Retail water plans stuck in bottleneck


By Joe Moskowitz
New York City arguably has the best big city drinking water in the world. New York’s drinking water travels more than a hundred miles from its source in the Catskills to the City. Then it’s chlorinated and sits in more miles of rusty old pipes.

Yet, in taste tests, New York’s water often beats high-priced bottled water. Jim Di Lolle’s springs are just a few hundred feet from the Pepacton Reservoir. He says he has spent more than $1.3 million on his water-bottling business, and can’t yet sell a drop of it.

The former landscaper from south New Jersey says it took him more than eight years to get the necessary permits from New York’s Department of Environmental Protection, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Department of Health, and the Town of Andes. Once he got all of the approvals, then his troubles began.

He was going to build a large bottling plant on Barkaboom Road in the Town of Andes, but then he made a call to the Nestle’ Corporation and he thought his troubles were over.

Nestle backs out
Di Lolle says Nestle agreed to buy his water, which would be used in a flavored drink to be bottled by Adirondack Beverages, which is located near Albany. But, he says he refused to retool his facility to meet Nestle’s needs as it had just been certified. Because of that, Nestle abruptly backed out of the deal, leaving him holding a very expensive bag. And, he says, since then it has been an unending cycle of no sales, health department certifications and re-certifications, and no sales.

Has a theory
Why is he having all of these problems? He’s not really sure. And, what he assumes, would have to remain off the record. But he is certain that he a victim of the law. Murphy’s Law, that is. Whatever can go wrong.

It gets worse. Di Lolle’s budding Barkaboom business may be days away from bust. Of the $1.3 million invested, nearly half is borrowed. He says he has reached an agreement with his bank to avoid foreclosure. Then, he says, he will seek new financing to complete the bottling plant and try and do what he always planned to do, bottle and sell water.