Lawsuit: Poland Spring dried up 50+ years ago, we’re drinking groundwater


If you're willing to shell out for bottled water from a natural spring, this lawsuit has disappointing news for you.

That spring water might not be so... springy.

Eleven people have filed a class-action suit against Nestle Waters North America, the parent company of Poland Spring, claiming the bottled water is "ordinary groundwater" from a well the company drilled.

The alleged method violates FDA regulations requiring bottled spring water come from a natural spring or a well that accesses natural spring water. The suit claims that Poland Spring bottles far too much water to source from the eight springs listed on its site. Additionally, according to Courthouse News Service, the plaintiffs claim the namesake Poland Spring dried up half a century ago, thereby making the brand name itself misleading.

The plaintiffs seek at least $5 million in damages.

Poland Spring's website contains a detailed explainer of its "100% Natural Spring Water" and includes a map showing eight spring sources throughout southern and central Maine.

A spokesperson for Nestle Waters North America stood behind the company's sources and methods, according to a statement obtained by Courthouse News Service.

Suits against Poland Spring and its parent company, Nestle, seem to bubble up every few years. The best one in the archives may be this: "In 2003, the company was sued, also in Connecticut, because its advertising suggested that the water in Poland Spring came from a source deep in the woods of Maine when, in fact, the principal source was located near a parking lot," Portland Press Herald writer Edward D. Murphy so eloquently stated.

Really, You Paid for Bottled Water?

While this is a class-action suit, there's no immediate action step for consumers who feel they've been wronged. If that changes, we'll update this post.

For now, it might be worth examining your water-guzzling habits. Everyone grabs a bottle of water from a convenience store from time to time, but if you regularly turn to bottles to avoid drinking tap water, you may want to explore a more budget-friendly — and earth-friendly — alternative.

And if you don't have any qualms with your tap water, remember to fill a reusable bottle before you hit the road.

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites. We help millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. In 2016, Inc. 500 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the No. 1 fastest-growing private media company in the U.S.