Nestlé Waters’ Madison County Bottling Plant hosted a special visitor on November 4 when Florida State Representative Elizabeth Porter toured the Silver-Level LEEDs certified facility. And the visit began with a pleasant surprise when the lawmaker noted that she is a former Nestlé employee!
Representative Porter, a member of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee of the Florida House of Representatives, was escorted through the Madison plant by Florida Natural Resource Manager Kent Koptiuch. The visit also included stops at Madison’s Beneficial Water Reuse spray irrigation field to demonstrate how effectively the facility captures its process wastewater stream for the production of perennial peanut hay on a neighboring farm, and at Madison Blue Spring – the primary source of Deer Park brand spring water in Florida. The Madison plant also produces some Zephyrhills Spring Water, and the Nestlé Pure Life brand drinking water.
During her tour, Representative Porter saw first-hand how Nestlé harvests water from the source and safely and efficiently bottles the resource for consumption. Madison Blue Spring is one of Florida’s premier, first-order magnitude springs; on average, it discharges more than 64.6 million gallons per day of crystal-clear spring water. It bubbles up into a naturally circular, limestone basin and flows down into the Withlacoochee River.
The lawmaker also learned about Nestlé Waters’ environmental priorities in water and land management and, in particular, our commitment to maintaining the health of Florida’s springs. Koptiuch described his role as a steward helping to ensure the long-term quality of area springs and making sure that Nestlé Waters’ harvests are environmentally sustainable.
As a community leader, Representative Porter was also pleased to learn that the Madison County plant and its employees are consistently the area’s largest contributor to the United Way program year after year. Her home is in Lake City, just 45 miles from the plant.
Representative Porter set an upbeat tone for the visit right from the start, when she let Koptiuch know that in the ‘90s, she worked for Nestle as a Retail Merchandiser in Jacksonville. And her legislative aide Koby Adams, who also came for the tour, remembered fondly that he used to swim and play in Madison Blue Spring as a child, before Nestlé Waters began its beneficial relationship with the spring. He was pleased to see the establishment of the Blue Springs state park, and the improvements in recreational availability and accessibility at the site.
As responsible environmental stewards, Nestlé Waters welcomes the opportunity to promote our sustainable management program, our role as caretakers of some of our most vital resources, and our efforts to build strong bonds with our host communities. It’s always an honor to share these practices with our local and State leaders.