|Wow. Just wow.|
What is the 'raw water' trend? It could kill you, health experts say
Unfiltered and untreated water from a natural spring might sound like an elixir, but health experts warn that drinking so-called "raw water" could end with a trip to the doctor, or worse.
"Raw water" or unsterilized water bottled directly from a natural spring, is becoming a sought-after item in California and parts of the U.S., according to the New York Times. The water, which can sell for around $40 for a 2.5-gallon glass jug, is often free of the any water filtration processes that some "raw water" advocates argue strips natural water of probiotics.
While "raw water" might have some probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, it also contains a lot of "disease-causing organisms at the same time," according to Uttam K. Saha, Program Coordinator at the Agricultural & Environmental Services Lab at the University of Georgia Extension.
"I would say the risk is more than the potential benefits of drinking the water," he said. "You don't know whether the water contains disease-carrying organisms or not, and the same is true for probiotics, we don't know if they are there unless the water is tested."
Saha said people really don't know what they are getting with natural spring water, which could be contaminated with agricultural runoff, or any numbers of chemicals or parasites.