Hello, everybody. Seth here from Tourmaline Spring, and I'm with my business partner and one of my nearest and dearest friends, Bryan Pullen. We've known each other for over a decade now. And it's funny, because through the history of Tourmaline Spring and Summit Spring, and everything that's happened, Bryan and I have kind of been pegged as 'the odd couple', because the way people would perceive me is 'the left-wing liberal hippie' - even though I'm a political atheist - but still people would judge me or perceive me as being that, whereas Bryan would be more on the 'right-wing conservative' political angle. People would always say, "How are you guys friends? What's the common denominating factor, here? What ties you guys together?" And it's interesting, because so many things tie us in together, even though we may have different perspectives on certain angles, like everybody does. Bryan and I share such an affinity - obviously for water, but for so many other things in life around nature, and just around ‘being’, that it has allowed us to persevere through our friendship, through the ups and downs, through the trials. And believe me, we have been through some serious trials, with the whole raw water trend, with all the things that have happened! Our friendship was almost put on the line. We've been through it all. And here we are today. We're still close friends, we're still working together, and we still operate the absolute highest quality, most integral water bottling operation in the world, as far as we know, for a million different reasons, which you're going to hear us list and get into throughout this series of podcasts and interviews.
We're going to cover everything that we've always wanted to talk about. Bryan and I have been in front of every major mainstream media outlet you can think of. Every one of them! And we've wanted to say so much. And in fact, there were times when we did say what we wanted to say. And it was edited out of their final pieces because it didn’t make them look so good. So this is Bryan and I, this is Tourmaline Spring. This is Summit Spring. This is uncut, uncensored and completely raw, just like this incredible water that we drink and offer to the world. So I want to introduce my friend Bryan Pullen. And I think from here, I'd like to just get into the history of how you came to be the owner of Summit Spring, the history of it. Let's start there. Get into that!
The steward. That's such an important concept. That alone.
The steward, right? I'm going to be long gone here before too long, right? We all will. I'm the fifth steward in a 235-year recorded history, best we can tell, which in itself is quite amazing.
Explain people what that means, because most people have no idea what stewardship even means. But to be the steward of a source of water like this, this is something that people don't hear about. It's an unknown thing.
It goes back to a lot of Native American philosophies. I think it's more a protector. People said they've seen me as the protector of the spring. And it's my job, or it's the my chosen passion to take care, preserve and resurrect this brand, which has a lot of meaning in and of itself, right? Resurrection. And that's probably the main reason that I was able to purchase this from the woman, is because of my desire to resurrect the brand, and to respect its history, which nobody else wanted to do.
And nobody else, you mean other companies and corporations, and...
Yeah. Other buyers wanted to just buy this site, and then fill tankers with the water and send it down the road, and get paid.
Drill into it and ruin the spring, just to get more water.
I'm the only one that ever came forward over the years, who appreciated its history and wanted to restore its namesake and all that. So I take it all very seriously, the protection. Long after you and I are gone, my family, your family...this is generational, right? This goes on for a long, long time. You see a lot of the stewards in the past, had this spring most of their life, until they fell ill or died. Franklin van Zelm, a famous Christian Science Monitor illustrator/cartoonist, and his wife lived there for many, many years after that. So if you think about it, a 235 year history - five people's not very many. This was never in my family, so this is something I came upon on my own. I spent most of my teenage years in Raymond Maine down by Sebago Lake, and it just got too crowded for me. I used to ride my motorcycle out everywhere I could, to get away in the wilderness a little more, and I just found this area out here around Summit Hill and Harrison. It was like the land that time forgot, and I drove into a realty office and I said I'd like to buy 100 acres or more out here, and she said it's funny you should mention that. There's a piece of land we have for sale. It's not on the market anymore, but it sounds like what you want. Let me see if it's still available. Called the owner, it was. Long story short, I ended up buying it. As soon as I came here and started to prepare the land and improve the road, the neighbors said "You know, what used to be down the road was a very famous 55-room hotel." I was incredulous that in the wilderness here, you know, why would there be a 55-room hotel here? They said, "Well, there's a famous source of water." I've been interested in water for about 35 years, now. At the time, probably 15 years, because I'm a commercial pilot by trade. The first time I ever flew out of the State of Maine and went somewhere else, I noticed right away that the quality of the water was terrible. And had trouble drinking it, actually. So early in my career, one of the first things I noticed was the quality of water in other places. New York, New Jersey - terrible. I started bringing my own water from Maine as I was flying, and I always was interested in water, studied water. And when somebody said there was a famous natural spring down the street, of course it piqued my interest, and I went to the local Historical Society and they had ample records about Summit Spring. One of the oldest sources in North America, as it turns out. 235 year history. There are records, there are accurate historic records that date to 1792, which predates the town of Harrison, and predates the state of Maine. It was actually Massachusetts, back then. A part of the original colonies, so the history is incredible here. In the 1800s, it was taken by horse-drawn carriage and 35-gallon wooden barrels, and put on the narrow gauge railway in Maine, shipped in New York City, where it sold for 40 cents a gallon in 1881, which is over $100 a gallon today. So, a quite amazing history. I actually bought the land here in 1994. I approached the woman that owned the spring at the time, and wanted to help or be involved, or even possibly try to purchase it. And she was not interested at the time, and I was not able to actually purchase the spring until a decade later, in 2004, when she was considering selling it to a large corporation, which we won't name. But everybody can guess. And she was taken aback by my desire to resurrect the brand and the history. I had studied the history, knew all the history. She was so impressed with that, she decided not to sell to them and to sell to me and actually, to her credit, carried the note for me for 25 years, which I still am paying on. So if she had not done, that I could never have afforded it. It was a substantial amount of money.
Let's talk about that, because people don't realize. They see the brand Tourmaline Spring. I've so many people who think we're the biggest company. They're like, "Oh, they're one of those giants. They're huge. It's everywhere." And what they don't realize, is that there's basically three of us doing this. There's Bryan, the owner. There's Ray running the bottling facility, and there's me marketing it. That's it. That's the company, essentially, right now.
And bottling, often.
Right. And we all come up and do that together, at times. So people don't realize that this isn't a big company. This is a really, really small company. And Bryan been the Steward of Summit Spring for, what, 15 years?
15 years, now.
In 15 years...
Never turned a profit.
Never turned a profit. And I've had people be like, "Oh, you guys are rich, and you're..." This has been a passion play the entire time, to the degree where we've all been like, "What are we doing?" If we wanted to survive and do other things, there are so many other things we could do. But we keep being drawn back to this love of water that we have, which really reflects in, not just in the brand, but what it really reflects in is the way Bryan built the bottling facility. Because just the way the facility itself is structured, is something that people don't hear of. When you explain it to them, they don't even get it, because there are no other models like this. But the model speaks to an old-fashioned level of integrity that relates to stewardship, that relates to permaculture, that relates to working with the land as it is. To only be able to - I don't even want to use the word take - but to only capture what Mother Nature offers. The entire structure of the bottling facility was built with these principles in mind. Talk about that. Talk about what made you want to do that and how the facility functions.
Say it again?
S: 11:07 B: 11:13
I said, let's talk about how the facility works, and then why you built it the way that you did.
When I was studying the old photographs, I noticed in only a couple...there are precious few pictures of the barreling building, almost non-existent. There's only one or two photos, and there's an artist's depiction of the spring and where the water emanated from the side of the building. Or actually, before there was even a building, it was just an open, granite block area. And you could see where the barreling building was lower. And it just became obvious to me that they were filling these barrels by gravity, somehow. They were just letting the water flow into the barrel, because of the slope of the land and the high-altitude nature of the spring. It became obvious to me, this would be the perfect situation. To not impede on the water, not just suck it out of the ground, or...we don't need any of that. You just kind of redirected, gently, where you want it to go, and straight into the bottle. So by the time I bought it, the barreling building is long gone. It burned down or fell down. It wasn't there, but I could see where it was. So I just made the decision to excavate right where the barreling building was. In fact, if you look at modern photos of the springhouse now, you will see a series of granite blocks in front of the spring house. I put those there. They are actually the foundation blocks I found underground, of the barreling building itself. So they have a lot of historic significance. I kind of made a wall in front of the springhouse to protect it with those, and then rebuilt a small building there, and then we redirected it - the water used to flow over right outside and down the hill. We redirected the water in a stainless steel pipe into the building itself, all by gravity. And so it just became obvious to me. When you start looking at machinery, there are old-fashioned machines, like we work with Filler Specialties in...I think they're in Michigan or Wisconsin. Great old family business. I met the owner. He's the fifth-generation owner, and they use a style of machine that's a gravity-fed machine with a big bowl above it, where the bottles are just pushed up and release the water into the bottle. All with no pumps, and I just love this. That's an old 1700s, 1800s technology. Couple big wheels underneath and a little motor, and that's all it is. Nothing's pumped. So what a perfect situation, to do this like they did in the old days. It's like the old Jackson Browne song. It's like 'father and son, it's the way it's been done' since the old days. You know, and there's a lot of tradition in Maine. And what a perfect way, to try to recreate what they did. Capture this water with no human or mechanical interference in the water. And early on, when I first started, the state regulators and other people who had been in this business told me I had to treat it, and I had to do all these things, and this is how it's done. I didn't know any better. I just followed everybody's direction. But it started to become apparent to me, and what really started this impetus was meeting you and Daniel, talking about this in the beginning and wanting an untreated water for your clientele, right? For naturopathic, and...
That's Daniel Vitalis, by the way, for anybody who's listening, he's a close friend of ours. We've known him forever, but Daniel and I had a passion for water, obviously. A devout passion for all things related to spring water, just everything to do with water, but really in the vein of Viktor Schauberger, and this possibility of living water. I had a friend in Canada, Peter the Gnome and Raven, they had this whole living water thing going on. David Wolfe, who many people know, was a friend of ours. And we were all really into this. And Bryan reached out to me and Daniel, and said, "You guys got to come up here and see this, because it's everything that you're talking about." And all the springs that Daniel and I had seen, we'd travelled around the world, hot springs, cold springs, warm springs, salt springs, just everything, everywhere. We're right into water. Me, personally - and living in the state of Maine my whole life - I had never seen a spring like this in my life. It's almost like a strata volcano. The typical idea of what a strata volcano is is where there's that cone shape, and then the middle is lava. It's not dissimilar to that, but it's not magma or lava, it's water coming up. A lot of water. Old, ancient water.
Old water. And cold.
Cold water. Exactly. Really cold water. So to see this massive amount of water coming up, this high above sea level - literally, like way up above sea level - It just did something to me. It's like going to church or it's like having a spiritual experience. It invokes all these things. Or going to a sacred site. You have this feeling where you're like, "Wow, I'm somewhere special." Hence, sacred living water. Hence, this idea of stewardship, of protecting something, because there's a value that is beyond words. So not to go into a whole segue here, but I just wanted to say that about Daniel, and...
I had sampled the water out of the spring myself. Many, many times I would drink it right out of the ground. It was just phenomenal. And I had done a couple small venues, untreated like that, for a couple Chamber of Commerce events, but I never really thought about doing it untreated on a large scale. And you guys pushed me on, "Can we do this commercially?" I said, "Well, we're gonna need regulatory approval to do such a thing. That's really, you know, out there to do this on a large scale. But let's try, because the water is phenomenal." And the regulatory person that was in charge of me for many, many years, Scott Whitney, I said, "Scott, why can't I borrow this water straight out of the ground, sell it to the public?" It was like asking to borrow your car keys from your parents when you're 14 years old. You know what the answer is gonna be, you know? And it's no way, nobody does that. Everybody treats the water. Yeah, okay. I know my parents walked 15 miles uphill both directions to school, but now we have cars. Right, why are we doing this? So, explain to me why. I had the chemical analysis, had the testing, there's just no reason. The water was perfect, out of the ground. And to their credit, after a little bit of prodding and explanations and chemical analysis and reassurances from the testing agencies, they did acquiesce, to their credit. My hands off to the regulatory bodies in Maine. They're fantastic. Thinking outside the box. The drinking water programme, and the Department of Agriculture are codependent, or co-oversight of bottled water. It's the only state in the nation that has two agencies oversee it.
That's a big deal. That's a lot. Listen to that again, people. The State of Maine has two governing bodies that oversee drinking water. Every other State has one, or none. So they take their water very seriously up here.
We talked about it more, they...I have a letter of approval, for what we called raw water initially, right? Because that's the scientific definition of untreated water from a source, is raw water. So we actually got the trademark, and started bottling raw water, and without treatment. So we basically really pioneered the concept of untreated spring water in the United States. We know of nobody else that's ever done this on any type of scale. So we had the blessing of the State. And believe it or not, federal guidelines do not require water to be treated when it crosses State lines. It only requires it to be potable. So the Federal Rules did not impede us, either. So we were legally allowed to bottle water straight from the ground into the bottle without touching anything. And that's how raw water was born.
How long ago was that?
It was '09. Over 10 years ago.
Oh my gosh, time keeps flying by. Yeah, we'll post photos of that, and -
Keep in mind, the State of Maine...One of the things that was important, when I wanted to do this, I asked the regulator, how many complaints they have on file about Summit Spring water in its entire hundred and 50 year plus recorded history with the regulatory agencies, which many of that was probably untreated back in the day, right? They didn't have treatment back then. So you know that water was untreated in the barrels, and everything else. I said, "How many? How many complaints do you have on file?" And he goes, "Well, I checked right before I came, here to see what kind - There are zero." Zero! I was astonished. Zero complaints in a century and a half. I mean, if that doesn't explain everything you need to know...And that in large part gave them the comfort to do what we did, because there was a backlash in the media. People were writing into the head of the drinking water program saying, how can you allow this to happen? The ground is dirty, and you can't - you're supposed to protect us, and all this nonsense and the head of the drinking water program, in the papers, said, "Look, people. That water exceeds every state and federal guideline for drinking water straight from the ground. The ground is not dirty. Deep underground, things are incredibly pure." People just have misconceptions about the earth. It's an education process, for everybody.
It's the same filters that people use on their tap water, or their whole house filters. These are made of earth elements. So even the best whole house filtration systems and all their carbon elements, and everything that they're made with, pale in comparison to the natural filtration system that the Earth has installed in the case of this spring. It's incomprehensible, actually, to think about what could be happening with this water underground. And the many layers. It's funny, because I see all these different water filters, and it all goes through all these different stages, and different types of things. And it's like, the amount of stages that this particular water goes through in order to bubble out of the ground as this perfect drinking elixir is incomprehensible, and it spans over millennia, thousands of years. We had a water chemist come up here. John Dyer, amazing guy. On the laboratory for 40 years, this guy knows water chemistry inside and out. He said that this water is at least 10,000 years old, meaning that it had been underground for 10,000 years. This is his perspective. If not forever, it may have originated under the ground almost entirely, which that's another thing we can get into later, more hypothesis and speculation as to the source. But the point is, the amount of filtration that this water goes through. Just what we know is mind blowing. What we know is that it's coming from deep, deep underground. It's being pushed against gravity, up through the earth. So all the particulate matter, anything that's heavy in it, just naturally falls away. But then it's coming up through bedrock, it's coming up through sand, through silt, through all these different layers of Earth, which further refine the water. Then there's a bunch of - quote, unquote - 'shadow elements' that we don't even know about, which is why we rebranded the raw water as Tourmaline Spring, because I wanted to tell the geologic history of the entire area. The granite bodies that this water is coming through are so complex, there's so much mineralogy, gemstones...I mean, it's mind boggling - which, we'll get into this in a whole other episode of this. But the effect that all these different minerals are having on this water are something that nobody even really knows about. It's certainly having some kind of an ionization effect on it, but we don't know what it's doing. And it's funny, because a lot of people would think, "Oh, it's one of the most mineralized granite bodies in the world. You'd think the water would just be full of minerals."
It's very low mineral. What I find interesting is that when that water emanates at the surface and we scoop it out, you're now exposing yourself to something that has never seen the impact of human times. It's been there since before we were here. So you think about how much man has polluted the earth and our impact on earth. What other thing on this planet can you find that has had no impact from man? This water has been trapped underground in nature's vault. For, like you said, millennia. Nobody really knows. And to be able to drink of a...it's the holy grail, right? It's to drink from a source of water - which is, we're water creatures, it's the most important thing in our lives, right? Your blood is 93% water. To be able to put this pure water into your body, it's this gift from nature that has nothing in it. I mean people that drink tap water or the versions of tap water, which all the major brands are all versions of, like twice-baked potatoes, right? It's not one can of Febreeze. It's five cans of Febreeze. It's not one paper towel, it's 10 paper towels we put it through, and another company puts it through 20 paper towels. Okay, whatever. All these tap water-based products are chemical cocktails. That is not in dispute. The chemical analysis of any tap water in the nation is a chemical cocktail. And they will show you what's in there. It's obvious. Chemical, after chemical, after chemical. And the filters help reduce things, but they don't remove anything. They'll never claim to remove anything, because of the liability. They reduce it, but they don't remove it. Filters are like Febreeze. They don't kill anything. They just make it smell better. Because the primary ingredient in taste is smell. So if it smells better, it tastes better. But you're still drinking a chemical cocktail. Compared to a natural spring water like Summit Spring, that has nothing in it except trace minerals. Nothing. How can that not be a better choice? Can somebody explain to me how that's not a better choice? A natural product from nature that's so pure, it exceeds every regulation known to man. When the regulatory people are willing to say, "You can sell that to the public straight from the ground." They know. They're not stupid. They're tasked with everybody's safety, and they know there will be hell to pay if anybody gets sick. I have the utmost respect for them that they are willing to do what they did, using science as a guide. And having the intestinal fortitude to go, "There's no reason he can't do this," because he's proven to us with 15 years of testing - or at the time, five years of testing - complete 50-state testing, and the way in which we built the bottling plant with the stainless steel...It's a cradle to grave process.
Talk about that a little bit. I know you mentioned it a little bit before, but I think...spelling it out for people here, give them a real clear picture.
It's alpha to omega, it's beginning to end. We control the entire process, from emanation - birth - out of the ground, to in the bottle. Nothing can come in between those two processes. We control everything, there is no opportunity for contamination or any kind of issue like that. Just about every other product...Think about when foods are grown in the farm field. Then they have to be loaded and packed in boxes, and then they have to be transported to a factory. Then they have to be cut up. Think about how many places....In a [29:46] [inaudible] plan they call this critical control points. Where things can go wrong. Where bacteria, where things can enter this system and ruin your product, any kind of deleterious effect. None of that happens. We control everything, from its emanation, through a stainless steel pipe, into the bottle. There's virtually zero chance for anything. That's what the state felt very comfortable about. Our water is not being taken and transported from point to point, or put in a tanker truck. How's it get in the tanker truc? It's pumped. It goes through a pump, and pumps have oil seals, to prevent the oil and the grease from leaking into the water. So if a seal is failing in any way, that grease is getting in the water. You're filling it into a metal tank, it has to be sanitised. So there's sanitization residue, and those those tanks have to be sanitised. By law, they're open to the air, the air is getting to it. They're driving, they're being towed by a truck spewing diesel fumes to a tank that's open to the air. So you know the diesel particulate matter is going to enter the tank, that goes into the water as well. And water grabs everything. As the universal solvent, it grabs everything it sees. So there's a million different ways for that water to be impacted, but not in our situation. And it gives the State and the regulatory people...and we have we have centuries of history. These other companies we're talking about are a joke. These are modern creations, marketing creations. Show me another business with a 235 year history. We almost predate the formation of the United States of America. A few more years, we'd be before the Declaration of Independence. I mean, show me other companies like that, that bottle the same way that has been done all these years. We're the only one. Not only do we resurrect the source, we resurrected the method in which they bottle. I refuse to put in boreholes. I refuse to suck water out of the ground. We take only nature's overflow, and nothing more. We don't take a drop from nature. This water would normally run outside, and the second it touches the ground, it's contaminated and requires treatment. If I was to allow that water to hit the ground and then take it, it would require treatment because the surface of the Earth has contaminants.
Thank you for listening!
I am going to passionately and shamelessly plug Tourmaline Spring because it deserves it.
I’m suggesting that people need to know about this water, try it, and become part of the already regionally established recurring customer base, and discover what they know about Tourmaline Spring.
There is a reason why we have a customer base that continually reorders from us. There are customers from before the time that Bryan was ever the Steward and had preserved this great source - that have been customers for 40 years.
There were customers who had children with asthma that were using inhalers that were able to stop using them after making this special water a consistent part of their routine. This water improves lives.
We suggest that you try to drink it for a week or two and then see if you’re able to go back to something else. It’s doubtful your body will let you.
You can order cases direct from www.TourmalineSpring.com, or if you want to order by the pallet and do “water-shares” (where you team up with other’s in your area to have a pallet of 60 cases shipped to you), then email us through our website or at firstname.lastname@example.org
This water is better for your health than the highest quality organic foods are.
And at a time in history where people are so disconnected from nature, there isn’t a better product or element that you can find anywhere that offers the opportunity to help individuals get in touch with their own inner nature and the natural world. You are literally taking the naturally purest essence of water that has been refined for thousands of years by the Earth, to a degree that no man-made machine is capable of.
This is a rare gift that few have access to. If the world knew what this water was, there wouldn’t be any left for those who hadn’t already come on board. The spring only produces 250 thousand liters a day, and that’s it. Right now we bottle less than half of 1%. We are not drilling into it and taking a drop more than Mother-Nature provides, and as long as we are the stewards of it, we will prevent big corps from buying it and destroying it.
Read through all our info online and try the water and you’ll understand why we have such a loyal customer base who are grateful for our vision.
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Thank you for your time and consideration.