A company in McDowell County is sending more than 36,000 bottles of artesian water from the Blue Ridge Mountains to people in Houston, Texas, who have been displaced and cannot even get clean water to drink.
More than 14 million in Texas are without safe drinking water due to the severe winter storm that hit the Lone Star State. Cities such as Houston, Austin and San Antonio are under boil water notices until Monday. Some people are using shovels of snow just to flush their toilets. And more than 4 million people are without electricity in the intense cold winter weather, according to online sources.
But a bottled water company in the North Cove community of McDowell County is doing its part to help people in Texas get clean water to drink.
Greene Concepts Inc., is a beverage and bottling plant located off of U.S. 221 North in North Cove. This company bottles and manufactures a line of artesian water, called BE WATER, developed locally in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The 60,000-square-foot bottling facility has as its water sources a combination of several spring and artesian wells that are fed from a natural aquifer that is located deep below the Pisgah National Forest. The building occupies the location previously owned by North Cove Bottling Co., said David A. Johnson, vice president of communications for Greene Concepts.
His company is sending a truckload of 1,540 cases or 36,960 bottles of its BE WATER, a pure artesian spring water, directly to one of Houston’s warming centers, which is an emergency shelter when temperatures get dangerously cold. There, the warming center will receive the bottled water supplies and they will be handed out to the residents in Houston.
“This should make coping with the change in weather, loss of power and temporary displacement easier for everyone,” said Johnson. “According to a Feb. 18 article on weather.com, Houston was under a boil-water advisory, asked to conserve water and sometimes find it difficult to even locate bottled water. We found it challenging at the last minute to locate a company willing to quickly transport our inventory from Marion, N.C. to Houston, Texas. However we were able to locate one.”
Representatives with Greene Concepts connected with and received approval from one of Houston's warming centers, Gallery Furniture, where they are housing residents during the current power crisis, to donate a free truckload of the company’s BE WATER artesian bottles of water to assist the local residents.
“With pipes bursting and peoples’ diminishing access to water, we felt called to offer our inventory to assist the Houston community however we can,” said Johnson.
At the plant in North Cove, Manager Ken Porter showed a McDowell News reporter the 36,960 bottles of water bound for Houston. They are scheduled to be shipped out Friday.
“We are very humbled and honored to help the residents in Houston however we can,” said Johnson.
Greene Concepts Inc. finalized the purchase of the plant at 13195 U.S. 221 North and began restoration of the building in early 2019. In March 2020, full operations began at the facility in North Cove. Porter said it takes six employees to operate the bottling line at the plant.