Gogglebox’s Tom Malone Jr compares Yorkshire tap water to Evian – the secret why Sheffield water tastes so good

The secret behind Yorkshire tap water’s great taste can be revealed, after a former Gogglebox star compared it to Evian.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 12:55 pm

Tom Malone Jr tweeted his 72,500 followers asking: “Why does tap water in Yorkshire taste like Evian?”

Lots of people agreed there was something special in the water round here, with his tweet racking up more than 1,000 likes, though there were many differing theories about what makes it taste so good.

Natalie Brownell responded: “Because it's #GodsOwnCountry and we always provide the best water to brew the best cuppa @YorkshireTea.”

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Another follower commented: “I was at a show in London once and someone was trying to sell me a water purifier. They instantly gave up when I told them where I live and just said ‘oh, fair play, we can’t really beat @YorkshireWater’.”

Ryan McCluskey joked: “Because before it falls from the sky it's blessed by God, only inside the county though. He sheds a tear into our lakes and rivers making them so pure it's like liquid gold, mate.”

Phil Copeland was perhaps closest to the truth, writing: “It’s soft water. The south is hard water, too much lime and chalk.”

Emily Brady, Yorkshire Water’s customer experience marketing and content manager, said: “We've heard many, many times that we have good tasting water in Yorkshire, and we have to agree.

“Water in the north, and particularly across the Pennines, does seem to be the best to drink, which may be partly down to the fact we have more reservoirs here than in the south.

“We suspect it's the absence of calcium and magnesium carbonates etc - which make borehole water hard - that makes soft water so lovely.

Tom Malone Jr says Yorkshire tap water tastes like Evian (pic: Tom Malone Jr/Yorkshire Water)
Tom Malone Jr says Yorkshire tap water tastes like Evian (pic: Tom Malone Jr/Yorkshire Water)

“The water is different in different parts of Yorkshire.

“In the west side of the region – places like Bradford, Leeds and Sheffield – all their water comes from reservoirs, which is typically very soft water which some people much prefer.

“In other areas, like York and Doncaster, it's predominantly river water which is cleaned and put back into the system.

"And on the east coast, you have much harder water because that comes from underground boreholes. We dig deep into aquifers and the water from those is treated.

“We do move water around quite a bit when we have really hot weather for a prolonged period of time and our reservoirs are looking a bit low, but that's not the case at the moment.

“We have water quality scientists who test the quality of our water all the time, taking more than 200 samples a day across Yorkshire, and data on water quality is shared across the industry.”

In a blind taste test conducted by Yorkshire Water at the Great Yorkshire Show in 2019, 80 per cent of those taking part said they preferred the taste of the local tap water to bottled water.

However, it seems that taste in water, as with everything else, is subjective.

In 2016, judges including Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens rated Yorkshire tap water eighth out of tap water from 10 different regions across the UK, with Severn Trent Water, serving Birmingham, Derbyshire and Gloucestershire, topping the table.