Nestle Water truck rolls en route to Denver

(Image:Wikimedia Commons)

Some people worried about the environmental degradation involved in pumping water from a spring to a truck filling station, and then sending those trucks, dozens a day, from Buena Vista to Denver to satiate the world’s seeming insatiable demand for water in little plastic bottles. Others were concerned about potential damage to the aquifer. Others thought the whole approval process was a little whack.

Some mused that sooner or later a truck would flip. One did.

The Salida Mountain Mail reports that the accident happened July 16, though the paper’s first story only said a water truck had flipped, not identifying it as a Nestle truck, perhaps because the actual trucking had been contracted out to a Commerce City firm using trucks not emblazoned with Nestle or Arrowhead signage.

By the second story, the truth had come out, perhaps only because a former county official wrote a letter to the editor, saying, “Notice how The Mountain Mail failed to mention anything concerning Nestlé’s involvement in this incident.

“That is because Nestlé has prudently, and very frugally, contracted out the water hauling business to a firm in Commerce City…”

Excerpt from the letter to the editor from a former member of Chaffee County Planning Commission:

Back in July 2008, while a member of the Chaffee County Planning Commission, I foolishly wrote a letter to the Mountain Mail expressing my vision for the future should the Nestlé water application be approved.

I envisioned “an average of 25 tanker trucks, one every hour, 12 hours a day, lumbering out of the ‘well screened’ loading station onto U.S. 285 and heading up Trout Creek Pass with a line of frustrated and enraged drivers in tow, and then a repeat up Kenosha Pass,” and I wondered “how many deaths this ‘negligible’ operation will contribute to an already dangerous highway.”

The negligible operation was the Nestlé version of what they were planning to do to us. That letter resulted, rightly, in my being asked to recuse from further participation on the application.

Unfortunately, that vision, with respect to traffic, has already been fulfilled, and only by the grace of the Almighty was no car present in either direction when the loaded tractor-trailer crashed.

Milt Francis

The Mountain Mile reported that the driver suffered minor injuries in the accident that occurred four miles north of Fairplay.

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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