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Richard's Rainwater

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
January 27, 2023 3:03 am

Richard's Rainwater

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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January 27, 2023 3:03 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, there are over 80 bottled water companies in the United States, but one of them has changed the game forever, Richard Heinichen's company, Richard's Rainwater.

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Learn more about their clean standards and shop clean at Sephora Beauty at Sephora.com. This is our American stories and we tell stories of all kind here on this show. By the way, we live in a state where it rains a heck of a lot. We broadcast here in Oxford, Mississippi, about an hour south of Memphis. And our next story is about rain, or rather an innovative entrepreneurs company that collects and bottles rainwater for sale out in Dripping Springs, Texas. That's right, Dripping Springs. That company is called Richards Rainwater and its founder Richard Heineken can probably be considered the godfather of bottled rainwater in the United States.

Here's Richard in our own Monty Montgomery with the story. The idea behind Richards Rainwater started because of a dirty Texas well. Well I moved out to Dripping Springs. I lived in Austin, Texas and moved out to Dripping Springs to help my sister-in-law build the Austin Zoo out. Her parents had this property out there and Susie, my wife, and her sister lived out there and her sister was raising goats and it turned into a zoo. So I moved to Dripping Springs and built a house and out here in the hill country there's no other source for water except for well water and so I drilled a well and the well guy was just leaving with a fistful of my dollars says Mr. Heineken you have a lot of water there that's a darn good well, a good flowing well and I went oh man I was so excited. Go in the house, brand new house right and took a shower. The hydrogen sulfite was so bad I almost threw up in the shower and the water was so hard when Susie did the laundry the Levi's could stand up in the corner and our hair stood out like fright wigs and we said man we can't handle this called a softener guy said oh yeah that's some pretty damn hard water there you can I can put you two tandem water softeners together oh my god. So I looked into solutions and I ran across a doctor who became a good friend of mine Mike McElven who started catching rainwater for his wife to really realize the well water out here basically kills plants it uh chokes their leaves if you spray it on their leaves it carbonizes over so they can't they they suffocate so he started a rainwater collection for his wife's roses and they flourished and his house flourished he got in to put it in his house he flourished he was a really advocate for it and I met him and I became one myself. So I looked into storage and found a fiberglass manufacturer in Texas and ordered a fiberglass tank and put it in and did a real real Goldberg job and it was all kind of new technology I mean but just plumbing is all it was so it's just a water level water if your gutters higher than the tank entrance it goes in by itself right and so I did that and hooked up a bump to it and I took a shower and I was the happiest guy in the world the soap just came right off it lathered up like you can't believe smelled wonderful it drank good and the dishes instead of being chalky all of a sudden became clear so my neighbor comes over and says god what you guys just buy some new dishes and I said no we're just washing them in rainwater now he said oh my god well I've been buying new dishes every three years and a new dishwasher every three years so I want that so I called back the fiberglass guys hey I want to be a distributor and he said okay let's work a deal so so I was selling fiberglass tanks like crazy I thought biggest tank salesman in the whole planet I put in literally hundreds of these things and I've got a thousand people were relying on tank town as their source for rainwater filters and you know maintenance prop things and so that's how it happened then one day I'm putting in these rainwater systems I have a crew of guys and I'm filling up our water for our consumption to keep cool the whole crew you know in a in one of those igloo five gallon water buckets one day we ran out super hot day sun so in July and I said okay guys I got I'm going back home to fill up our water again they say okay hurry back so on the way I thought you know I should be able to pull into a store and buy this stuff and the bulb went off right so I went okay and then so then I was just focused on bottling this stuff so I read the regulations on a water supply realized that I needed to be a licensed operator to run a water supply so I started going to correspondent schools and I went to Berkeley Cal and Texas A&M and I got my I got a license to be a public water supply operator got a permit number and all and then I started building a plant and anyway then I get to TCQ the government agency that oversees our water supply in Texas and they said well Mr. Heineken that's a pretty good idea but rainwater is not approved as a source for water I said okay so where are you getting your water he goes well you know where we get our water we get out of Lake Travis so where's that come from well you know it has it's like rain I said okay that's okay so I'm gonna that's what you know so we need to make this be able to have this as a source for water going oh I don't know sir and another thing Mr. Heineken now that we got this conversation going we can't talk to you anymore because you're not a licensed engineer so I went okay great well I will come back so I just had to prove it to them that it was a good source for water so I built a little pilot bottling plant and they said they proved that build it on bare hands I'm a blacksmith I'm a sculptor I've cut the pipes and and use transits and got the right things and welded everything up and then we go out and put more systems in I get a more some more money go out and buy more metal put it all up then I thought man this is I'm I can't really start this yet I got the plants going I got everything going I need some tanks I ended up buying 13 tanks and we had like 250,000 gallons and then I had the engineers and he's a friend of mine and basically wrote it on a napkin I said here write this out make it look real visual here's what we're gonna do we're gonna micro we're gonna put it through really tiny filters and we're gonna separate it after it goes into a couple of tanks and then we're gonna put it through UV light and then we're gonna store it in a sanitary tank and then we're gonna put just before a bottle we're gonna put ozone in it now ozone it's a really great sanitizer cities water supplies use chlorine and chlorine is a cancer-causing chemical and so we didn't want to do that the Clean Water Act required public water supplies to use chlorine and there was no other source of sanitation they would approve you know I have a saying the solution to pollution is dilution and it's the same thing these cities use they just say well okay here's a 10 gallons of chlorine and so we're gonna have to mix that with 13,000 and 170 gallons of water and that'll do it okay it might taste a little chlorine but anyway can't do that and so my plan was I said okay here's the deal if you take me to court and I'll you then here's a little into it we have to end up in court I'm gonna tell the jury that okay here's what they want me to do with my rainwater they want me to put chlorine in it and that will cause cancer possibly and then rainwater we've already proved it has no cancer-causing byproducts in it from the way we sanitize it so it seems like a really smart thing to do and so and then also if you say I can't do it them then it'll be it won't be good because the jury is gonna say well mr. Heineken we certainly don't want you to get cancer so I'd we like your idea they said well we kind of like your deal and it's also sustainable and then we started doing testing on it and and then did their monthly reports and it all always came back just beautiful and at that point more people in Austin and out in the hill country we're getting into rainwater collection so everybody's calling this anxious and saying hey I want to put a whole rainwater system in my house so four years later we got the first public water supply using rainwaters sole source of water without using chlorine and then that's it it's all over town and it's a pretty damn good feeling but it's a little difficult to get but Richard makes the bottling process sounded pretty easy after captured and put it in a in a collection tank that's the first thing to do like the city of Austin doesn't have to worry about that because they just suck it out of the lake we have to put it in a tank that has no light in it because light makes algae and algae is is a is not our friend and then we've processed that through more filtrations and then UV light and then finally just before it goes into our bottling line we add ozone to it at a certain percentage and only last 15 minutes and then and then we put it in the bottle and we seal the top of the bottle and then so that's a perfectly pure bottle of water because there's no trihalomethanes in it no chemicals in it and it's just it's just a beautiful bottle of water and you can taste it immediately when you taste it it's sweet because rainwater cleans your mouth I know it's kind of gross but there's calcium on your teeth all day long it's building up calcium when it washes that off it's just amazing so I've never had anybody say boy that's a lousy bottle of water it's always hey this is the best darn bottle I've ever had and it's just that's the fact that's what kept us going because it's an absolute truth there's any kind of comparison of another bottle of water it's just like blind testing is just kind of a simple thing to do because you just it's so obvious and I've come been through a lot of them and rainwater always prevails and great job as always to Monty Montgomery and you've been listening to Richard Heineken Richards Rainwater the story behind the product and the man here on our American stories. 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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-27 04:48:48 / 2023-01-27 04:54:43 / 6

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