Raw Water: The Latest Craze and What YOU Need to know

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Raw Water: The latest pseudo-scientific craze that could make you sick!

Would YOU drink unfiltered, untreated, and expensive “raw” water that comes straight out of the ground?

The new fad we are talking about is expensive and proponents claim that raw water’s health benefits include naturally occurring minerals and microbes.  Huge problem! The reality is any inadequately treated water from the tap or a spring is that those minerals can sometimes include arsenic, and those microbes can be deadly.

So why are people turning to “Raw Water”? The trend is borne of distrust for the public water supply, Bowles writes — including the disinfection processes the water undergoes, the fluoride that’s sometimes added to it, and the lead pipes that might carry it. Clean water means disinfecting water is key for preventing the spread of dangerous viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

Let’s Look at the water treatment process!

Civilizations have been trying to clean up their water supplies for millennia. Public water utilities in the US are focusing on removing dangerous, disease-causing microbes from water — turning to chlorine disinfection for the first time in 1908. The disinfection effort has drastically reduced cases of deadly diarrheal diseases like typhoid and cholera that spread via contaminated water, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls “one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.”

It’s not just city water supplies that need to be treated. Water that springs up in the apparently pristine wilderness can also make you sick — in part because of animal feces which contaminate most water and WILL make you very sick!

While the water flowing in the streams and rivers of the backcountry may look pure, it can still be contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other contaminants. Backpackers should boil water for between one and three minutes. If that’s not possible, the next best option is both chemically treating and filtering the water, sold at outdoor supply stores.

Groundwater wells, the ultimate in off-the-grid water that roughly 15 million households in the US rely on also need to be routinely tested for safety. Chemicals like arsenic, metals like uranium, or contaminants from agricultural activities like nitrates can leach into the groundwater that supplies both wells and springs.

Even rainwater, which is great for your garden, it’s less safe for drinking unless it’s been treated, Animal feces, chemicals in air pollution or in roofing materials and gutters, and insect larvae can all swim around in rain barrels.

True! There are problems with public drinking water

*Lead poisoning in Flint, which is a devastating example.

Scientists have detected low levels of pharmaceuticals in water supplies, although it’s not clear exactly what that means for public health, and inadequately treated water may sometimes contain risky levels of arsenic and hexavalent chromium, the potentially cancer-causing chemicals.

A manager at a grocery in San Francisco that sells the so-called “raw water” described it as having “a vaguely mild sweetness and a nice smooth mouth feel.” It might also have bacteria and other disease-causing substances too.

Turning A Blind Eye, Can Hurt YOU!

The news that people were choosing to buy water that had not gone through this process was met with concern, shock and horror on social media. Foolish no doubt and the wealthy people have seem to bought into this idea.

One company, Live Water, is selling this untreated liquid for $36 per 2.5-gallon bottle, and it is reportedly flying off the shelves of cooperative grocery stores in San Francisco. This is not just a California thing, you can now also get untreated water on-demand thanks to a start-up in Maine, or collect your own in Arizona!

The risk of waterborne illnesses from untreated water is not theoretical. It happens a lot! Campers often catch a nasty bug from unclean water.

 

Reality Check!

Raw water devotees are embracing the trend to avoid exposure to chemicals like fluoride and chlorine in order to maximize their health.

Food safety experts are flagging all the disturbing substances in the natural water supply including, but not limited to, animal feces and the parasite giardia. I can’t stress enough that if you are looking for healthy sources of water, this is not the answer!

This is a terrible idea. According to the World Health Organization, waterborne diarrheal diseases alone are responsible for 2 million deaths each year.

In an era of anti-vaccination activists, the idea came from Silicon Valley giving “raw” water companies millions of dollars to mainstream incredibly dangerous pseudo-science should come as less of a surprise, but it’s still disheartening. Water filtration is good. Toxins are bad!

Without water treatment, there’s acute and then chronic risks. There’s evidence all over the world of this, and the reason we don’t have those conditions is because of our very efficient water treatment system!

Despite this trend’s steadily rising popularity, many have expressed concern over people drinking water that hasn’t been treated thoroughly.

Anybody who drinks or is considering drinking this raw water, don’t do it! People have died of cholera, dysentery, and typhoid fever. This is a deadly fad, companies trying to pray on people that want better health and seek out the purest of the pure. The fact is untreated water has danger to our bodies plain and simple! There are many other ways to drink clean, healthy water and meet vitamin and mineral needs.

 

To help please contact thewaterproject.org

Credit: Newsweek, the Verge, the Cut, TheNYtimes

 

 

 

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