A new fad in the USA lately appears to be "Raw Water". This is a potentially dangerous fad that could have consequences. Tap water, bottled water, or treated well water would all be safer and healthier.
From my understanding, this is untreated spring or well water. Something, many people in impoverished countries are forced to drink to their own peril! However, here in the USA, we are selling this "raw water" as a luxury item. Recently, this fad has even extended beyond the USA!
Here are a few articles we have found lately:
'Raw' water craze could leave you on the toilet
Experts are cautioning Kiwis against diving into the world's latest natural health craze - untreated, unfiltered "raw" water.
In some parts of the US, there's been a drive in alternative health circles to "get off the water grid" and drink spring water that hadn't been filtered, treated, or even sterilised.
One San Francisco grocery store was selling 9 litre orbs of the water - claimed to have "a vaguely mild sweetness, a nice smooth mouth feel, nothing that overwhelms the flavour profile" - for NZ$50 each.
There didn't yet appear to be any companies following suit here, but scientists have warned Kiwis not to try sourcing their own - and stick to their town supply.
"Consuming untreated water is like driving your car without wearing a safety belt - you might get away with it, but you are taking an unnecessary risk," said Michael Baker, a professor of public health at Otago University in Wellington.
New Zealand surface water was heavily contaminated with microbes that could cause sickness - among them protozoa such as giardia and cryptosporidia, or bacteria like salmonella and campylobacter, which struck down more than 5000 Havelock North residents in 2016.
There were also increasing cases of serious, and occasionally fatal, shiga-toxin producing E. coli infections, Bakers said.
"From a health and sustainability perspective, the science supports use of treated, fluoridated, reticulated water supplies as the main source of drinking water in most situations.
"There are of course exceptional circumstances where people need to use alternatives, such as boiled water if local water treatment is inadequate – which may for example occur when water treatment systems are overwhelmed by heavy rainfall events."
Baker dismissed claims by producers of raw water being superior to properly treated water as "idiotic".
Raw Water: Here Is What You Need To Know Before You Buy It
What has been done to test the raw water for dangerous microbes such as bacteria and parasites?
Water is not treated and cleaned for fun. Untreated water can include microorganisms such as:
- Giardia lamblia: This parasite can cause a diarrhea-causing disease called Giardiasis, otherwise known as “beaver fever.” Note: it is not Bieber fever, which is a completely different thing.
- Cryptosporidium: This wonderful microrganism burrows into your intestines and can cause watery diarrhea for a couple weeks or kill you if your immune system is weak.
- Vibrio cholerae: This charming bacteria can cause cholera, which can kill you.
- Salmonella typhi: This bacteria can lead to typhoid fever. And some infected people can continue to carry this bacteria for the rest of their lives.
The seller should be able to document how the water was collected and tested. Otherwise, why not go to the Hudson River outside Manhattan, catch some fish, and just sell them as raw sushi?
Food-safety expert warns latest bizarre Silicon Valley $60 'raw water' trend could quickly turn deadly
When food-safety expert Bill Marler saw The New York Times' trend piece on Silicon Valley's recent obsession with raw water, he thought he was reading a headline from The Onion.
According to The Times, demand for unfiltered water is skyrocketing as tech-industry insiders develop a taste for water that hasn't been treated, to prevent the spread of bacteria or other contaminants.
In San Francisco, "unfiltered, untreated, unsterilized spring water" is selling for as much as $60.99 for a 2.5 gallon jug. Startups dedicated to untreated water are popping up. People — including startup Juicero's cofounder Doug Evans — are gathering gallons of untreated water from natural springs to bring to Burning Man.
Tourmaline Spring sells an untreated water as "sacred, living water."Tourmaline Spring
While Evans and other fans say raw water is perfect for those who are "extreme about health," Marler — a food-safety advocate and a lawyer — says the opposite is true.
"Almost everything conceivable that can make you sick can be found in water," Marler told Business Insider.
Unfiltered, untreated water, even from the cleanest streams, can contain animal feces, spreading Giardia, which has symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea and results in roughly 4,600 hospitalizations a year. Hepatitis A, which resulted in 20 deaths in a California outbreak in 2017, can be spread through water if it isn't treated. E. coli, and cholera can also be transmitted via untreated water.
Because filtered, treated water has become the norm, Marler says, most people don't realize how dangerous s0-called raw water can be.
"The diseases that killed our great-grandparents were completely forgotten about," he said.
Most Americans don't personally know anyone who died of Hepatitis A or cholera, thanks to advances in technology and more stringent safety standards. As a result, they had a hard time realizing the risks involved in consuming untreated water.
The truth about ‘raw’ water
If you’re concerned about your water, Neltner suggests checking the Consumer Confidence Report that water utilities are required to issue to their customers every year; it will tell you your water source and the level of contaminants. If you don’t have your report (you mean you don’t always read every word that comes with your water bill?), contact your local water provider. And if you want a cheap insurance policy, use a water filter — it’ll remove some, although not all, contaminants.
Amid all the uncertainty, there is one thing we know for sure: Bottling and transporting water uses energy and burns fossil fuels. On the greenhouse gas front, bottled emits up to 32 times (depending primarily on how far it’s shipped) the CO2 of tap, according to a University of Michigan analysis. Your (16-ounce) bottle-a-day habit is the carbon equivalent of driving between 56 and 224 miles per year, which means that bottled water isn’t Enviro Enemy No. 1 — it’s just a really easy place to curtail your impact, since there’s an alternative right there in your kitchen, practically free.
For some of us, some of the time, tap water quality is an important issue. For most of us, most of the time, it isn’t. I happily drink the water coming out of my tap. I also happily drink the raw water gurgling up a few miles down the road. Mostly, I’m grateful to live a life where the quality of my water doesn’t have to be one of my concerns.
If you are still not convinced and want the “raw water” but maybe without so many viruses and bacteria, consider drilling a well and treating your water with ozone. Ozone will not alter the water in any way, will not remove minerals, but will kill all bacteria and viruses from your “raw water” and make it safe to drink.
Clink link below to learn more about the use of ozone for well water treatment: