You've probably heard of Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water before. Well, if you thought purchasing bottled water in your local grocery store was safe, it's time to think again. Crystal Geyser is pleading guilty to dumping Arsenic in California's water supply for the past fifteen years.
Earlier this month, the company admitted they committed illegal acts, including storing hazardous waste materials and transporting them.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, they filed a plea agreement in the U.S. District Court, agreeing to pay $5 million in criminal fines.
People Magazine reported that the groundwater they sourced from the Sierra Nevada Mountain range contained naturally occurring arsenic. Officials reported that this waste was created by the filtration system present within spring water at CG Roxane LLC'S facility in Owens Valley.
In a formal statement, the U.S. Attorney's Office said, "In order to get rid of this tainted water, the company "back-flushed the filters with a sodium hydroxide solution, which generated thousands of gallons of arsenic-contaminated wastewater" in California's ecosystem.
The lawsuit dates back to 2013, when authorities who sampled the water found it to contain traces of arsenic above the limit for hazardous waste.
Crystal Geyser sells their water nationwide in stores including Walmart. At this time, it is unclear whether the bottled water in stores is safe to drink or not.
Two other companies were also charged in 2018 and now await trial along with Crystal Geyser for their April trial. The first hearing is set for February 24.
Representatives from Crystal Geyser have not issued a public statement on the lawsuit yet, nor has there been a public recall of these products.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned for more information.