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.

11 PHOTOS
10 ways you can drink more water
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10 ways you can drink more water

1. Add flavor

Spa water, anyone? 

If you're not about that plain water life, simply cut up some fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs and add it to a jug of ice water. Some of our favorite additions include lemon, cucumber, strawberries and basil. 

2. Keep a bottle of water near you at all times

Sometimes, you just forget! But if you keep a glass or bottle of water in many places, it'll be a constant reminder to hydrate. We like to keep one in the car, at our desks, on our nightstands and so on. 

3. Try SodaStream

According to a recent survey, SodaStream drinkers drink 43% more water than consumers who don't own a machine. Forget store-bought bottles and opt for this convenient, eco-friendly and affordable magical machine. We're a big fan. 

SodaStream Power Metal Sparkling Water Maker Starter Kit, White, $133.99

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4. Opt for the one-to-one rule.

Drinking? No problem. We're big enthusiasts of this rule. For every drink you have, supplement it with one glass of water. Shots included!  

5. Download a water tracking app.

Track your water consumption with your phone. Apps like Hydro Coach and Water Time Pro can offer in-depth statistics on your water drinking habits. Whether you're drinking teas or eating a lot of healthy fruits, these apps take your diet and exercise into account. 

6. And with that said, eat your water! 

Fruits and vegetables are not only packed with great nutrients, but more water than you probably realize. Here's a breakdown of some of our favorites. 

  • Watermelon: 92% water
  • Tomatoes: 94% water
  • Peppers: 94% water
  • Celery: 96% water
  • Cucumber: 96% water

7. Invest in a water filter

You might be more inclined to drink water if it's from a crisp, cold pitcher. Especially if you're not a fan of tap water, the Brita helps clean out murky different tastes coming from the faucet! 

Brita 10 Cup Everyday Water Pitcher with 1 Filter, BPA Free, White, $36.30

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8. Drink a glass before every meal

Get yourself into a routine to drink a glass of water before every meal. And then continue drinking! It'll also fill you up. 

9. Invest in a nice water bottle

If you spend a little cash on it, hopefully you're more inclined to use it, right? And you'll want to show it off! We're loving these adorable bottles from Swell, like this one that's also insulated.

It's worth every penny.  

S'well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, Double Wall, 17 oz, Turquoise Blue, $35.00

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10. Set goals for yourself

Now, with that snazzy new water bottle, grab a role of tape and measure out how much water you'll want to have had before a set time! And stick to it. 

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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.

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