Have you tried “raw” water?
The term is puzzling. (After all, does anybody drink “cooked” water?)
But raw water refers to a growing trend to shun tap and bottled water for to unfiltered, untreated water straight from natural sources…like streams and springs.
The movement took root in Northern California. But it’s no longer a fringe phenomenon. It’s taking off across the country.
Start-up companies from Oregon to Maine now offer to deliver untreated water to your home.1
It’s not cheap. Raw water can go for $20 a gallon or more.2
Websites, such as FindASpring.com have sprung up for people who want to forage in the wild for their own sources of “unprocessed” water.
Man’s Ancient Quest for Pure Water
The quest for pure water is nothing new. From ancient times, man has sought clean, healthy water, knowing that it’s vital to his existence.
The raw-water movement is the result of a rebellion against chemicals used in modern water treatment. Proponents say we’re poisoning ourselves with the stuff that comes out of the tap. It can contain fluoride, lead from old pipes, and chlorine compounds.
And even more important than what’s in tap water, is what’s not, say raw water drinkers.
Water treatment kills beneficial probiotic bacteria that is naturally in water, they say. And it removes healthy minerals.
An Invitation to the World’s Leading Killer
In theory, raw water sounds great…except for the high price. The problem is that it comes with big risks.
Anyone drinking from a stream or even a spring is vulnerable to a dose of bacteria, parasites, and viruses. It’s an open invitation to get one of the many potentially fatal water-borne diseases that were practically eliminated by water-treatment practices adopted in the U.S. in the 20th century.
Even when a stream or spring is completely pollution-free, wild animal waste can contaminate it with a wide range of pathogens.
Unfiltered, untreated water—even from the cleanest natural water sources—can contain hepatitis A, cholera, E. coli, or typhoid bacteria. It can also carry parasites that cause dysentery and giardia, an illness marked by severe stomach problems.3
And not all naturally occurring minerals are good for you. Some springs contain high levels of poisonous arsenic or radioactive radon, which can cause cancer.4
Water-borne disease—not cancer or heart disease—is the world’s leading killer. More than 3.4 million people die of it every year.5
Dr. Donald Hensrud is a nutritional specialist at the Mayo Clinic. He notes that countries without modern water treatment systems suffer greatly from water-borne disease.
“There’s evidence all over the world of this,” he said. “And the reason we don’t have those conditions is because of our very efficient water treatment.”6
That doesn’t mean you have to put up with the nasty chemicals in tap water. And we’re not suggesting you drink bottled water. It can be just as bad. That’s because it’s often just packaged tap water, coming directly from a municipal water source.78
Even worse, bottled water can contain chemicals that leach out of the plastic containers if exposed to heat or if the bottles sit around for a long time.9
We believe the best solution is a home filtration system.10
The most effective filter combines carbon filtration with reverse osmosis. These dual systems fit under your sink. They remove chemicals and most other contaminants. They cost around $200.
The highest level of protection is a full-home purification system. It filters water before it enters your home using both carbon and reverse osmosis. These systems cost $850 to about $2,600.11
Water is essential to life. Make sure yours is as clean as possible—not raw.
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