According to some major news media outlets the latest “fad” is “raw water”. If one reads the “news headlines” about this issue, it becomes evident that the facts are obfuscated behind the desire to sell news. Reading through the articles does show that this situation is more complicated than just unfiltered bottled water. It appears as though somehow news media outlets have branded unfiltered water as “raw water”:
“Raw water” is such a general term, it is ludicrous. Unfiltered water can have anything in it. Calling spring water “raw water” and saying it is good to drink because it is “natural” is just as dangerous as believing unfiltered water is ok to drink in any circumstance.
Now, what is “filtered” water? Who filters it and through what, and what, if anything, do they add to it? What is “raw water”, where does it come from and what is in it?
With filtered water we are supposed to know what’s in it and what’s not in it. It has become apparent lately, that lots of nasty stuff like lead, flouride compounds, and even bacteria can be in “filtered” water. Chlorine compounds are usually added to kill bacteria and fluoride compounds help prevent tooth decay.
Spring water can contain harmful bacteria and chemicals from “natural” sources. It can also be quite pure. The only way to be sure of the condition of a water source is to have the water tested regularly and to know the source and the existence of any possible contamination. Testing water is expensive and complicated. I’ve done it. Its nearly impossible to keep up with. Drinking unfiltered bottled water means you must trust the bottling company to provide safe water.
Please, lets not confuse water from a spring, or a deep well; with water in a lake, river, stream, or public reservoir, in other words, surface water. Water from any of these sources is in effect “raw” water; that is to say, untreated water. Water from a deep well is exponentially safer than surface water. Both are raw water in that they are untreated, or unfiltered by humans. Spring water and deep well water are usually filtered naturally. Often, water must pass through lots of sand and often compact glacial till, before it is accessible. Some well water is actually water that was trapped deep under ground hundreds, and/or tens of thousands of years ago, when there were no people living to pollute. Surface water is subject to contamination from sources not found in subsurface soil, sand and compact glacial till (limestone like substance). Anything water comes into contact with on the surface will be present in the lake, stream, river, or reservoir it ends up in. Just about anything from motor oil, to dangerous bacteria or viruses, pesticides, herbicides, toxic metals, fertilizers, paint residue, garbage, petroleum products of any kind; anything people use, make, throw out, discard, burn; can be in surface water. Drinking that water with the intention of getting “good” bacteria is totally insane. Putting well water, and spring water in the same “raw water” category as surface water is equally insane.
As far as selling “raw” water: that is an opportunistic scheme using obfuscated facts in order to make huge profits from selling water. If you want water that won’t make you sick; get distilled water and add the necessary minerals to it. A gallon of distilled water costs about 1 dollar. What is being charged for that special “raw water” that supposedly contains all that beneficial bacteria? Do people selling that “raw water” tell you specifically what “beneficial bacteria” you get when you pay for “raw water”?
Rain water is distilled water. True, there may be some contaminants in it but its not really polluted until it hits a surface. Water is one of the best solvents (if not; the best solvent) known to science.