Wacissa Water War

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email

The brand names are familiar..Deer Park..or Zepherhills…this Madison County Nestle waters plant pumps out more than a hundred thousand bottles an hour from a nearby spring….But the Ken Koptiuch says Company needs more to meet demand.

“We don’t necessarily use water from the same source to put on a Sam’s Club product as we would on a Zepherhills product”, says the plant manager. “So we look for alternate sources for that reason. ”

Nestle is studying whether the springs that form the Wacissa River in Jefferson county can supply up to a million and a half more gallons a day. The water would be trucked across local roads to the the bottling plant. Hardly a yard in the area is without a “say no to nestle sign” …Roland Brumbley was born here 65 years ago, and is a leading spokesperson against the plant. “We just want people to know that we love this river and we don’t want it destroyed. We don’t want these natural resources to go away”, says the 65 year old resident.

The company says it is just studying the idea…no decision has been made and won’t for at least 6 months. Koptiuch says The company will look out for the river..and pay attention to local residents. “If the scientific study shows this is not a feasible project, we will walk away”.

If approved and after paying a couple hundred dollars for a use permit, Nestle could take a million and a half gallons a day and never pay another cent.The fact the water is almost free burns local residents like Brumbley even more. “And here is a foreign company, not an American based company, coming and taking something that belongs to the people of the State of Florida for free”, says Brumbley.

Nestle says if it is going to be charged for the water by the gallon…every user should have to pay the same fee.

Governor Charlie Crist proposed a six cent a gallon extraction fee for water in 2009, but if never got a legislative hearing.


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  • by Anonymous on Dec 23, 2010 at 09:58 AM
    I have seen a water plant and there are contaminants. They treat the water with chemicals to purify it and there are the usual industial contaminants involved with any type of machinery. Your figure about water use and its percentage of the total spring output MAY be accurate, but you offer no evidence whatsoever as to how much water may be taken without harming or changing the river. Did it ever occur to you that the figures you quoted are an average output of the springs and that output varies depending on drought conditions etc.? I am sure that the bottling plant will not be reducing their consumption of water to coincide with the springs output. What happens when there is a serious drought and the putput of the springs is 10% of its usual rate?
  • by Determined Location: Wacissa, Florida on Dec 23, 2010 at 09:39 AM
    To “Anonymous”; learn to read, no one said Nestle will contaminate the water, WE The People of Wacissa WILL in order to keep Nestle from pumping from our river if that’s what it takes. The river will heal itself again, but Nestle and them worthless Boland will not gain one cent from our river. We will NOT lose this battle. No matter what the cost, no matter what it takes Nestle and the Boland will not profit one cent from the Wacissa River. As far as Nestle pumping the river dry, we know they cannot dry up the river, but Nestle will be very detrimental to the river and to the roadways surrounding the river and the City of Wacissa. The people of Jefferson County have already paid to build a road to Malloy’s Landing for the Boland and then the county commissioners closed the road to the public, but not one cent has been repaid and never will. We refuse to stand by and allow this family to continue to bully us by throwing their money around. Understand this Boland will lose!
  • by julie barnes Location: leon on Dec 23, 2010 at 09:30 AM
    environmental ed--thanks for your comment.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 23, 2010 at 08:24 AM
    according to the SRWMD this river has an allowable reduction rate of 12.5%. Which equates to about 32 million gallons a day.
  • by Environmental Ed on Dec 23, 2010 at 08:08 AM
    It is much to late to worry about Nestle or anyone else bottling this sewage called water. Each and every one of "US" in our ignorance have decimated the springs of Florida. If mankind were eradicated right now, it would be years before the water could begin to clear to the point of pre-industrial revolution Florida. Stop the hatred, tax the hell out of industry and buy a water purification system. "American Air and Water" on the internet sells wonderful systems for about $500.00. It is too late to throw stones, protect your children and yourselves with education. The Florida waters are gone. Check out Crystal River or Chazzahowitzka or Falmouth Springs or etc.....
  • by jon Location: Jefferson County on Dec 23, 2010 at 07:57 AM
    JEFFERSON COUNTY would have to re-zone the area to Industrial for Nestle to be able to pump. It is currently zoned Agricultural. People need to keep an eye on Jeff. Co. zoning comm. and PROTEST at the meeting when they have the chance to approve this (or not). SRWMD will approve it. Nestle PAYS for some of their projects! It's always about the money, people.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 23, 2010 at 07:54 AM
    have you ever seen a bottled water plant. there arent any contaminates. they are purifying it not refining it. and as far as pumping it dry, not likely. 1 million gallons is 1.5 cubic ft/second. At roughly 390 cubic ft/second, you would need 260 Nestle plants pumping 1 millions gallons a day each, non stop, at the source (the 12 springs), for ever to dry it up.
  • by takem out Location: wacissa on Dec 23, 2010 at 07:30 AM
    if our elected officials won't make nestle stop then i think it's about time for the community to come together and stop them ourselves...there is power in numbers and those numbers are already armed ;-)
  • by needtoknow on Dec 23, 2010 at 06:42 AM
    this water may not be so pristeen it needs to be tested for the Erin Brockovich chemical hexavalent chromium if Tally water has it I bet this river has it too. So who benefitted politically from this whole Nestle fiasco?
  • by Janice Location: Waukeenah on Dec 23, 2010 at 06:42 AM
    Thanks WCTV for keeping this issue in the news and on people's minds. Everyone keep up the good fight, it was awesome to see so many people at the last meeting. Boland family ='s greed, plain and simple!
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