Why is Summit Spring so expensive?

We are asked quite often why our water is so expensive.

That is quite an easy answer actually. It is so expensive because we invested millions of dollars in a true natural free-flowing spring water source and the 100+ acres of land that surround it. We bought a REAL spring, with an unprecedented and unmatched history in North America, with a rich history dating back to 1792; the actual beginning of the areas’ recorded history. Summit Spring actually pre-dates the town itself- Harrison, Maine. It was incorporated later in 1805! Summit Spring exists today almost exactly as it did 200+ years ago. We still gather our spring water right as it exits the ground and then we gravity feed it directly into the bottling plant 50′ away. Because of the unique situation where the source is a “high altitude” location, and the bottling plant is built in the footprint of the old barreling building, we are able to gravity feed our spring water directly to the plant which sits 17’ below the level of the source-just as they did in the 1800’s when the filled 35 gallon wooden spruce barrels the same way. (only we use stainless steel pipes today instead of iron pipes to further protect the water)

You see, we have a REAL spring, which flows phenomenally pure real natural spring water. Not the borehole (well) water that all of our competitors sell. It is much easier and far cheaper to just drill a well into the ground, call it spring water because the government doesn’t mind so much when the public gets snookered. Truth in labeling in this case is merely what best suits the large international bottling empires, not the buying public. The strict definition of “spring water” existed for decades-at least until the major corporations convinced the FDA to change it in 1999. I’ll show you the old and the new-you can make up your own mind about the truth.

FDA Regulations

Title 21-Food and Drugs

Part 165-Beverages

Subpart 165.110- Bottled Water

(i) ARTESIAN WATER: The name of water from a well tapping a confined aquifer in which the water level stands at some height above the top of the aquifer is “artesian water” or “artesian well water.” Artesian water may be collected with the assistance of external force to enhance the natural underground pressure. On request, plants shall demonstrate to appropriate regulatory officials that the water level stands at some height above the top of the aquifer.

(vi) [AGE OLD Definition] SPRING WATER: The name of water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth.

[ADDED Language in 1999]: Spring water shall be collected only at the spring or through a bore hole tapping the underground formation feeding the spring. There shall be a natural force causing the water to flow to the surface through a natural orifice. The location of the spring shall be identified. Spring water collected with the use of an external force shall be from the same underground stratum as the spring, as shown by a measurable hydraulic connection using a hydrogeologically valid method between the bore hole and the natural spring, and shall have all the physical properties, before treatment, and be of the same composition and quality, as the water that flows naturally to the surface of the earth. If spring water is collected with the use of an external force, water must continue to flow naturally to the surface of the earth through the spring’s natural orifice. Plants shall demonstrate, on request, to appropriate regulatory officials, using a hydrogeologically valid method, that an appropriate hydraulic connection exists between the natural orifice of the spring and the bore hole.

(viii) [UN-CHANGED Language] WELL WATER: The name of water from a hole bored, drilled, or otherwise constructed in the ground which taps the water of an aquifer.

Pay VERY close attention to the definition of WELL WATER: …the name of water from a hole bored (bore-hole)… Mmmmm…Seems obvious enough.

Quite frankly, and of great benefit to our competitors, water is a colorless, odorless and for the most part tasteless product. They all kind of look the same; and if you cool it down enough (which of course masks any problems) they all kind of taste similar. It is very hard for a water to stand out against a different water on taste alone- although many would argue Summit Spring does. Drinking samples of water at room temperature are a much better way to compare and much better for your body anyway.  Problem is, the most detrimental things in water-pharmaceuticals, fluoride, chlorine, chloramines, disinfection byproducts, anti-corrosives, lye, bacteria, e-coli, waterborne parasites, arsenic, radioactive isotopes, chemicals and the like; along with a host of other contaminants-have no real taste, and are not detectible on the palette. So how do you know?

You know by doing some research. You have to spend a little time and research the sources. Research the companies.

We have a trademark saying: “You should know where your water comes from”® and we mean it. It’s important. It is why we invested so much in our source. Why is it that no other company other than Summit Spring will show you an actual video picture of our source water bubbling straight from the ground? Doesn’t that seem odd to you? You can search the entire world on the World Wide Web and not find another company like ours. Sure, they will show you pretty pictures of buildings and sometimes some old photos of historic merit; but why no pictures of the sources? That is, of course the most important and compelling thing, right? We should be able to see those amazing natural springs, still bubbling away as they have for all of recorded history right? Wrong. The sources either don’t exist, or they have been exploited and destroyed-they don’t flow like they used to anymore. Why? Because when you drill a borehole (a well) and you start pumping water out of the ground at a rate that exceeds the natural flow of the spring- the spring will stop flowing. You are artificially lowering the aquifer, damaging the source and essentially raping and pillaging one of nature’s most precious gifts. Why? Because the big companies would rather suck more water out of the ground to sell more cheap water than to worry about the sanctity of a precious source. Short term gain without regard to the consequences down the road. It’s quicker, cheaper and more profitable and heck, if they destroy the source, they can just move on and drill a new well somewhere else. (which has happened more times in the past than you want to know about-trust me)

It costs more to do things the right way, like we do. Capturing ONLY the natural overflow of the source, without the use of any pumps or boreholes or wells. Bottling pure source water because if we don’t, the excess water that flows down the hill below the bottling plant is ruined anyway. Why? Because the second natural spring water touches the surface of the Earth, it is contaminated. Unfortunately the earth is covered with all kinds of natural and man-made pollutants. The second that “ground water” becomes “surface water” it is no longer able to be drunk without treatment. This is exactly why we built our bottling plant as we did and why we bottle immediately after the waters exit from the source. Summit Spring is the only company that does that anywhere that we know of, and believe me, we have searched. We believe ourselves to be unique. Capturing Real Natural Spring Water, from a free-flowing spring, gravity feeding DIRECTLY into the bottle without ANY filtration or treatment whatsoever-That is our RAW WATER, and that product is unique, period.

Don’t believe me? Don’t take my word for it- search for another. Check with the State of Maine Drinking Water Program and the Maine Department of Agriculture. Summit Spring is still the only bottled water company in Maine’s history to receive the unprecedented permission to bottle water straight from the ground and sell it to the public without any treatment or filtration. Sound rather astonishing? It is, and I have the greatest respect for the investigators and directors of those state agencies for having the gravitas to allow such a wonderful, healthy product to be sold. It would have been much easier for them to “just say no”. They know about the history of Summit Spring and they are proud of it as well. Maine is truly a unique and great state, and that is but one of the reasons. Maine is also a state that allows Raw Milk to be sold-another truly great and healthy product. There is a reason we were also awarded the State of Maine Premium Grade Designation for Bottled Water; one of only 2 companies to be bestowed that honor in over 20 years! Are you still wondering if there is a difference between bottled water companies?

It is clear you have a choice. You can spend a little extra money and get a great product with real value that will directly affect your health and wellness, or you can save some money and pay way too much for well water- your choice. I chose to operate my company with integrity and to bring to the market a superior product revered for centuries, and to do it exactly as they did in the past.  I refused to do things the way everybody else does. I refuse to capitulate or compromise. I am not going to destroy a sacred historic source to lower my costs to make the product cheaper to buy. I am not going to do it. Ever. I will let the company fail first. At least the source will hopefully stay intact for the next water steward to try and make a go of it. I am the 5th steward to own Summit Spring in its 200+ year history. Every other owner has failed to make it a success. In large part because people were not willing to support the efforts of the previous owners to protect the source and pay a little extra for a great product. Thank God at least it has never been destroyed or changed.

I am grateful to my customers that have stayed true to us and supported our efforts to save the spring and I am indifferent to those that have left for cheaper water from my competitors. They are only hurting themselves. Many of them come back when they realize the difference anyway. It doesn’t hurt me one bit when they consume lousy water- It’s only 90% of your blood- how important could that be, really?

Are you kidding me? NOTHING is more important (other than the air we breathe) to your health and well being than the water we drink. You are literally building and replenishing your bloodstream EVERY DAY with water.

“You should know where you water comes from”®            Believe me, you should.