Poland Spring has struck a deal to buy water from the Lincoln Water District’s Bella Luna spring, the ninth location in the state from which the Nestle Waters-owned company is drawing water.

Poland Spring began drawing the water last week, officials said, and is ramping up the process of loading the water on tankers and transporting it to the company’s bottling plants. Currently, about 16 tanker trucks are filling up daily, town officials said.

Each tanker carries about 8,500 gallons of water, Poland Spring’s James Tobin said.

The company originally bottled water only from its spring in Poland Spring. However, as demand has grown, it has branched out and made deals to buy water from other locations in the state.

Lincoln Town Manager Rick Bronson said the town is happy to have a new customer for the water district, which is managed independently.

The water district’s major customer, a Lincoln paper mill, shut down a couple of years ago and Bronson said townspeople were worried that rates might have to be increased to make up for the lost business.

Bronson said he doesn’t know how much Poland Spring will pay for the water supply. Jeff Day, the water district’s manager, could not be reached Friday.

In the last annual report filed with the town, covering the year ending Dec. 31, 2016, the water district reported revenue from industrial sources of $975. The year before, it had been $27,168.

Bronson said the additional revenue from Poland Spring should allow the water district to avoid a rate increase.

The town is welcoming Poland Spring’s business, Bronson said, adding that the company worked out a route for its trucks that will keep them out of the downtown.

“We want them here,” he said of Poland Spring.

Poland Spring said it selects locations for water after looking for the same kind of geologic features as its existing spring sources.

The company has faced opposition and lawsuits in other communities where it has sought approval to tap into local water sources, but in most cases it has been allowed to proceed.

It also has seen legal challenges by consumers who allege that the water no longer meets the federal definition of spring water, but it has so far beaten back most of those challenges in court.

Poland Spring said it has nearly 900 workers in Maine and pays about $49 million to those workers annually. It plans to expand and has been looking to add a fourth bottling plant in the state.

 

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