Once upon a time, as in just a few years ago, the water division of Nestle boasted some of the largest sales numbers of any bottled water company in History — until opponents of bottled water began asking questions about claims made by bottled water companies that bottled water offered health benefits that tap water could not.

It also did not help that other folks started pointing out (and publicizing) the growing problem of what to do with the billions of empty water bottles winding up in landfills.

Needless to say Nestle’s sales plummeted and ever since then the company has struggled to regain marketshare by creating lower-priced, more environmentally conscious bottled water products such as its Pure Life product whose .5L container claims to use approximately 35% less plastic than an earlier .5L water bottle made by Nestle.

Nestle has not stopped there, though, it seems. In fact, they started an interesting experiment whose results they hope will change the public’s opinion of bottled water… and it involves trout.

You read that correctly. We said, “Trout.”

Nestle is testing the health of fish – trout, to be exact – in Cascade Locks, Oregon, in an effort to prove that municipal water can replace spring water in their Arrowhead brand. Key to the year-long test is showing that the Idaho Sockeye, an endangered species, can survive in hatcheries supplied from municipal wells.

Resistance from local environmentalists is so strong – Nestlé put the 1,700-gallon tank under lock and key and added security cameras. So far, three of the fish have died and will be autopsied. ( source )

We don’t know if we really have much to say after that. Nestle wants to know if municipal water from a well can sustain the health of trout and somehow if the water can keep the fish healthy for a year, this proves… What exactly?

Undoubtedly we missed the point of Nestle’s 1,700 gallon trout experiment, but regardless of the results their product will require bottles for packaging that will clutter landfills and deplete the planet’s dwindling resources.

While we applaud Nestle’s creativity in trying to revive bottled water’s image, we think they will fall short of the mark… and most people will not switch from their very economical refillable water bottles, sports bottles w/ built-in water filters, etc.

Filter Water: Sports Bottle with Level 2 Filter
Sports Bottle with Level 2 Filter

Filters Fast: Brita Classic Pitcher w/ Free Nalgene Water Bottle
Brita Classic Pitcher w/ Free Nalgene Water Bottle

Water Filters: Culligan SB-3 27 oz. Water Bottle
Culligan SB-3 27 oz. Water Bottle