Lifestyle

“Raw” water may be worsening an already growing supply problem

While parts of the country can’t get access to clean drinking water, wealthy hippies are paying up to $37 for 2.5 gallons of “raw” untreated water.

Their reasoning for paying such a premium is that the existing water supply has added chemicals and is lacking in naturally occurring minerals that are filtered out when the water is treated.

In recent weeks, there has been a lot of controversy about whether or not raw water is indeed safe.

Edmonton-based professor of Health Law and Science Policy, Timothy Caulfield, said, “[This is a] great example of our embrace of the naturalistic fallacy and inability to understand risk.”

However, water supplies from aquifers are generally considered safe by local certifying bodies unlike water from rivers that are at a much higher risk of animal and human contaminants.

“When we think about water born illnesses those are all from contamination of water from exogenous sources, not the actual water itself,” said Cranbrook based Naturopathic Professional Katelyn Murdy.

Two of the major suppliers of raw water, Live Water and Tourmaline Springs have both been certified as safe to drink in raw form by local governing bodies, and in fact, is used as tap water by residents.

“There is a huge difference between drinking out of a stream in the woods, and a spring[…] that has been rigorously tested and is within state compliance,” said Pruzansky co-owner of Tourmaline Springs.

Bryan Pullen and Seth Pruzansky, owners of Tourmaline Springs, have been bottling raw water in Maine for nearly a decade. Their water comes from a spring before it’s bottled without filtration or treatment.

However, here is where myth meets marketing, these two companies both claim that the water they use has been super charged by crystals and supplies healthy bacteria to the gut.

“I don’t necessarily know of any science suggesting there is good bacteria or that it’s powered by crystals,” said Mudry.

Some of the benefits of drinking raw water include its natural alkalinity and its abundance of sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and silica.

“There is a huge difference between drinking out of a stream in the woods, and a spring[…] that has been rigorously tested and is within state compliance,” said Pruzansky co-owner of Tourmaline Springs.

Still, not all raw water is toxin-free. It’s important to make sure the water has been tested before drinking. Contaminated water could lead to a stomach full of parasites, viruses and bacteria.

Bottled water, regardless of whether it’s raw or not, has a large impact on water supplies and in an age where clean drinking water is becoming scarcer, the raw water trend is just adding to an already growing problem.

“I’m more concerned about the environmental impact to our water reserves. If we destroy our water supply, it doesn’t matter how many minerals or crystals are in our water,” said Mudry.

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