Michigan court rules against Nestle proposal for water pump building

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled against Nestle Waters North America's proposal for a building needed to ratchet up a water bottling operation.

A three-judge panel Tuesday sided with Osceola Township, which said the company's plan violates a local zoning ordinance.

The structure would house a booster pump along a pipeline carrying water from a Nestle groundwater well to a loading station in Evart, Michigan.

The company obtained a state permit in 2018 to boost the volume of water it pulls from the well for sale with the Ice Mountain label. It increased production from 250 gallons of water a minute to 400 gallons per minute.

A circuit judge overruled township officials' rejection of Nestle's building proposal.

The appeals court disagreed, saying Nestle's bottling operation was not an "essential public service" that would justify placing the pump structure in a location zoned for agriculture.

The Great Lakes that surround Michigan are the largest freshwater source on the planet. It's also a reason that Nestle settled Ice Mountain here.

Tucked into Amish country, about 50 miles north of Grand Rapids, is the Stanwood Ice Mountain bottling facility. There, water that comes from fresh water springs in three west Michigan towns fills plastic bottles.