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Simply Artesian: Alabama Mineral Springs opens bottling plant

Published on Thursday, June 6, 2024, 10:29 am

By Carey Reeder | Senior Editor

After more than five years of preparation and planning, Alabama Mineral Springs, LLC opened the doors of its water bottling facility in the community of Mineral Springs to ship its “Simply Artesian” water throughout Alabama.

On June 5, the new $6 million bottling plant in the Mineral Springs community in Chilton County near Jemison was officially opened with a ceremonial ribbon cutting. Alabama Mineral Springs employees, founders and investors, as well as dignitaries from Chilton County and the state of Alabama were also on hand to tour and inspect the new facility. State dignitaries in attendance included Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, Brenda Tuck and Ellen McNair of the Alabama Department of Commerce, Alabama Senator April Weaver and Alabama Representative Van Smith.

“Small businesses are the benchmark for economic development efforts and we value our small businesses because (Alabama Mineral Springs, LLC) has hired five people and expects more soon,” Ivey said. “It’s growing here and I’m proud to be here (for it).”

Over 165 years ago, in the late 1800s, a natural, free-flowing spring was discovered in Chilton County, on the edge of the Appalachian foothills. The water was quickly found to contain minerals such as manganese and iron, and it also contained six of the seven known electrolytes – bicarbonate, calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus and sodium. The water from the spring also contains an average of 172 ppm of dissolved solids in each 16.9-ounce bottle. When people ingest minerals from natural sources such as food or beverages, they are more easily digested.

This led to the spring becoming a focal point of the local community, and in the 20th century it became home to a ranch and the old Mineral Springs Health Resort Hotel. The spring remained untouched for 25 years before Alabama Mineral Springs, LLC was formed in 2019 to utilize the free-flowing, natural spring that produces the mineral-rich water by bottling it and shipping it for consumption throughout Alabama.

“It’s very gratifying (that everyone is here today),” said Diana Windsor, director of sales and marketing for Alabama Mineral Springs, LLC. “We’ve worked hard… We’ve worked a lot of long days and weeks, but we got through it and we’re here.”

The new bottling plant is located in the community of Mineral Springs but has a Jemison address on County Road 187, right next to the spring. The spring, which is between 130 and 300 feet deep, produces 16 gallons of water per minute through the two openings on the property. The natural spring produces around 22,000 gallons of water daily.

Alabama Mineral Springs had the water tested and monitored for 12 months by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to obtain a spring water permit and ensure that the water actually contains the minerals claimed. The company received the permit, and the water passed all tests and was confirmed to contain these natural minerals and electrolytes. Investors joined the company to raise funds for the bottling plant, and construction began in March 2023 after setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic significantly extended the construction process.

“I think this is a great example for other rural counties and communities to look at how the leadership of this county and the state worked together to make this a reality,” said Ellen McNair, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “The company has put in a lot of effort, but they know they have the support of the community, the county and the state. Hopefully that gives them the support and resources they need to be successful. What a great product, it’s one of a kind and we’re so excited to see it hit stores.”

The bottling plant will be able to bottle 5,000 servings of water per hour. Alabama Mineral Springs can produce 30,500 cases of water per week and plans to ship five truckloads per day once the water goes on sale in early July.

Piggly Wiggly will be the first retailer to sell the water, but the company is currently looking for distribution partners to deliver the water to other retailers across the state. Sprouts and other convenience stores in Alabama are also on the list of retailers that will sell the water in July, and sales will also extend to Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle.

“I gave it my all because I wake up every morning with a goal,” Windsor said. “Many, many people don’t have a goal, but I wake up every day with a goal. It’s a true blessing.”

Alabama Mineral Springs, LLC was presented with a Seal of Alabama plaque for the facility during the grand opening by Governor Ivey.

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