Connersville’s award-winning water could be bottled for sale

Bottled water companies advertise the sources as being from ancient French springs, active Hawaiian volcanoes and Arctic icebergs. Next up could be tap water from the city of Connersville in eastern Indiana.

The Alliance of Indiana Rural Water recently named Connersville as having the best-tasting water in Indiana, an award the city also won in 2010 and 2012. Dan Parker, executive director of the Connersville Economic Development Group, said he includes the information on the back of his business card.

"I sell that," Parker said.

The economic development agency is looking into actually bottling that award-winning water, The Connersville News-Examiner reported.

Parker said several municipalities nationwide have done so, using Hamilton, Ohio, as an example.

It bottles its municipal water, called "Hamilton on Tap," and provides it to nonprofit organizations within the city, while also selling it in a small amount of businesses in the Hamilton area such as Jungle Jim's International Market.

Parker said he doesn't know why Connersville can't do something similar.

"I'm ready to make some sort of move for us to package it up and try selling it. Try to put some money in the coffers. This is a great idea and we're going to look into it," he said.

Other cities are allowing other companies to bottle their municipal water as they are selling their city water to bottling companies. According to a report issued in 2010 by Food and Water Watch, titled "Bottling Our Cities' Tap Water," the amount of bottle water which came from municipal tap sources between 2000 and 2009 grew by almost 50 percent.

Parker said the proposal to sell the tap water needs further study, such as researching possible partnerships with private companies.

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