How do you know Poland Spring® is spring water?


What exactly is "spring water?"

The FDA defines spring water as "water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth." The FDA sets stringent national standards for what qualifies as "spring water" – standards that Poland Spring® consistently meets or exceeds. Those requirements are:

  • Spring water shall be collected only at the spring or through a borehole that taps into the underground formation feeding the spring.
  • There must be a natural force causing the water to flow to the surface through a natural orifice.
  • The location of the spring shall be identified.
  • Spring water that is collected with the use of an external force, such as a pump, shall: 
    • be from the same underground stratum as the spring, as shown by a measurable hydraulic connection between the bore hole and the natural spring;
    • have all the physical properties, before treatment, and be of the same composition and quality, as the water that flows naturally to the surface; and
    • water must continue to flow naturally to the surface of the earth through the spring's natural orifice.

To view the FDA requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations, please see: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=165.110.

Is Poland Spring® brand water really spring water?

Yes, Poland Spring® is 100% natural spring water. The FDA defines the term "spring water" and regulates the bottled water industry. More than 20 years ago, there were many debates about the proper use of the term "spring water." The FDA resolved these debates by issuing standards for the usage of the term "spring water" in 1995 – standards that Poland Spring® is committed to upholding.  Poland Spring® meets or exceeds all state regulations governing spring classification for standards of identity, as well as all federal and state regulations governing spring water collection, good manufacturing practices, product quality and labeling. Our compliance with these regulations has been demonstrated to state agencies throughout the United States in all states where Poland Spring® is sold, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island and Vermont.

How do you know Poland Spring® is spring water?

Poland Spring® is 100% natural spring water. We have numerous quality controls in place to ensure the quality and integrity of our spring water products, including: 

  • Verified testing conducted daily, weekly, monthly, and annually; 
  • Independent hydrogeological reports; 
  • Regulatory oversight; and 
  • Long-term monitoring to verify the quality, long-term sustainability and spring profile of Poland Spring®.
For more information, please refer to our Quality Report: http://www.nestle-watersna.com/asset-library/Documents/PS_ENG.pdf

Why is Poland Spring® involved in a lawsuit?

This lawsuit seems to be an attempt to rehash an old debate about the proper use of the term "spring water." That debate was resolved in 1995 when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued stringent standards for spring water – standards Poland Spring® consistently meets or exceeds. 

All of us at Nestlé Waters North America work hard to ensure the quality and integrity of our spring water products, earn our consumers' trust and uphold the 170-year history of the Poland Spring® brand. We are confident in our legal position, and we will defend ourselves against the frivolous claims in this lawsuit.

If Poland Spring® is 100 percent natural spring water, why are you being sued?

While we cannot answer with certainty, the claims made in this lawsuit are without merit and an obvious attempt to manipulate the legal system for personal gain. We are highly confident in our legal position and will vigorously defend ourselves against the frivolous claims in this lawsuit.

Are consumers being misled into thinking all Poland Spring® water comes from one spring?

No, every bottle of Poland Spring® clearly identifies the location of its spring water sources, which are all located in Maine. For more than 170 years, Poland Spring® has proudly delivered great tasting spring water from Maine to millions of people in the Northeast. As popularity of our great tasting water grew, we added sources that shared the same geology and characteristics as our existing springs to match the quality and taste consumers expect from our Poland Spring® brand. Today, we source our water from eight different natural springs in Maine. Having more than one source allows us to meet consumer demand while protecting all of our spring water sources for long-term sustainability.

Have the plaintiffs been defrauded or damaged by fraudulent labeling or marketing?

No, Poland Spring® meets the long-established FDA regulations defining spring water, all state regulations governing spring classification for standards of identity, as well as all federal and state regulations governing spring water collection, good manufacturing practices, product quality and labeling. Consumers can be confident in the honesty and accuracy of the labels on every bottle of Poland Spring®, and that Poland Spring® is just what it says it is – 100 percent natural spring water. 

Is Poland Spring® safe?

Yes, absolutely. We pride ourselves on producing a safe product that goes through three levels of safety measures to uphold our high standards of quality:

  • Glacial filtration — The unique characteristics of Maine geology, with fine sand and gravel aquifers, provide one of the most unique natural water purification systems in the world. 
  • Investment in our sources — We lead the industry in our financial commitment to find, scientifically test, monitor and responsibly manage sources and their surrounding watersheds. 
  • A state-of-the-art, multiple-barrier approach to quality — From source to bottle, we use precise filtration and sanitation methods in all of our bottling lines. Our testing standards must meet or exceed those set by the FDA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Our technicians test Poland Spring® more than 100 times a day, beginning at the source, when it arrives at the plant, during the bottling process and before it is shipped to the market. Consumers are further protected by the use of tamper-evident packaging. For more detailed information please refer to our Quality Report: http://www.nestle-watersna.com/asset-library/Documents/PS_ENG.pdf

Poland Spring® has been involved in similar lawsuits previously. Why are you continually the target of such complaints?

While we cannot answer with certainty, the claims made in this lawsuit are without merit and an obvious attempt to manipulate the legal system for personal gain. We are highly confident in our legal position and will vigorously defend ourselves against the frivolous claims in this lawsuit.

Why did NWNA settle the 2003 lawsuit?

While we strongly believed the plaintiffs' claims were without merit and that we would have prevailed in court, we settled the case to avoid the continued distraction, uncertainty and expense of protracted litigation. Putting the matter behind us enabled us to stay focused on the business of serving our customers, rather than on a nuisance lawsuit. However, it is important to point out that in the November 2003 Final Judgment, Judge Michael J. Colwell said that "Neither this Final Judgment, nor the…Settlement Agreement…shall be…construed as an admission or concession by Defendant of the truth of any of the allegations in the Complaint, or of any liability, fault or wrongdoing of any kind." Furthermore, both the Judgment and the Settlement stated that we may continue labeling our Poland Spring brand as "spring water."

How is this lawsuit different?

The claims in this lawsuit are essentially the same meritless claims made in 2003. With the rise in class action lawsuits against food marketing companies, a new set of greedy lawyers is hoping to extract a big settlement from our company.

Both lawsuits are an attempt to rehash the 20 year-old debate about the proper use of the term "spring water" – something that was resolved in 1995 when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued stringent standards for spring water – standards Poland Spring®consistently meets or exceeds.

 Didn't the same thing happen with Ice Mountain?

In 2012, a Chicago-based business, The Chicago Faucet Shoppe, sued Nestlé Waters North America, alleging that the company deceptively marketed its five-gallon bottles of Ice Mountain® spring water. The defendant argued that Nestlé falsely represented municipal tap water as spring water, in violation of the Illinois Consumer and Deceptive Business Practices Act, and that Chicago Faucet would not have purchased the water had it been properly disclosed. In February 2014, the United States district judge for the Illinois federal court dismissed the case on the absence of a valid fraud claim by the defendant.