Water from Revelstoke area being bottled in Vancouver

New owners of Revelstoke water bottling plant shipping water to Vancouver facility while they re-build plant

Marke Antonsen

The new owners of the Revelstoke water bottling plant are selling their product in the United States and in town.

Revelstoke Artesian Spring Water can bought at the Esso gas station and Big Eddy Market, said Marke Antonsen, who purchased the plant along with several other investors earlier this year.

It is also being sold in the United States, and Antonsen said they hope to sell bottles in China in the foreseeable future.

The water bottling plant is located off the Trans-Canada Highway, about 50 kilometres east of Revelstoke. It’s been closed since September 2009 and fell into disrepair when the building collapsed under a heavy snow load in March 2012.

“We cleaned it all up, it took $30,000 to $40,000 worth of dump fees to get rid of all of it,” said Antonsen.

While work goes on to re-build the plant, the owners are pumping the water into tanker trucks and transporting it to Vancouver, where it’s bottled. As of last week, five truckloads of 43,000 litres each made the trip, said Antonsen.

The plant comes with a license to withdraw about 1.2 million litres of water per year from 10 springs near the Illecillewaet River.

Antonsen dropped by the Review office with a case of 500 ml plastic bottles last Monday, Oct. 17. He said the bottles are a short-term measure until they purchase their own packaging equipment for the plant.

“We’re going to do bag-in-a-box, and we’re looking at TetraPak,” he said. “The plan is not to bottle there, it’s strictly environmentally-friendly packaging material. That’s the plan.”

He said he’ll be traveling to Pack Expo International in Chicago next month to make a final determination on what packaging equipment to buy.

Once that’s done, they’ll be going into the site in the spring to rebuild the plant and install the equipment.

The water boasts a pH of 8, which some say is better for you, though there is debate about the merits of what is called high alkaline water.

The water currently wholesales for $0.50 per bottle, Antonsen said.