Nova Scotia

Old Weymouth, N.S., bottling plant fountain still flowing, despite drought

People having going there for decades, but this year the dry conditions in southern Nova Scotia have made traffic outside the old Jones Bottling plant especially heavy.

The well, outside of the old Jones Bottling plant, has been flowing freely since 1962

Along the side of the road in drought-stricken Weymouth, N.S., fresh spring water gushes from an old fountain, attracting people from every direction. 0:59

Along the side of the road in drought-stricken Weymouth, N.S., fresh spring water gushes from an old fountain, attracting people from every direction.

People having been coming here for decades, but this year the dry conditions in southern Nova Scotia have made traffic at the fountain outside the old Jones Bottling plant especially heavy.

On Wednesday, a steady stream of cars and truck stopped to fill up empty jugs and tanks with water.

Fountain running since 1960s

Don Beeler filled the massive water holder on the back of his pickup truck. He said he's working 10 to 12 hours a day, delivering water to people who have no water left in their wells.  

"I've talked to people from Barrington to Middleton and they are coming here to get their water," he said.  

Johnny Jones calls it "the best water in the world." (CBC)

Back in the early 1960s, the Jones Bottling plant, which made Pepsi products, were digging a new well when the water rush began.  

"We dug a well and went down 45 feet and struck four feet of sand and gravel and 200 gallons a minute started coming," said Johnny Jones, 82, who said the fountain was his idea.

Jones says the water is from an underground river that is fed from Delaps Lake about 12 kilometres away.  

Filtered through natural ridge

The sand the water is filtered through is a natural ridge formed by an ancient glacier.

"It's good quality spring water and it flows like this year-round and we need it around here" said Kevin Tibbett, who stopped to fill up four large containers. Like so many other Nova Scotians, Tibbett's well is dry.

The fountain was created in 1962 when the Jones Bottling plant discovered the spring while digging a new well. (Village of Weymouth)

Father Vincent Onyekelu, the parish priest at the church in Weymouth, stopped by to bless the water.

"This water is water for life. It is a gift from God," he said. 

This isn't the first time the spring water has been blessed. Jones says he brought a minister down to bless it when it first opened to the public.

The Jones Bottling plant has been closed for a while. It's being remodeled to reopen as Canadian Artesian Springs.