Cool and sparkling water running down a clean stream on a hot afternoon? Pure and energizing, right? This is the pitch from drinking water companies and utilities.Raw water is unfiltered and untreated, and you may drink it naturally. Water is crucial for living. However, it may cause diseases and illnesses if it contains contaminants like chemicals and microbes. In fact, thousands of children die every year from drinking contaminated water.This raises the need for a whole house water filter to reduce the risk of diseases.
Contaminated water is not only found in developing and underdeveloped countries. According to a study by CDC, there have been outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the US, with hundreds of people hospitalized. Remember, these are the numbers in the CDC statistics, which means the number of people who get ill or die from waterborne diseases is high. Therefore, tap water comes with several risks. You need to know about them because even the supporters of tap water will not talk about them.
What is Raw Water?
Some websites are advocating for untreated water from natural springs with the claim that it is an alternative because of its beneficial minerals. Think about the pollution in lakes, rivers, and soil today. It would be hard to say that untreated water is safe for drinking. The truth is, drinking water should be filtered no matter how clean it may look. This raises the need for a whole house water filter to reduce the risk unhealthy chemicals or disease agents. Even clear water can come with contaminations. You cannot see viruses, bacteria, parasites, or chemicals with your eyes. Therefore, you cannot tell if spring water is safe for drinking unless it has a weird smell or taste.
There have been concerns about bottled raw water with the argument that untreated water, no matter the source, may not be as natural as we think. Long ago, when there was no pollution, water from natural sources was the best. Unfortunately, it cannot be said the same with all the environmental pollution happening today. One concern today is that untreated water exposes people to microbes causing illnesses. Another concern is contamination from harmful contaminants including uranium, arsenic, or fluoride.
The Origin of Raw Water
Drinking raw water is not a good thing. Millions of people have been drinking water from springs, lakes, and rivers for a long time. It was the norm until the water from municipal systems proved to be a bit safer and more effective in reducing illnesses. Actually, more than 5 million people use water from personal wells. These sources of untreated water have highlighted the potential dangers of drinking the water. The sources cause outbreaks of parasites, bacteria, and even viruses. Residents are responsible for testing and filtering their water to ensure it is safe to drink.
Drinking untreated water is unsafe because of the unpredictability of spring water. It could be safe this season and full of germs and bacteria the next season, based on the climatic condition and other elements. A long list of bacteria and germs find their way into untreated water on the ground. Even if the water looks sparkling clean, it may carry contaminants, making it unsafe to drink.
There is a Danger Lurking in Drinking Raw Water
EPA says water comes from rivers, lakes, streams, and groundwater. The water is exposed to contaminants like chemicals, microbial, pharmaceuticals pollution, and animal waste. Therefore, systems must be in place to treat the water to make it safe for drinking. Raw water may appear clean. However, it may contain dangerous elements that cause illnesses. The pathogens cause vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach upsets before these conditions develop into diseases. Consider a national case in London in the 1850s. There was a fatal outbreak of cholera that claimed the lives of thousands. The outbreak was connected to contaminated well water. It changed the hygiene practices and the perspective experts and scientists had on how diseases spread in water. Therefore, it makes sense that raw water is not as safe as it sounds.
Some pathogens present in raw water that cause illnesses are:
It is a microorganism that causes cholera and diarrhea when ingested. It has symptoms like lethal dehydration, abdominal pain, nausea, and even death.
This is a parasite found in water, food, and soil. It causes giardiasis, a diarrhea-inducing illness. This pathogen is the main cause of waterborne disease outbreaks in the US.
It is another microorganism from feces that causes severe diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramping, and death.
Is Raw Water That Unsafe Afterall?
According to raw water enthusiasts, purifying the water through processes like reverse osmosis removes the natural probiotics and minerals. They argue that raw water is natural provides numerous health benefits. They believe the water contains minerals like calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium. Therefore, because water is alkaline, it plays a vital role in the body as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. However, other entities argue that no studies support that raw water has more health benefits than treated water.
Many people prefer alkaline water or acidic water because of their tastes. While tastes are different, no evidence supports that raw water is better than treated water. However, a lot of research support that drinking untreated water is not safe. Raw water is a phenomenon, and there isn’t much evidence to show that it has more benefits than treated water.
There is a major controversy about adding raw water as a safer alternative to treated water. The aim is to open up the eyes of many raw water consumers to realize that even raw water is not as safe as it looks. Even from natural sources, these sources are also subject to contamination, especially today when environmental pollution is on the rise. If you are going to collect water from a natural spring then you should be sure someone has tested it beforehand and deemed it to be safe.
The ultimate goal is to let every consumer know that they have the freedom to choose the type of water they would like to drink. However, understanding the dangers of raw water is crucial. The water may look amazingly clear and clean, but we should not trust it from the details above. It is best to ensure the water you drink is safe, whether treated or not, by having the water tested, filtering it, boiling it, and ensuring the water is healthy to drink.