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      Business up, no sign of drought for Mountain Valley Spring Water

      HOT SPRINGS (KATV) In the past year, MountainValley Spring Water has grown by 38-percent. Aside from increased revenue,they've added 40 employees and a new production line. The company, based in HotSprings was established 143 years ago and still going strong.

      Mountain Valley Spring Water hasa rich history, withstanding the test of time; the company has never stoppedproduction since opening in 1871. Geologists have studied the natural springsource and concluded the water coming out of the spring is what rained 3,500years ago. On its journey it collects minerals.

      Today, many of theemployees are second, even third generation. Chairman and CEO, Breck Speed saysbusiness is doing very well but they still have room to grow. "We compete inthe bottle water business against all the imports. The San Pellegrino, Evian,Fiji, Voss and Perrier."

      They are the sole Americancompetitor in that premium segment. Speed says logistically it has itsadvantages.

      The company makes its own plastic containers. Since the 70's theyhave been the only business to continue to use a 5 gallon glass line.

      Mountain Valley recentlyadded a bottling line that allows for an additional 2 million cases a month. Plusthey now offer bubbly water, sparkling lime and blackberry pomegranate undertheir own brand. In addition to the spring water, they package products forclients, like the popular drink, Sparkling Ice.

      You will not find sugar atthis plant. Speed says, "There is a large macro trend in the United Statesright now where people are getting away from sugary, empty calorie softdrinks."

      Mountain Valley Spring Waterships to 38 states and they continue to look for ways to expand. Sparklingwater is important to the growth of the company, which is right here in thenatural state.