About Our Water
At Ice Mountain, we know that freshness and consistency go hand in hand. Our rigorous quality control standards help us make sure that you will enjoy the same crisp, delicious water every time you take a sip.
To maintain the purity of our water, we employ a comprehensive, multi-barrier filtration system that involves carefully controlled and continuously monitored disinfection processes in hygienically designed lines. We test our water when it comes into the plant and for consistency several times per hour at every stage of the bottling process. Every year, we screen for over 200 possible contaminants—far more than state and federal regulations require.
We believe our bottling process and our dedication to giving our customers the freshest product possible are what give Ice Mountain® Brand Natural Spring Water its remarkable purity and consistently great taste.
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How often do you test your products? What do you test for and how do you maintain water quality?
We evaluate our products through a comprehensive quality assurance program based on international food safety standards that are subject to third-party validation. This includes rigorous testing of the quality of our bottled water products, from source to bottle. We perform hundreds of tests per day on each production line to safeguard the quality of our product. Our natural spring water is screened for more contaminants than state and federal regulations require – including total coliform, E. coli and lead. Our daily testing also measures parameters including pH and plate count that act as indicators of anything unusual in the water.
We lead the bottled water industry in testing and reporting on the quality of our products. We have made quality reports on the results of our testing publicly available for all of our brands since 2005.
We also employ a 10-step quality process to ensure the high quality of our spring waters. This process includes:
• Source selection and monitoring
• Source water receiving and monitoring
• Water storage and monitoring
• Ultraviolet light/ozone disinfection
• Bottling control
• Packaging control
• Clean-in-place line sanitation process
• Plant quality control and HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point)
• Corporate quality assurance program
We employ similar multi-step quality processes to ensure the high quality of the distilled, drinking, and purified waters we sell.
How are your returnable bottles managed in the Direct factories?
We have numerous safety and testing steps in place, both in the field and at the factory.
Our 3 and 5 gallon bottles are designed to be reusable. This decreases the use of raw materials and reduces waste. Each bottle goes through a vigorous and multi-barrier process that thoroughly inspects, cleans and sanitizes the bottles.
When our route delivery staff collects empty bottles in the field, they are screened visually. If there are obvious sources of contamination, suspect bottles are removed from the supply chain and destroyed. Bottles that pass this screening step are returned to the distribution branch and then transported back to the factory. At this point, each trailer of bottles is re-inspected and evaluated by trained staff. If any remaining bottles are deemed suspect, those bottles are destroyed. Once inside the factory, each and every bottle goes through a specialized, automated “sniff” machine that detects whether there is any presence of organic compounds such as gasoline or diesel. Any bottles that test positive for contamination are destroyed. Bottles that pass all of these examinations are washed with hot detergent, sanitized with disinfectant, rinsed, then filled with water and capped. Each of these processes is tested for efficacy throughout the day.
And hundreds of tests are performed each day inside the factory to safeguard the quality of our bottled water products. These include repeated tests on the water itself, tests on the contamination detection and cleaning equipment used in the bottling process, and inspections by our staff.
WATER SOURCES & THE ENVIRONMENT
How do you select the spring sources for your products?
Nestlé Waters North America's sources are carefully selected to meet specific criteria relating to taste, quality, and composition of spring water. Nestlé Waters North America's Natural Resource Managers evaluate springs to make sure they meet our criteria and to maintain the existing eco-systems supported by the spring. Decisions about the development and operation of a spring are based on rigorous natural resource management and sound scientific data pertaining to the hydrogeology, biology, and ecology of the source. Each spring source is carefully analyzed and monitored.
Are your bottles recyclable?
Yes, the bottles and containers that you purchase at retail outlets are all recyclable. Furthermore, if you are a Home and Office Delivery customer, your 3 and 5-gallon containers are returnable, and can be washed, sanitized and re-used an average of 30 times. We sanitize and recycle these bottles ourselves in our Home and Office delivery business, where we lead the industry in re-using 3 and 5-gallon bottles.
Is there BPA in your big bottles (3 and 5 gallon)?
All our Ice Mountain 5G bottles are now made from PET #1 plastic which is always BPA-free. Our 3-gallon bottles, are made from polycarbonate #7 plastic, a strong, clear and reusable type of plastic, which may contain trace levels of BPA. The FDA has recently again confirmed the safety of BPA for current approved uses in food containers and in packaging. Based on consumer preference, we are planning to transition our 3-gallon bottles to BPA-free plastic bottles in the near future. the remainder of our polycarbonate bottles to BPA-free bottles based on consumer preference. Please contact us if you would like to request a BPA-free bottle.
Why should I drink spring water? How is it different from tap water?
Taste, for starters. Many people are turned off by the aftertaste that comes from some chlorinated tap water. Then there's the question of quality. Many now worry about the threat of lead, chemicals or microorganisms in some public water systems. At Nestlé Waters North America, we are vigilant about selecting our spring sources; exacting about advanced filtration, bottling and packaging. We have to be—unlike public systems, our water is meant only for drinking. Convenience is another factor. You can't take your kitchen sink with you, but you can take the delicious, natural refreshment of spring water in an unbreakable, re-sealable user-friendly bottle—in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. That's why you see so many people toting bottled water wherever they go. Healthfulness, too. Recognizing that water is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, people are relying on bottled spring water not just for its great taste, high quality and convenience—but also for its role in helping them to achieve their personal health goals.
Can any water be labeled as spring water?
The FDA mandates that only natural spring water from a spring source meeting specific criteria can be labeled as spring water.
What are the other types of waters?
||According to the FDA, water that has been produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis or other suitable processes and that meets the definition of Purified Water, may be labeled as purified bottled water. Other suitable product names for bottled water may include "distilled water" if it is produced by distillation.|
||Distilled water is purified water that has gone through a distillation process.|
||According to the FDA, bottled water containing not less than 250 parts per million total dissolved solids (TDS) may be labeled as mineral water. Mineral water is distinguished from other types of bottled water by its constant level and relative proportions of mineral and trace elements at the point of emergence from the source. No product can have minerals added and still be labeled as a mineral water; the minerals must be naturally occurring in the product.|
||Drinking water is water that has been produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis or other processes as allowed by the FDA and is sealed in containers with no added ingredients except that it may contain safe and suitable antimicrobial agents.|
||At Nestlé Waters North America, sparkling spring waters all begin with our pure, natural spring water and are then carbonated with CO2 for a refreshing effervescence. These can be plain or flavored naturally with fruit essences. No sugar is added.|
|Artesian well water
||According to the FDA, artesian water is bottled water from a well that taps a confined aquifer (a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand) in which the water level stands at some height above the top of the aquifer. Unlike a spring, it does not naturally emerge to the surface.|
How long can unopened bottles of water be stored?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates the bottled water industry, does not require a shelf life for bottled water. Bottled water can be used indefinitely if stored properly, but we recommend no more than two years for non-carbonated water, and one year for sparkling water.
How should I store the water?
Bottled water should be stored in a cool (i.e. room temperature), dry environment away from sources of odor, such as household cleaning products, solvents such as gasoline, paint thinners and other toxic or odorous materials, and away from direct sunlight. A partially consumed bottle should be capped when not being consumed.