Trouble Brewing: Fecal Bacteria Threatens Popular Perrier Water Supply

Written by Kathrine Frich

Jun.14 - 2024 12:33 PM CET

Foto: Shutterstock
Foto: Shutterstock
Nearly three million bottles have been destroyed.

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Perrier, the iconic French sparkling mineral water, is facing significant production challenges due to water quality issues at its Vergèze source in Gard, France.

Two Closed Wells

According to l'independant These issues are not only impacting supply in Europe but also potentially affecting its availability in the United States, where Perrier holds a notable consumer base.

Recent reports from France indicate that Nestlé Waters, the operator of Perrier, has suspended operations at two out of seven wells used for production due to contamination concerns.

This includes disinfection procedures following the detection of fecal-origin germs in the water, leading to the destruction of nearly three million bottles as a precautionary measure.

Production has Ceased

As a result, production of the iconic 1-liter "green" Perrier bottles has ceased temporarily, with only smaller bottle sizes expected to be available until late summer, according to FranceInfo. Furthermore, Nestlé Waters has been granted permission to bottle a new sparkling beverage named Maison Perrier, which does not carry the designation of natural mineral water.

In May, regional health agency officials and local authorities visited the site to assess the situation, underscoring the seriousness of the water quality degradation in Vergèze.

Impact Availability

Similar challenges have also been reported at other Nestlé Waters sources, including those in the Vosges region, where brands like Hépar, Contrex, and Vittel are bottled.

For American consumers who enjoy Perrier, these developments may impact availability and product choices in the coming months. While Perrier remains a popular choice among sparkling water enthusiasts in the U.S., the ongoing production challenges highlight the vulnerability of relying on natural resources for such beverages.