Poland Spring bottled water lines the shelves of most supermarkets in the US – but is it good water?
Here, we’ve shared our opinion on the taste, quality, and value for money of Poland Spring bottled drinking water. I’ve also looked at where this water comes from – and the controversy surrounding the brand’s claims in this regard.
📌 Key Takeaways:
- I think that the Poland Spring brand is good, but not the best.
- This water tastes pleasant and is relatively affordable, but there have been arguments that the water source isn’t natural springs, as claimed by the brand.
- A better spring water alternative is Mountain Valley Spring Water, while Aquafina is our preferred affordable bottled filtered water. Alternatively, filter your water at home to have complete control over what it contains.
Table of Contents
🔎 Is Poland Spring Good Water?
In our opinion, Poland Spring water is good, but it’s certainly not the best.
We judge the quality and overall “good-ness” of a water product by its taste, source, contaminants, and value for money.
Poland Spring water tastes pleasant due to its natural mineral content, but it doesn’t have the freshness or crispness of a more expensive bottled spring water product.
Plus, there has been some controversy over the source of Poland Spring water, and I highly doubt that it’s 100% natural spring water. This makes us question the water quality and the value for money of this mid-priced product.
🤔 Where Does Poland Spring Water Come From?
Poland Spring water comes from several different sources in Maine. The obvious source is the Poland Spring in Poland, Maine. Water is also sourced from the Garden Spring in the same region, as well as Cold Springs in Denmark, Spruce Spring in Pierce Pond Township, Clear Spring in Hollis, White Cedar Spring in Dallas Plantation, Evergreen Spring in Fryeburg, and Bradbury Spring in Kingfield.
There has been some debate over the legitimacy of Poland Spring’s marketing in the past. Nestlé, the company that owns Poland Spring, was sued for false advertising back in 2003, due to claims that its “spring” water was actually heavily treated common groundwater. The same lawsuit stated that Nestlé’s hired hydro-geologists found that one of Poland Spring’s water sources stood over a former refuse pit, amongst other disturbing claims. Nestlé never admitted to these allegations and the lawsuit was settled later in the year, on the grounds that the company made significant charitable donations over the next 5 years.
Nestlé faced another lawsuit in August 2017, this time due to claims that its water doesn’t comply with the Food and Drug Administration definition of “spring water”. This was supported by evidence that Poland Spring in Poland, Maine, actually ran nearly dry half a century ago. The company attempted to dismiss the lawsuit, but in April 2019, a US District Court judge allowed the case to go forward in 8 states. The case for Vermont didn’t go forward because it has a different definition of “spring water” than the FDA’s. I couldn’t find any updates on the case since 2019.
Why is it such a big deal where Poland Spring water comes from? Technically, it isn’t. Many bottled waters on our shelves are nothing fancier than municipal water, including groundwater, and there’s certainly no rule that says bottled water has to be spring water.
The problem is in the marketing. Nestlé has marketed Poland Spring water as “100% natural spring water”, which has led to claims that the company has frauded customers into overpaying for a “premium” water source, when the reality is that the water is apparently just treated groundwater – the same water that many states use as their drinking tap water.
⚖️ Pros And Cons Of Poland Spring Water
Controversy aside, let’s weigh up the pros and cons of drinking Poland Spring water:
- Poland Spring bottled water has a fresh, pleasant taste thanks to its natural mineral content.
- The rPET bottles used for this water product are virtually BPA-free.
- You can find Poland Spring drinking water in almost every store. It has good availability and is cheaper than premium bottled waters.
- Like any drinking water, you can drink Poland Spring bottled water to stay hydrated and quench your thirst.
- There are arguments that the famous Poland Spring that gives the water its name actually ran dry nearly 50 years ago. The brand has since updated its marketing to say that the Poland Spring source is no longer used, but water flows naturally into the historic spring house (which is open to visitors).
- There are also claims that “not one drop” of Poland Spring water emanates from the actual regulatory definition of a natural spring.
- The moderate pricing seems a bit steep, all things considered. You can find cheaper bottled water that uses a public water source.
✅ Is Poland Spring Water Worth It?
In our opinion, no, Poland Spring water isn’t worth it. There’s too much controversy surrounding this bottled spring water company. If you’re looking for natural spring water, avoid the Poland Spring brand and choose a bottled water product that has a genuine source.
Your money can be better spent elsewhere!
🔂 Alternatives To Poland Spring Water
Here, I’ve shared a few of our favorite alternatives to Poland Spring water, for folks looking for a good bottled spring water product, an affordable water alternative, or the best method of filtering water at home.
Natural Spring Water: Mountain Valley Spring Water
If you enjoy the taste and quality of bottled spring water, our top recommendation for you is Mountain Valley Spring Water.
I love this water because it’s naturally filtered as it flows through granite-based aquifers, picking up calcium, magnesium, and potassium, in the source location of the Ouachita Mountains in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Plus, importantly (though this should be a given), I could find no controversy around the validity of the water source for this product.
Affordable Bottled Water: Aquafina
Aquafina water never pretends it’s anything it isn’t: it’s purified water that’s obtained from public water supplies.
I’d argue whether any bottled water product can really be considered “cheap”, but Aquafina is more affordable than most due to its municipal source. However, the water is cleaner and purer than normal tap water due to its reverse osmosis water purification process, which removes the majority of dissolved solids.
Filtered Water At Home: Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher
I think the best way to avoid drinking contaminated water is to stay away from all bottled water companies and filter your water at home.
Filtering your water at home is more cost-effective than sustaining a bottled water habit, and it also gives you more control over what your water contains.
It doesn’t matter where your tap water comes from – the importance is how you treat it. You can choose to remove the contaminants you’re most concerned about, purify your water completely, add healthy minerals, and boost your water’s alkalinity. It’s your choice.
We recommend the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher for anyone who’s just dipping their toe into the world of water filtration. This affordable pitcher removes 300+ contaminants, including lead, chlorine, fluoride, VOCs, heavy metals, PFAS, and much more, while retaining the healthy minerals naturally present in your water.
How safe is Poland Spring bottled water?
Poland Spring bottled water is, as far as I can tell, safe to drink. While the Poland Spring brand Nestlé has come under fire for “deceiving customers” about its water source, there is no evidence to suggest that Poland Spring water products contain dangerous contaminants with health risks.
Is Poland Spring real spring water?
No, according to a class action lawsuit, Poland Spring water isn’t real spring water – it’s actually just treated groundwater (which is also used for various municipal water supplies). If you’re specifically looking for drinking water sourced from a natural cold spring, you’re best looking at other bottled water brands.
Is Poland Springs purified water?
No, I couldn’t find evidence to suggest that Poland Spring water is purified – either naturally or artificially – before bottling. However, like all groundwater sources, the water is naturally filtered by rocks and soils as it seeps underground, and the water is apparently treated with ozone disinfection to ensure it’s safe from microorganisms.
Is Poland Spring water high quality?
Poland Spring water is moderate quality. It’s groundwater, so it’s better protected against pollution than surface water, and has a higher natural mineral content. However, like most drinking water sources, the water may still contain low levels of contaminants, so while it’s safe enough to drink, it probably isn’t contaminant-free.