most difficult years in the history of what is the fifth-largest company in the West Midlands.
Last month it was confirmed the company would be fined a total of £35.8 million after regulator Ofwat said it had deliberately provided false information and given poor customer service.
Just a day before it had been fined another £2 million by the Serious Fraud Office for lying about the extent of water leaks.
The company was losing as much as half a billion litres of water a day from its 29,000-mile network of pipes when it lied to the industry regulator, leading to the SFO prosecution.
The Ofwat fine – the biggest in the water watchdog’s history – came after customers paid too much because of Severn Trent’s failings.
The company had to make its shareholders pay the fine, and return the money to its customers.
When the fine was first proposed in April this year, Severn Trent chief executive Tony Wray blamed the previous management regime for the failings, saying it was “overly bureaucratic” and lacked sufficient controls.
The company has been subject to takeover rumours, although no movement has been made.
Earlier this year Severn Trent restructured itself as a core water and sewerage services provider after demerging Biffa, its waste management arm, and moving to Coventry from its former HQ at Sheldon.
David Wickens, quality and environment manager for Severn Trent Water, welcomed being named the top of the taps He said: “Severn Trent takes the production of high quality drinking water very seriously, so we’re naturally delighted to have come top in this blind test.
“The results demonstrate that we’re doing a good job in providing our customers with top-quality, great tasting water.”
Anglian Water, which covers East Anglia and parts of the East Midlands, was placed second while Thames Water came third.
The tasting competition was set up to celebrate the launch of a new initiative from the Green Thing, an environmental group.