SEARCHING FOR THE BEST QUALITY DRINKING WATER IN THE WORLD
Is the water we're drinking high quality? What does "high quality" drinking water actually mean? These two key questions are what we, the Muhr family, set out to answer, after one evening around the dinner table in the spring of 1999, in Greenwich, Connecticut. Immediately, we noticed a frustrating lack of quality markers for drinking water. How could something so important be so unclear? So we set out to uncover the most important qualities of the water we all drink.
THE MUHR FAMILY. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: PHILLIP, ELISABETH, KARLHEINZ, ALEXANDER AND STEPHANIE
IN PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE
Working with a team of scientists and water experts, we began to establish some core metrics for defining drinking water quality. Using their criteria, we began testing a large number of waters in laboratories. The results were eye-opening. What they revealed was that there wasn’t a single commercially available drinking water that met our criteria for “high quality”. Surely there had to be a natural water source somewhere that would make the grade… but where?
A SHOCKING DISCOVERY
Incredibly, the findings suggested that the answer to our question had by chance been close at hand… in Austria! More determined than ever, we re-focused the search to the area identified, and in October 2005 we found what we’d been looking for - an artesian aquifer, 700 ft (214 m) deep in a layer of rock beneath Obertraun, in the Hallstatt region of Upper Austria.
A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
The region of Hallstatt- Dachstein/Salzkammergut was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, due to its extraordinary natural, unspoiled beauty and 7000 years of historic importance - including ancient salt mining. The area is known as the "Cradle of the Celts", an historic people who later populated large areas of Western and Northern Europe, including what is now the United Kingdom.
The natural artesian “Dachstein” well lies at the foot of the famous Dachstein Glacier in Obertraun, Upper Austria. Formed in the Triassic times of pure limestone, and home to spectacular caves, the unspoiled land is owned and protected by the Austrian National Forest Service.
AN EIGHT YEAR JOURNEY
The water in the aquifer arrives there after an 8-year journey beginning as raindrops in the mountains above, then filtering through layers of the highest quality limestone. Protected from pollution by a level of earth called a Glacial Moraine, the aquifer appeared to be the natural source we’d been searching for.
RIGOROUS QUALITY TESTING
So, had we crossed oceans and continents in search of what had always been within reach? Before we could celebrate this breakthrough, we had to be certain the water in the aquifer was of the required quality. So a multi-year - and multi-season - testing cycle began, to ensure the water at the Dachstein Well was suitable for bottling. This allowed us to confirm 4 important points:
The aquifer is constantly replenishing
It has never been exposed to atmospheric contamination
It does not impact other water sources
The water is stable, with no change to its make-up over time
Once these facts had been independently confirmed it was time to embark on collecting the 57 permits needed to collect and bottle this pure, high quality water. Now, Hallstein is ready for you to enjoy - as unfiltered, unprocessed and unaltered as it is at the source. Finally, a drinking water that meets the highest standards.