When David Pottle, a plumber and inventor from Albion, was 16 years-old, he was handed down a 100-acre plot of land in Freedom. Thirty-four years later, he and his business partner, an Augusta man, Tony McFarland, who is also his cousin, are a bottling plant away from having a booming business.

“One day, about three years ago, David went out there messing around with a well drilling machine. Water came gushing out, we couldn’t stop it,” said McFarland. “It was crystal clear.”

McFarland said they paid $2,100 for commercial use testing of the water, to find out what they had really struck.

“It was declared pristine. It’s on the same level as Voss and Fiji,” said McFarland, citing two natural artesian water companies.

McFarland said the water is so pure because it falls on the Norumbega fault line. Deep inside the earth, the water has never been touched by human contact. According to McFarland, the water comes from a 350 million-year-old artesian aquifer, shielded under ice and rock for centuries, and is among the purest waters on planet earth.

“We are 1,000 feet above sea level,” explained McFarland on top of the mountain in Freedom. “There is no way for unwanted runoff to go downhill and into it, it is too high up.”

Also, the resource is renewable.

“It is an aquifer. It is water trapped between the bedrock. It is a renewable resource, it filters through and regenerates itself,” he explained.

McFarland added that Waterville engineering firm, AE Hodsdon calculated 140,000 gallons of water per day could be safely pumped from the site.

When the men realized what they had stumbled upon, they began building a pumping station. The station includes two 5,000 gallon tanks. The system and buildings have been tested by the state of Maine and are up to code. The buildings were also all built using wood from the land.

McFarland said they are currently seeking a buyer for the land.

“It is a bottling plant away from pumping out water,” he said. “It is ready to go. It is engineered and done.”

He also said the water could be used to create bourbons, wines, beers, and even flavored waters.

Down a long road, there is a very large open space right next to the pumping station where McFarland anticipates the bottling plant being built. It is a remote location, but still not very far from I-95 and Augusta.

McFarland grew up in the Freedom area. He thought back fondly to the old potato and green bean factories that made the small town thrive in his years as a youngster. McFarland sees the potential business as an opportunity for everyone.

McFarland and Pottle’s number one option is to sell the land, according to McFarland. He said he is not interested in “ruining” the land — his only interest is the “purity.”

“This is an opportunity for someone, and the town for that matter,” said McFarland. “The town could use the money, too.”

He said he has been trying to sell the property for three years. Asking several Maine businesses familiar with bottling beverages, he has had no luck. Although there is certain level of frustration, McFarland continues to try.

“It’s got great business potential, one of the best opportunities in Maine,” he said. “There has got to be someone out there who wants to buy water!”

He also said if there is no buyer within the next few years, he and Pottle plan to find investors and build a bottling plant.

“This is better than striking gold,” said McFarland. “It regenerates itself everyday. It is being filtered naturally, the ground is an organic filter.”

For more information about the project, call Tony McFarland at 485-2246.