In 2005, Folly Beach resident Mike Kirages and his wife purchased a 33 acre valley in Oconee County and, since 2014 they have developed a natural water source on the property. After 5 years of source and product development, the couple's property has been licensed as the first and only artesian water source in South Carolina.
Artesian water is below the bedrock and unlike spring water, is not under the direct influence of surface water. Kirages says the water is "centuries old, untouched by man, self-sustainable, and has minerality and taste comparable to some of the best waters on Earth."
There are only three other licensed natural water sources in the state, all of which are spring waters - Crystal Geyser, Hickory Springs, and Nestle Int'l. Kirages' product, branded as Oconee Valley Artesian Water, is a Certified SC Product and is available now.
"To achieve a minimal eco-footprint, we re-fill our own one gallon glass bottles for home delivery," Kirages said. "We also offer one liter ENSO plastic bottles for both home delivery and retail. The ENSO company has an enzyme that is added to the plastic that allows the bottle to biodegrade in the landfill (if not re-cycled). A third of the bottle is gone in 10 months."
You can learn more about Oconee Valley Artesian Water on their website: https://oconeevalley.com
For 14 years, Kirages was the founder and owner of the Chill & Grill, Snapper Jacks, FB Shrimp Co., and the Sunset Cay Yacht Club.