Spring Hill Farm stops production of bottled water

RYAN HUTTON/Staff photoRogers Spring Hill Farm recently installed a new filtration system for its spring water bottling business after it was found that the water contained higher than recommended levels of PFAS chemicals. The bottling business has since closed.

In the end, the situation was just too much for the Rogers family, which has operated its farm on Ward Hill for four generations.

Spring Hill Farm has decided to stop selling bottled spring water.

More than 30 employees of the local firm will soon lose their jobs, company president Harold Rogers wrote in a letter to customers in which he announced the decision late last week.

State health officials said recently that tests of some spring water bottled by the farm and sold at a variety of businesses showed the presence of chemicals, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances known as PFAS, could be harmful to the health of pregnant women.

Spring Hill had voluntarily spent more than $100,000 on a filtration system that eliminated the chemical from the water, according to Rogers.

Tests by Eaton Analytical showed the water to be free of PFAS after the new system was installed, according to an email sent Friday afternoon by Avigail Kosowsky, public relations assistant for Spring Hill.

“Despite these excellent test results, which were expected, this whole ordeal has been too much for a small, fourth-generation family business and the owners are steadfast in their decision to close it,” Kosowsky wrote.

In a letter to customers, Rogers, fourth-generation owner of the Spring Hill Dairy Farm, wrote that “the deluge of unwarranted attention on our company, when PFAS is clearly a national problem with thousands of contributors, has made it impossible for us to keep operating. Sensational, fear-inducing headlines relative to an advisory that impacts an estimated 6 to 7% of the population of Massachusetts (pregnant and lactating women and bottle-fed infants) have created an untenable environment.”

Rogers pointed out that as soon as the company learned about the problem, it took action.

“Since first learning about the PFAS issue, we took the warning seriously, responded immediately, installed a more than $100,000 charcoal filtration system to remove all PFAS. I am fully confident that the tests we took the day the system was installed on July 22 will return very soon with negligible or no levels of PFAS,” he wrote in his letter to customers.

 

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