Thirty Thousand Bottles of Drinking Water Provided to Kentucky Community Affected by Methane-Contaminated Well Water

PIKE COUNTY, K.Y., Aug. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Keeper Springs Natural Spring Water, a bottled water provider that donates 100 percent of its profits to support America’s waterways, in partnership with Appalachian Voices and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (KFTC), today announced the arrangement for the immediate donation and delivery of 30,000 bottles of Keeper Springs and Nestle Pure Life Purified Water to 13 Kentucky families in Pike County whose well water is contaminated with methane gas.

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“Keeper Springs understands that bottled water plays an important role when safe drinking water is unavailable,” said Chris Bartle, co-founder of Keeper Springs. “Our involvement with the Upper Watauga Riverkeeper at Appalachian Voices alerted us to this tragedy. Supplying a truck load of bottled water to these families is part of our mission, because we believe clean, safe water is a basic human right.”

Residents had reported to local authorities back in May of 2011 that their highly contaminated water had the ability to catch on fire, turn to black or orange, and that it burned their skin upon contact. After alerting Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford and a nearby coal mining company in hopes of resolving the issue, the residents still find themselves without a permanent source of clean, safe drinking water.

“Based on my direct, first hand experience with contamination of water by coal operations, I am deeply worried about the safety of the drinking water of these families,” said Ted Withrow, the former Big Sandy River Basin coordinator for the Kentucky Division of Water. “I just had to take the bull by the horns and get something done.”

“In all my 20 years of working on water quality problems, I have never seen a drinking water well catch on fire and burn continuously for days on end,” said Donna Lisenby of Appalachian Voices. “When Ted sent me the link to the WKYT news story, I was stunned beyond belief and realized I had to do something. Thankfully, Appalachian Voices has a strong partnership with Keeper Springs, and we were able to act quickly.”

The shipment of bottled water will arrive to affected Pike County residents on August 18. Water recipient, Jessica Bevins, expressed her relief and gratitude: “It’s good to know there are still a few people that will help someone [they’ve] never even met. I promise you, I’ll never forget [them] for what [they’re] doing to help me.”

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and Appalachian Voices hosted a brief press conference at 1:30p.m. on August 18, 2011, in Pike County, at: 2884 Big Branch Road, Pikeville, Kentucky. Any media interested in learning more are encouraged to contact Vanessa Giacoppo at [email protected].

About Keeper Springs

Founded in 1999, Keeper Springs Natural Spring Water was launched by environmental lawyer and advocate, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and two friends, John Hoving and Chris Bartle, with one mission: to help support, protect and restore our nation’s waterways by donating 100 percent of profits to this cause. The brand Keeper Springs is named to honor the keepers of the Waterkeeper® Alliance, environmental heroes who fight to protect waterways all over the world from polluters and degradation. To date, Keeper Springs is proud to have raised more than $900,000 to support America’s waterways.

Keeper Springs uses only 100 percent natural and sustainable spring water, sourced and bottled locally, and keeps our carbon footprint to a minimum by using LEED-certified bottling plants and shipping our water no more than 500 miles from our springs. In addition, Keeper Springs uses bottles made from at least 50 percent recycled PET…and is working towards a 100 percent recycled bottle. Keeper Springs also supports the most comprehensive recycling legislation and has spent over a decade helping to fight for better regulation, tough penalties and solutions. Keeper Springs is available at beverage retailers in many of the Eastern states, and is expanding distribution on the West Coast. For more information, visit

About Appalachian Voices

Appalachian Voices is an award-winning, environmental non-profit committed to protecting the land, air and water of the central and southern Appalachian region, focusing on reducing coal’s impact on the region and advancing our vision for a cleaner energy future. Founded in 1997, they are headquartered in Boone, N.C. with offices in Charlottesville, Va. and Washington, D.C. Since they believe working in concert with others produces maximum results, they are proud members of the Alliance for Appalachia, Waterkeeper Alliance, Wise Energy for Virginia, and Repowering NC coalitions. The Resource Renewal Institute recognized Appalachian Voices with a 2010 River Warrior award for our work to protect and improve water quality, fish, wildlife and river ecosystems. We were also awarded a 2010 BENNY Award by the Business Ethics Network for our role as a supporting organization in Rainforest Action Network’s Global Finance Campaign. E, the Environmental Magazine recently listed Appalachian Voices as one of their top five favorite ways to become environmentally active. They have also been recognized as a Google Earth Hero for their work on the website,, which was also named one of the first ever GOOD 100 “people, ideas, and organizations changing the world for good” by Good Magazine. For more information, visit

About Kentuckians for the Commonwealth

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth is a community of people taking action for justice. They work with people to organize in their home communities and across the state. They help everyday community members become extraordinary community leaders. They support community leaders as they build effective organizations. Together, we win important issue campaigns. For more information, please visit:

    Media Contact:                            Gregg Hirschorn/Vanessa Giacoppo
                                              Blue Wolf Communications
                                              [email protected]
                                              [email protected]
                                              (516) 767-9653 (office)

SOURCE Keeper Springs Natural Spring Water

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