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What is the history of Poland Spring water?

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Quick Answer

The history of Poland Spring Water begins in 1844 when landowner Hiram Ricker concluded that the water he drank from Poland Spring in Maine overcame his chronic dyspepsia. In 1845, the Rickers began sharing water and by 1859 made their first commercial sale of the water. The Rickers marketed the water and the Poland Spring resort as a country getaway with recreational activities.

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Full Answer

In 1907, Hiram Ricker and Sons Co. opened a new bottling plant and springhouse on their property, producing 450 cases of water per shift. The Rickers lost the company and resort during the Great Depression, and it fell into the hands of a succession of business consortiums. In 1987, Nestle Waters North America added Poland Spring to its brands. As of 2015, the water comes from various sources in Maine: Poland Spring and Garden Spring in Poland, Clear Spring in Hollis, Evergreen Spring in Fryeburg, Spruce Spring in Pierce Pond Township, White Cedar Spring in Dallas Plantation and Bradbury Spring in Kingfield.

Poland Springs' parent company, Nestle, has become mired in controversy for taking water from places where water is being conserved. In 2014, the Maine Public Utilities Commission said Fryeburg Water Co. may enter into a long-term contract to sell water to Nestle Waters, bottler of Poland Springs. The contract runs for 25 years, and the parties can renew it for up to 45 years. The deal allows the water company to reduce or suspend Poland Spring's water withdrawal if there is a shortage or emergency.

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