What is Raw Water?

The biggest health trend on the west coast right now is ‘raw water,’ untreated bottled spring water that is selling for about $10 a gallon.

As the primary product serving the water consciousness movement, raw water is being touted as a purer option to city water. One brand, Live Water, claims their product is free of industrial toxins and rich in healthy microbes because it is not processed or treated. But these marketing claims may actually cause serious harm, says the Centers for Disease Control.

Officials at the CDC say that water is filtered for a reason and warn untreated water may contain bacteria, parasites and viruses – no matter what the water may look like – and can cause gastrointestinal illnesses such as salmonella and norovirus. In addition, cities treat water to remove harmful substances that are naturally occurring, like arsenic and lead. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control calls modern water treatment techniques “One of the Ten Great Public Health Achievements” of the 20th Century, along with control of infectious diseases and the recognition of tobacco use as a health hazard, for its role in controlling water-borne illnesses like typhus.

Raw water is completely unregulated and can come from any source, regardless of claims on the packaging. So why is raw water getting such huge sales numbers? Sterilization is thought to destroy beneficial sources of probiotics and minerals found in spring water. Chlorine and fluorine, both commonly used to treat city water, can also slow the growth of some plant families, leading people to believe it could be harmful for themselves, their pets, or their children. You can actually request a copy of your water utility’s consumer confidence report to find out exactly what disinfectants, if any, are being used to treat water in your area.

When you’re concerned about balancing the needs of your household, skip over-priced and over-hyped ‘health’ water. The best way forward for your family is a reverse osmosis filtering system for your household.

Instead of adding anything to the water, reverse osmosis filters force water through an ultra-fine mesh, removing harmful contaminates naturally found in source water from animals and pesticide run-off, as well as disinfectants used by city treatment processes. Not sure which options are right for you? Call 1-877-FINKENS to talk with a water treatment expert in your community.