In ‘Piers Plowman’ a long poem written in 1362 by William Langland, the spring that the peasant narrator slept beside and dreamt his allegorical vision of “a fair field full of folk”, is claimed by some to be Primeswell spring or Pewtriss Well as it was formerly called. Today water from Primeswell Spring is piped from the western slopes of British Camp and then bottled at Colwall by Coca-Cola. There are several secluded brick buildings over this hidden spring site, which house tanks and stainless steel pipe-work in pristine conditions. Inside the buildings the flow appears to be more prolific than at Hayslad and most remarkably, the natural colour of the water in the largest and deepest white-tiled tank is a clear Mediterranean blue.
In 2005 the controversial planning application by Coca-Cola to supplement this spring water supply by drilling a borehole at the ancient Walm`s Well, was withdrawn following intervention by the MSA, English Nature and others. In recent years after long, dry weather periods the Primeswell supply has significantly diminished in the summer months when the bottled water is in highest demand. As the spring’s flow rate also reflects heavy rainfall quite quickly, its supply increasing again only one month later, this variable flow rate means it no longer meets current natural mineral water requirements.
In 2007, to comply with Environmental Health regulations, the filtration process that usually takes place slowly and naturally as the water travels through fissures in the rocks of the hills, must now be supplemented by U.V. filtration to destroy any bacteria in order to permit commercial bottling throughout the year. Though this should not alter the taste and low mineral content of the water, the words ‘Natural Mineral’ and ‘Spring’ have had to be removed from the product’s label and have been replaced with ‘Malvern English Water’, which is close to what it was once originally called.