When it rains it pours as the old saying goes and for David Schraub the more the better. Schraub is bottling rainwater and the cool, smooth taste of his Texas Rain product is turning into a hot item with consumers and retailers across the state.
“Blue Bell is to Brenham what Texas Rain will be to Smithville,” Schraub said as he enthusiastically talked about Texas Natural Rainwater Harvesting and Bottling LLC, his operation that’s set to explode with activity in the very near future.
Situated along Hwy. 71 at Kellar Road, Schraub’s Texas Rain operation looks like a standard industrial business park with long metal buildings and large overhead doors. Take a closer look, though, and you spy the huge black-plastic barrels that sit behind the main buildings with large pipes running into them.
Each barrel captures 10,000 gallons of rainwater from the large metal roof surface area of the industrial park.
“We believe it’s the largest fixed-capture rainwater collection site in the world,” Schraub said.
When it begins to rain, the initial rainwater that falls will wash debris like leaves and dirt off the roof and into a creek. After a few minutes, a valve switches the falling rain into the rain barrels where it’s captured.
“We capture about 12,000 gallons per inch of rain,” Schraub said. “The water never touches the ground, so its very pure and very low in dissolved solids.”
Rainwater harvesting has been around for centuries but in the past few years there has been a revitalization of the practice as newer technologies and cheaper techniques have been developed.
Rainwater harvesting is being touted by just about everyone as good for the environment in that it reduces dependence on groundwater supplies that are dwindling. Ranching and agricultural operations are developing programs for rainwater capture and homeowners are getting on the bandwagon too, installing capturing and storage facilities for rainwater to use on lawns and gardens.
Rainwater harvesting and bottling is a growing industry and operations are springing up across the country as well as right here in Smithville.
At Texas Rain, after the rainwater is captured, its pumped through filters and sent to a 65,000 gallon holding tank. At that point the water is potable Schraub says, but before bottling starts, the rainwater is re-circulated and filtered again before its final phase using sub-micron filtration, ultraviolet light and ozonation. The process does not use chemicals.
Rainwater is free of salts and harmful minerals and is naturally alkaline, which makes it taste good. Combine that with a bottle that’s biodegradable in active microbial landfills, and Texas Rain has “green” written all over it – and that’s not just because it’s good for the environment.
Distributors like the idea that it’s a natural product in a “green” bottle, but they also like Schraub’s ability to print his own labels, which means he can produce the unique bottled water for any company, sponsor or event that wants to put their label on it.
Schraub says private labeling is where all bottled water is heading and with his clean-room bottling and labeling operation he’s way ahead of the game.
Schraub has already inked deals with Wright Distributing and Centex Beverage and he says other distribution deals are underway.
You will also be able to find Texas Rain at Walgreen’s, Central Market, Schlotzsky’s and Whole Foods.
The growing movie industry in the Smithville area also caught Schraub’s attention and he’s been working to get private labels for the different production companies.
“I would love to see our bottled water on the big screen,” Schraub said.