The source

Deep in a virgin forest in Quebec’s vast glacial north flows a spring that is emblematic of nature at its most pristine

The spring in Saint-Mathieu-d’Harricana was discovered in northern Quebec by First Nations peoples almost 4,000 years ago. The source of ESKA water is protected by the esker and virgin forest in this remote region of Quebec. Produced over centuries of time by the awe-inspiring work of nature, its water is among the purest you will find anywhere on the planet.

Origins of the spring: the esker

The spring’s source is nestled deep in 5,000 acres of protected virgin forest under a bed of glacial rocks known as the Saint-Mathieu-Lac-Berry esker. More than 8,000 years went into the formation of the esker and the source of ESKA water. The history of this remarkable water resource is fascinating.

During the last ice age, the rising temperatures accelerated the thaw of the glaciers and unleashed large quantities of water. This rapidly led to the creation of a high-flow river and substantial sediment deposits.

Over the years, the glacial deposits gradually formed the esker as we know it today: a long ridge of rock, sand and gravel deposited in multiple layers. However, rather than burying the river completely, these fine layers of sediment protect it, their granular qualities allowing the water to seep slowly into the soil and arrive at the protected river.

Every day, the esker collects the rain and snow that stream into its underground formation. Filtered by glacial rocks, the water flows to the underground river, the natural source of ESKA water.

In essence, the Saint-Mathieu-Lac-Berry esker is a unique remnant of the ice age:

  • It is almost 2 km wide and extends 125 km across the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of northern Quebec.
  • It is the only esker in North America to produce water that tastes so pure, thanks to a natural filtration process.
  • Its granular soil holds such an impressive volume of water that it boasts the highest natural recharge of any spring in Quebec.

The esker acts as a natural filtration system for ESKA water. The water flows gently through it for more than 15 years, filtered by nature, pure and simple.