By Kasey Fowler, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
Seventy gallons of deVine Water Company’s product spills out of the ground each minute for anyone with a bottle to take for free, and the company encourages it.
The business allows people to have their water for free from an artesian well located off Oklahoma 11, just north of the Great Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge.
Max McDermott, owner of deVine Water, said the well is “God’s gift” to the area, and he doesn’t think he should take it away. He simply bottles the water for the convenience of the consumer.
“The water is still free, all you pay for is the bottle and delivery,” he said.
In 2003, the artesian well and the adjacent property were purchased by McDermott Liv-ing Trust from the Brickman Estate. The main well, along the highway, was drilled in 1954, and since that time water has been available to the public at no charge.
“When I bought the property, I was planning on tapping into the well on the highway, but we found out there were two more artesian wells we didn’t know about when we bought the property,” McDermott said. “We were able to tap into them, and that is part of why we could keep the well on the highway open. We always planned to keep it open. It is a way for us to give back.”
Originally, McDermott purchased a five-gallon bottling system and built a clean room in his shed. He quickly found he could not keep up, so in 2006 he bought a bottling company out of Kansas. In 2007, the bottling equipment was moved to the property adjacent to the well on the highway.
McDermott said he has wanted to bottle water from the artesian well since before the opportunity was available.
“I tried to buy that property probably 15 years before it came up for sale. When it came available, I was in a position to do it, and the bank was willing to help,” McDermott said. “I always had the urge to bottle that water down deep.”
The natural source and natural elements in deVine Water’s product sets it apart from other bottled waters. Naturally occurring elements in the water include calcium, fluoride, nitrate and magnesium. No chemicals nor chlorine is added to the water.
DeVine Water also does custom labeling on 12-, 16- and 20-ounce bottles for events, school fundraisers and businesses.
McDermott said the name of the water is derived from its location near the old township of Vining and the biblical passage John 15:5 “I am the Vine ... You are the branches.”
Like in the verse, the water source is the vine and deVine’s distributions are the branches.
DeVine Water is available at Jumbo Foods and through a five-gallon water service in Enid. Contact deVine Water at (580) 327-4420 (4H20) or www.devinewater.com. The company’s office is in Alva.