Learning about local, drinkable rainwater in Austin, TX

Richard's Rainwater site

This is the first-ever Richard’s Rainwater collection site. | Photo via Richard’s Rainwater

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Did you know you can drink bottled rainwater sourced right here in the Austin area? To kick off our Drink Up Week, we’re diving into the history of Richard’s Rainwater.

Founded by Richard Heinichen, Richard’s Rainwater is 100% pure, bottled rainwater. Yes, it’s really rain, and it’s from cloud to bottle. Rainwater is collected 
before it absorbs ground contaminants, so the company doesn’t treat it with chemicals like chlorine, fluoride, or ammonia.

So, how did this local sustainable water company begin? In 1994, Richard caught his first drop of rain after he grew tired of well water that seemed to not properly clean his dishes or interact well with his hair. At this time, he installed a whole-house rainwater collection system.

Then, Richard’s Tank Town (now known as Dreamland) was created in Dripping Springs, and you know what they say... the rest is rainwater history.

Eight years later in 2002, Richard’s Rainwater became the first company in the nation granted licensing to bottle + distribute rainwater. To date, Richard has earned 34 certificates in rainwater harvesting, which have aided in redefining rainwater consumption laws.


To create sparkling rainwater, still rainwater is carbonated at a low temperature under high pressure. | Photo by ATXtoday

In 2008, the sparkling water version of the still bottled rainwater was created. How does it work? The still rainwater is carbonated at a low temperature under high pressure, then bottled for customers.

A little over a decade later in 2019, the company began to expand its operations by partnering with Mississippi’s oldest brewing company, Lazy Magnolia Brewing.

To maintain the trust of its customers, the company provides an annual Water Quality Report, which can be viewed here. The business also donates portions of its proceeds to nonprofits focused on clean water and education.

What should you know about this rainwater?

  • Rain caught before it lands on the ground
  • No additives
  • No plastics or PFAS used

Ready to taste rainwater?

Austin retailers include Thom’s Market, Wheatsville Food Co-op, and Royal Blue Grocery. Other stores that carry Richard’s Rainwater include H-E-B, Whole Foods, Central Market, Specs, and Total Wine & More.

Water enthusiasts can purchase still or sparkling water in a 12 or 24 pack. Water is packaged in glass or aluminum bottles.

In addition to operating its rain-catching business in Dripping Springs and in Mississippi, the company has also partnered with Monday Night Brewing in Atlanta.

View a timeline of Richard’s Rainwater here.

Curious about what else we have planned during this week of local drink celebrations? Take a look at what we’ve got lined up.


Do you prefer still or sparkling rainwater? Let us know here.

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