International Bottled Water Association | IMMEDIATE RELEASE | May 4, 20110
Bottled Water Companies Keep Boston Area Consumers Hydrated During Boil Alert Emergency
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) members immediately responded to a municipal water system crisis in Boston affecting 2 million people by providing clean, safe drinking water after a broken water pipe left the city and suburbs without clean tap water. IBWA members delivered hundreds of special orders of bottled water to various schools, hospitals, the National Guard, and communities such as Arlington, Lexington, Malden, Marblehead, Medford, Saugus, Waltham and Winthrop. Although final delivery figures are still being determined, over 40 truckloads – or more than 1.4 million bottles of water – have been provided. The IBWA member bottled water companies involved include Belmont Springs, DS Waters Hinckley Springs, Ice River Springs, Nestle Waters North America and Polar Beverages.
Earlier today, speaking on behalf of the Office of the Governor, Mary Beth Heffernan, Secretary of Public Safety, issued the following statement: “I commend the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, Mayor Menino and other local officials, National Guard, MassDOT, the Teamsters and private vendors for their response to this water crisis and mobilizing to deliver bottled water when it was most needed.”
“In many cases, IBWA members worked around-the-clock shifts to meet the surge in demand from the Boston area and coordinate complicated delivery logistics,” said Joe Doss, President and CEO of IBWA. “Our members worked throughout the weekend to get deliveries to area hospitals. In one case, the National Guard went directly to a member’s warehouse and picked-up 11 truckloads of bottled water.”
One IBWA member partnered with the United Postal Service (“UPS”) and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley to donate nearly 8,000 bottles of drinking water to more than 300 homeless families in Allston Brighton, Back Bay, Brookline, Malden, Quincy and Waltham. “Hundreds of homeless families have neither the transportation to get to the regional free [drinking water] distribution points nor the money to purchase bottled water on their own,” said Michael K. Durkin, United Way president and CEO.
The rapid mobilization in Massachusetts by IBWA members was typical of the bottled water industry’s standard response during emergencies and times of great need. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, over 10 million servings of water were provided. More recently, in Haiti, over $1 million in product was provided almost immediately after the earthquake. IBWA has been on the scene during last year’s wildfires in California and western Washington. In West Virginia, one small bottled water firm, an IBWA member, was on the scene of the coal-mining disaster in less than 8 hours and provided bottled water to grieving family members, emergency responders and the state troopers on the scene until search and rescue operations concluded.
The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters, including spring, mineral, purified, artesian, and sparkling. Founded in 1958, IBWA’s membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, to set comprehensive and stringent standards for safe, high-quality bottled water products.
In addition to FDA regulations, IBWA member bottlers must adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice is a mandatory annual plant inspection by an independent, third-party organization.
IBWA is proud to be a partner with Keep America Beautiful and a supporter of Drink Up, an initiative of former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which encourages Americans to drink more water more often – whether from the tap, a filter, or in a bottle. Choosing water is always the healthy choice.