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LIVE OAK – The Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) has submitted its report on the application by Nestle Waters to take 1.5 million gallons a day from Ginnie Springs to sell as bottled water. Staff recommendation is to deny the permit based on incomplete information in several areas supplied by the original permit owner or Nestle.

The original permit, owned by Seven Springs Bottling Company, was originally issued on Sept. 11, 1995 and modified on June 25, 1999 and allowed for a total of 1.5 million gallons a day, but has never exceeded one third of that amount. Nestle plans to pump the full amount allowed by the permit.

According to Katelyn Potter, spokesperson for the SRWMD, the renewal application does not provide specific information about engineering plans to ensure it will be able to accommodate for all of the water it plans to pump.

The permit applicant, Seven Springs, also declined to provide a copy of its contract with Nestle, and instead, provided a memorandum of the contract. This memorandum does not show that the applicant is obligated to provide any or all of the requested allocation to Nestle.

As the highest reported actual use of water in the facility was significantly less than the requested amount, the previous use does not provide evidence of the physical ability to process the new amount requested by Nestle. Although they have stated that the facility is being renovated to handle the increased amount, they have failed to date to provide sufficient evidence that the renovations will create the necessary physical ability.

In addition, Seven Springs has only provided information for the High Springs facility, but has provided no reasonable assurance that the High Springs facility is the only beverage processing facility where the use of the requested allocation will occur.

Based on the incomplete data, SRWMD staff is recommending that the permit be denied. The recommendation will be reviewed by the Suwannee River Water Management District Governing Board at the upcoming March 10 meeting and public hearing. The Board can approve or reject the recommendation at that time.

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