Poland Spring water has repeatedly been found to contain contaminants and is the defendant in a lawsuit claiming that it is not "spring water" at all. Poland Spring water can be safe to drink, but anyone drinking it runs a risk of ingesting harmful chemicals.
Poland Spring advertises its product as being 100% natural spring water. The actual Poland Spring in Maine ran dry 50 years ago. None of Poland Spring's eight water plants currently meet federal guidelines for being called spring water. It may be hasty to draw this conclusion before the outcome of the lawsuit has been announced, but it seems as though Poland Spring's use of the term "spring water" is fraudulent. They pump groundwater to the surface, which is hardly natural.
Some Poland Spring water bottles contain BPA, a harmful chemical that has been linked to heart disease and fertility problems. However, only the 3 and 5-gallon containers contain BPA and all the smaller ones are BPA free. In order to avoid health risks, do not reuse plastic with BPA too many times, because the plastic will degrade and leach BPA into the water. The FDA sets the recommended limit at 100 times, but to be absolutely safe, one should aim lower than that. Poland Springs themselves only reuse the bottles 25 times.
Disturbingly, some consumers have complained about a chemical taste and burning sensation in their mouth when they drink Poland Spring water. It seems they have issues with consistency when it comes to the quality of their water. One customer reported, "Certain batches for a while are okay and then a new delivery and the water is horrible. I can't even describe it other than it has a chemically, burn to it... The local liquor store's bottles had bubbles in them, but the water tasted fine until they got a new delivery and now it's not drinkable. Not sure where this water is coming from or what they're doing to it but it's got to be dangerous."
This is anecdotal evidence, but there's quite a bit of it. Here are some more:
- "The water tasted like metal and after drinking a bottle my stomach hurts."
- "...it had a funny sediment like taste to it. Just opened another case and my tongue is burning and my throat feels swollen."
- "There is something dreadfully wrong with this water. It doesn't matter where you buy it now, it burns your tongue, leaves a horrible chemical after taste."
It seems as though Poland Spring water has deteriorated in quality, likely due to changes in source. Here are more customer claims:
- "Used to taste great but gradually tastes like more and more tap water is being used, yes regular tap water."
- "I am very disappointed that after consuming Poland Springs water for over 20 years, the quality has deteriorated so drastically and so suddenly! I recently purchased multiple packs. I was horrified by the metallic taste and the unpleasant odor, like old stagnant water! I will be returning it to the store."
According to Mercury News, the lawsuit currently being filed claims that “'One or more' of the company’s largest volume groundwater collection sites –which the suit says supplies up to 99 percent of the water in Poland Spring Water products — are near a current or former refuse pit, landfill or petroleum dump site, the plaintiffs say." In 2013, Huffington Post reported that, "Some Poland Spring water bottles may be contaminated by gasoline, the New Hampshire Department of Health warned." The company blamed it on Hurricane Sandy, but based on many consumer reports, this is not an isolated incident.
There are several negative health effects of drinking contaminated water. However, since (from lack of testing) it is not exactly clear what causes the foul taste, odor, and chemical burn that comes with some batches of Poland Spring water, we can't be sure of all the negative health effects to expect.
Ingredients to be aware of
- various chemical contaminants