Moore Wilsons Spring, Wellington, NZ, 6011

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93 Tory St, Te Aro
Wellington, NZ 6011
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In the piazza of Moore Wilsons lies a little-known gem – an artesian fountain providing pure, unfiltered water from deep beneath Wellington Harbour.

The well was originally commissioned by soft-drink factory Thomson Lewis and Co, which used the water to make aerated water, cordial, and ginger beer.

Moore Wilsons spokesman Terry Christie says when the food store took over the site the well was capped, but store co-owner Grahame Moore decided to reinstate it.

The fountain is valuable as it represents the history of the location, Mr Christie says.

Water lover Lis Cowey is a regular Moore Wilsons shopper and tries to remember to bring along some empty bottles when shopping. “I grew up in Christchurch so I’m used to artesian water.”

She likes the water for its purity and uses it in her Soda Stream machine. “It’s as good as anything you can buy.”

Moore Wilsons asks users of the fountain to take no more than two litres at a time and there is a collection box for users to leave a voluntary donation. As of November last year $4760.50 had been raised by fountain users for Wellington Free Ambulance.

The artesian water was discovered in 1926 when a water diviner from Manawatu, Bill Brogden, was asked by Mr Lewis to test the site.

Geological experts had discounted any possibility of artesian water in Wellington, resulting in Mr Lewis stubbornly drilling to an unheard-of depth – 151m.

According to research by Mr Moore, the water was tested and found to be clear, colourless, and odourless. It is believed to come from underneath Wellington Harbour, originating in the Wairarapa. The flow has never diminished or been affected by floods.

The only change noticed was after the Murchison earthquake in 1929 when the water became slightly cloudy for a short period.

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