Add to Technorati Favorites

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Crystal Geyser Eyeing Our Water -- in Bottles

Shades of Perrier!

Another water bottling outfit is back in central Wisconsin, checking out possibilities for a water bottling plant that could extract over 300,000 gallons of groundwater per day, if all goes their way. The proposed site is just a few miles away from the epicenter of the bottled water controversy early this decade, when local citizens and conservation groups sent Perrier (Nestle) packing.

River Rat was among several water rats at a meeting called by Crystal Geyser on July 21 to "dialogue" with environmental groups.

It was hard to even get past the introductions without arousing this Rat's suspicions. Despite their claim they're a "family-owned and operated company," it took some prying to find out they're actually half owned (44%) by a Japanese pharmaceutical company, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals. Rat doesn't know if there's any issues with Otsuka (yet), but it's just the wrong foot to start on when a company trying to "dialogue" with you evades questions about who owns them.

Then there's the bottling proposal itself, couched in the usual "We'll be careful!" and "Think of the jobs we create!" There are a lot of unanswered questions about what effect removing that much water will have on the area's surface waters, as groundwater and surface water there are virtually one and the same. They'll do the usual test pumping, hydro-geology studies, etc. That work will be done by a Wisconsin consulting firm, Ruekert-Mielke, last known for its laughable map-making for the City of New Berlin's application to Wisconsin DNR to divert Lake Michigan water.

Much more to come on this proposal, Rat is sorry to say.


  1. Great. That is just great. I don't understand how water that has been sitting around in a cheap plastic bottle holds any appeal whatsoever. When will people wise up?

  2. Crystal Geyser is also eyeing our area in Orland, California for an extractions and bottling plant. They are promising 25 jobs. Whoopee! Same M.O. Send a representative into town, talk to the City staff, refuse to divulge for whom the representative works, drill test wells. The community is up in arms, but only the City Council has the final say. Bad news in an ag area during a drought.