May 12, 2015 8:40 PM by News Staff
Severe drought conditions aren't stopping new bottled-water plants from opening in California, the latest of which will be at the foot of Mount Shasta.
The Crystal Geyser Water Co. is opening a new facility in Siskiyou County and local residents are concerned the plant could deplete groundwater sources that are already running dry.
The facility, converted from an old Coca-Cola bottling plant, is the latest of more than 100 water-bottling operations in California.
State officials say bottled-water companies pumping up groundwater are exempt from the state's mandatory 25 percent water cutbacks for residents. Operations in Siskiyou County will begin this fall.
Residents say the Crystal Geyser will pump more water in a single day than a family uses in a year and many have expressed concerns about the environmental impacts of tapping more than 365,000 gallons a day.
Crystal Geyser says the company will work protect the local environment, and on Tuesday they issued the following statement to Action News Now:
Crystal Geyser Water Company was founded in 1977 as a California company, with all of our operations located in the state. Our facility in Mt. Shasta is not new, but rather we are reopening an existing bottling plant that in years past was operated by another company. Everything we do at our company is done with the goal of trying to ensure that all of the water we use goes directly into the bottle. There is no question that during times of drought all California manufacturers that use water in any capacity must adapt to conserve resources, just as we have done. All Californians are in this together, and Crystal Geyser Water Company remains committed to employing sustainable business practices.
There have been numerous independent studies and tests conducted by many credible engineering and hydrogeological firms and all have concluded that the restart of the existing facility will have negligible effect on the local environment. Crystal Geyser Water Company is working with professional engineers and geologists to ensure our operations are sustainable and will not impact the environment in any detrimental way.
While we may not be mandated by the state to reduce our water use, we have taken it upon ourselves to employ conservation measures whenever possible. For example, our Mt. Shasta facility will be a LEED certified plant, recognized for Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design. We have also identified technology that rinses bottles with air instead of water. This will dramatically reduce the amount of water required to bottle our products. With this new technique, we anticipate that once the first line is fully running, the Mt. Shasta water bottling plant will use an average of 115,000 gallons per day, which amounts to less than one percent of the total average daily water production of Big Springs, one of several springs in the Mt. Shasta area. According to the International Bottled Water Association, in California, bottlers use just .02% of the state water supply. Crystal Geyser Water Company uses just .00016%. Additionally, we are actively monitoring our water use.
The Associated Press Contributed to this report
12 hours ago