You may have heard about the “raw water” or “real water” Silicon Valley craze. Sounds like something that should be so healthy for you, right? Well, don’t be fooled. The controversial new trend popular among by the rich and famous is not what it’s cracked up to be — it’s actually a health hazard rather than a benefit. Here, we’ll get you up to speed on all that you need to know about the latest fad and its associated health concerns.
Raw water brand Live Water’s founder Mukande Singh claims that public tap water is “toilet water with birth control drugs in them.” He said his water is bottled from an Oregon spring. But it’s also been claimed that the pricey “Fountain of Truth” raw water is the exact same water that flows out of the taps in Oregon. “They are not down at our spring bottling directly from the source,” said Deschutes Valley Water District general manager Edson Pugh. “It’s the same [tap] water that we’re serving our customers.”2
So what precisely is raw water? It’s “unprocessed” water — which some people say contains beneficial minerals that are typically removed from treated or filtered water. They also claim it doesn’t contain chemicals found in tap water, such as fluoride, and it doesn’t flow through infrastructure like lead pipes.1 And some folks are actually under the impression that drinking a glass of untreated spring water is safe and healthier than bottled or tap water.
Raw water is actually not a new thing. It’s been around since the beginnings of the raw food movement, but celebrities wanting to embrace “natural” things are now drinking overpriced bottled water, leaving themselves open to bacterial infections and serious illnesses. Not only is raw water unhealthy — it’s expensive. In December, a New York Times report revealed San Francisco’s co-op Rainbow Grocery was selling 2.5 gallons of raw water, bottled by startup Live Water, for $36.99.3
When people claim raw water is a good thing, respected experts who know a thing or two about water — don’t believe the hype. Water treatment is essential because it removes pesticides and even bacteria from animal excrement. Yep, those bottles of raw water can contain these toxic elements and more. If cholera, E. coli, hepatitis A, and giardiasis sound good to you, that’s what can come with the high price of a bottle of raw water.
Readers may also take the word of Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program director Dr. Donald Hensrud. “Without water treatment, there’s acute and then chronic risks,” Hensrud said. “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.”
So, does raw water have any redeeming qualities at all? According to experts, none that you can’t get elsewhere. Experts say raw water may contain beneficial minerals but a healthy diet can provide the same health benefits, and it may not be worth the risk of the harmful bacteria and parasites often found in unfiltered water.4
The bottom line on raw water is this: There is no scientifically supported study that says raw water has health benefits over treated water.5 But there is plenty of research on the dangers of drinking untreated water. In short, water treatment is your safest option, and complies with all the relevant food health and safety regulations.
Not sure about what’s in your water? Fletcher’s Plumbing & Contracting, Inc. can help. Check out our website at https://fletchersplumbing.net/water-treatment/ and schedule an appointment today.