Aug 20, 2003

California Town to Bottle Artesian Spring to Generate Revenue for City

Richard Ely, Carmel, Calif., councilman, proposed to the city council that it should look into bottling water from its artesian spring that was uncovered in the early 1980s, reported the Monterey Herald. Ely hopes that the bottled water will generate revenue for the city due to the product's high demand.

State budget problems and the poor economy have put Carmel is in need of revenue, which it has sought for the passed two years including such things as a storm water utility fee.

In 1984, the state Coastal Commission granted the city permission to install a 10,000 gallon tank, which the city would use to collect water for irrigation. A second tank was followed in 1989.

The water in the tanks is not drawn from a well but instead flow freely to the tanks. Overflow then moves on to the ocean. Ely pointed out that bottling the water would not tap into the city's tight water supply. The spring produces a steady flow of water, and it has been used for landscape irrigation and to fill the tanks of fire trucks.

However, the water source is considered an alternative drinking water supply in case of an emergency. The plan still needs to be approved by the City Council and Planning Commission and it may have to face the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District.

The Great Water Co. is being focused on to process the water for the city.

The Monterey Herald reported that water samples were tested by the county Health Department and sent on to the bottling company so officials can determine which processes will be necessary. The city also will need to select a label.