I published a post a while ago on the valuable learning I got when doing a taste taste with bottled waters.
Read the post here. http://www.spill.co.za/tast-test/taste-test-mineral-water/2088/
Apart from the fact that some the bottled waters are not actually mineral water (tap water which has been bottled), and that you could poison yourself slowly drinking the stuff, the best bit of learning was that the finest water in Cape Town is free, and flows out of a natural spring overflow pipe on the approprately named Springs Way in Newlands.
The article provoked a huge reaction, not only from people who were shocked that well known supermarket brands were actually bottled tap water, but also from people who were delighted to discover that there was a safe, clean source of spring water that was available, 10 minutes drive from Cape Town CBD.
So I have decided to do a posting just on the spring.
I have to thank Norman Rasmussen for this (Nurm’s blog, www.norman.rasmussen.co.za) and also comments from Tim Godfrey from SAB Miller Breweries, who shed a light on how good this water is and its origins.
Firstly, it’s location. You can use your sat nav to guide you to 33 58 28 S, 18 27 28 e. Alternatively, if you are a paper generation analogue type person, drive out of town along the M3.
Take the Princess Anne exit (Signed for Rondebosch).
Drive down the hill after the exit and turn right onto Newlands Avenue. When you get halfway up, with the BP petrol station on your left, and the Forresters Arms on your right, you should prepare to slow down and turn left down Kildare Road, which is about three turns left after Palmboom Road.
Drive down Kildare, and the last turn left before the roundabout in the village (Melissas, Barristers Pub etc) is Springs Way. Drive down to the end and there it is. You’ll have to step down into the ditch and bend down to catch the water. If attempting this in darkness you’ll need a torch or a headlamp.
So what most people want to know is whether or not the water is really clean and safe.
I’ll let Tim Godfrey take over here.
” The Newlands spring is abstracted by SAB, and all beer from the Newlands Brewery is made from only spring water, no municipal water.
The quality is excellent for brewing, it has a pH of 5.6 (same as rainwater), low alkalinity, low mineral content, no contaminants.We do not treat the water in any way. It is textbook quality brewing water, fortunately unpolluted by agriculture and industry.
As a brewer I only drink the spring water, and the products made from it. Forget about the chemical stories, they are not true”.
He adds, ”The spring is owned by SAB and the Newlands Brewery uses only spring water in production of our beers, and have been for well over 100 years. The water is excellent quality and we are able to use it without pre-treatment. It is indeed the reason the brewery exists where it does. What can be collected at the end of Springs Way is the overflow from the spring. The berm around the spring can be seen over the vibracrete wall. It was recorded as already built in 1841 and protects the spring from damage.
It has a low hardness, which would make it the envy of lager style brewers worldwide. It has very low levels of heavy metals (less than tap water) and no contaminants.In short, it is perfect water, much sought after by members of the public in the know. It has cultural and other significance from members of the Muslim community who collect it.
It is sad and ironic that our beers are rumoured to contain chemicals – nothing could be further from the truth, with the spring making 93% of our products.
If anyone is interested I have a short paper on the history and significance of the spring – you can e.mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org”
I drink this water at home all the time now. I only use tap water to shower and to wash the clothes and dishes.
You’d be amazed at the difference in tea, coffee, soups and other water based foods using this water.
So there you have it folks – everything you needed to know about the “magic little spring” in Newlands.