Raw Water versus Off the Grid Water
What is Raw Water?
I have written a few different posts on water, on how to reduce water consumption and on your right to clean drinking water.
We, in the so-called industrial countries, think little about water. We expect it to be there once we open the tap. We do not worry about where it comes from, how it is treated and why it is chemically treated. We simply open a water tap and expect drinkable water to come out.
In the last few years, we have heard about the failures of our political leaders (city, state and national) in keeping us informed about the quality of our water. Excessive levels of lead in the potable water of Flint Michigan come to mind.
Aside from the few disastrous instances, the water treatment systems in the western world are doing a remarkable job cleaning up surface water and producing a product that meets most regulations on contaminants.
For 2000 million people worldwide the situation is very different but that I have discussed in another post.
Raw water versus off the grid water
There now seems to be a trend to purchase and use “raw water”, meaning water that has not been put through a treatment system. We must delineate the difference between “raw water”, potable municipal water supply and “off the grid” water. More likely, you are consuming water treated by a municipal water system.
If you live in rural areas, you may have a private water well or an “off-grid water supply”. The concept of “Raw water” is to use water directly from nature, from a spring or fresh mountain tarn.
Municipal water supplies take water from various sources (rivers, lakes, and groundwater) with varying degrees of quality and clarify/purify the water with physical and chemical processes. Then (as required by water quality regulations) purify the water so that the last point on the distribution system is free of biological contaminants.
This sometimes means that the first connection on the line has more than desired concentrations of the disinfectant. Over chlorination can contribute to the formation of trihalomethanes, which are suspected of being cancer-causing chemicals.
Having your own groundwater well is a great way to control your exposure to these chemicals. You are the only one that is connected to the water supply, and you trust that the groundwater you have is pure and absent of any significant contaminants. This may not be the case, as you may have naturally high levels of iron or manganese in your water.
If you live near industrial sources, you may have some very serious chemicals in your water and should get it tested. No one wants to have hexavalent chrome or polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) in their water. And that is not all you have to worry about. You may have accidentally drilled into a region with high levels of arsenic. The people of Bangladesh have been through troublesome times.
Bangladesh: A Public Health Emergency
In the first half of the 20th century, the citizens of Bangladesh had to walk miles for freshwater or use heavily contaminated surface water for household uses. In the 1970s, a well-intentioned plan by the industrialized western nations was put in place to drill hundreds of tube wells. This plan would reduce or eliminate the potential for the spread of cholera and dysentery.
Uncontrolled diarrhea was one of the country’s biggest killers of children, taking up to 250,000 children a year. They reasoned subsurface wells would eliminate the possibility of contamination from the surface streams and the filth that was in that water.
A Bad Choice
The wells provided clear, refreshing-looking water. It looked pure, but what the western nations had failed to do was sample the alternative source of water. They estimate that 35 to 77 million people were at risk of drinking water contaminated with naturally occurring inorganic arsenic. The largest mass poisoning of a population in history.
Well-intentioned organizations proceeded with plans without investigating the quality of the water. You must always check the quality of your water.
The Nuevo Agua
The most recent trend is to “raw water”. Some people look at raw water based on scientific reasons, and others see it more from an ethical or personal angle. The first company who coined and trademarked the term raw water was Tourmaline Spring. This company cares about its consumers and has earned praise for its quality water from analysts.
There are suppliers that collect water directly from deep mountain springs and test it for purity. Then there are suppliers who put tap water in the bottles and sell it as being natural. You have to be able to distinguish the good from the bad.
Who should you trust?
Each individual is responsible for the food they put in their mouth and the same applies to water. If you get your water from the town hall, one should be able to assume it is safe even if that is often not the case. You rely on the authorities for being honorable and responsible. Now if you chose to get your water somewhere else, this responsibility is entirely yours.
As I mentioned before, municipal water treatment systems do a good job of meeting most regulations on contaminants. Radiation limits are one exception. Public water utilities in 27 states have exceeded the EPA’s legal limits for radium, and they estimate some 38% of all Americans drink water with this radioactive element daily.
Knowing this, I would say do not rely on the authorities, instead, do some investigation yourself.
Is it safe?
Raw water has gotten some bad press lately, so one should try to find where this comes from and why. The big companies of bottled water are behind this. It is the same old story all over again. Our health is not important, but money and greed are. This is like the food industry, which earns millions on unhealthy, cheap, and processed food.
If raw water is sold or provided as a service, they should check it to determine if it is safe for human consumption, but the government should not impose restrictions and say we cannot harvest our own water. Big water companies want to restrict our freedom of choice, no way!
The report of EWG
EWG has published a report confirming what I had read about and already reported. It really seems even more serious than previously assumed. If 170 million people in the US drink contaminated water containing radioactive elements, it will be no wonder cancer will be our number 1 enemy.
Taking into consideration that man-made food is already one of our enemies, now the condition of our water will even make it worse. Your chance of contracting cancer will be multifold.
Does the government care or not
The government does not seem to care that this poses a severe health risk to the American population. With this kind of water coming out of the faucet, pregnant women and small children will run an extreme health risk. I just wonder how come our leaders knowingly want to poison our future generations.
I will stop talking now and will give you the link to the article of EWG, a hair-raising read I promise you.
Trump nominee faked data to hide cancer risk.
Water is a special book
Water is more important than oil. It could mean the rise or the fall of an entire empire if fresh water was lacking. Today there are many areas in the world where water is lacking, and that is one of the reasons why people are on the move. Without water, there is no life.
This book will tell you the history of water from ancient times till nowadays.
Have a look at this special NASA video. Things look different at a great distance.
Just lately some news on a bad water situation has come to my intention, mind you, this is your drinking water out of the tap.
Our body is made up of more than 60% water. Water is needed on a daily basis as humans can be without food for a longer period but not without water. The quality of water you drink will have an impact on your overall health.
Before you leave, have a look at Recommendations. It is a special place where I have a selection of things you might find interesting.
Source: Carly Nuday, Ph.D. for NaturalHealth365
Photo source: Pixabay
Have you ever thought you have a right to clean drinking water? I think it is a right all humans have. Perhaps you like to read my other post on water.
I have to admit I thought that “raw water” is actually “bottled water” because in order get certified “bottled water” should be using the natural source without any intervention.
I live in a country where you can still find small narrow mountain rivers from which you can drink water directly.That is the closest to the raw water as I understand it.
Would you mind letting me know the difference between “raw water” and “bottled water”?
Thanks for a very unexpected post which made me wonder a little bit.
Good afternoon Alex,
Thank you for commenting on my post.
The FDA regulates the bottled water, let me tell you I think very little of the FDA.
The EPA regulates the tap water, you have seen they do not do their job well either.
According to the FDA bottled water can be: Bottled water, drinking water, Artesian water, Mineral water, Sparkling bottled water, Spring water, and Purified water which can include: distilled, demineralized, deionized, and reverse osmosis water.
Alex, you can see it is becomming complicated. High up in the mountains, that little creek you were talking about will probably be the best pick for drinking raw water. Be careful as animals also live there and they drink but also do other things with the water.
On a more serious note incase you drink water straight from the tap it might be a good idea to have a water filter.
Good Morning Alex,
I got this information in, there you can see that in some places the water situation is not funny.
Hello, how are you, thanks for this very interesting article. It made me think a lot about the quality of the water I’m consuming.
I’m worried, not only about me, but I have a 14-month-old baby and I’ve never given him water from the tap since he was born he took bottled water (it’s the most reliable here).
I live in Paraguay, and here there is not as much water pollution yet, but of course, there is.
A long time ago someone offered me a filter that needs to be put into the tap of the water that helped to purify it, do you think that these types of devices are reliable?
Good afternoon Paola,
I can understand your concern especially as you have a little baby. I hope the water you give him comes in a glass bottle. I am sending you a link to water filters of EWG, you might find some good information there.https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/water-filter-guide.php?utm_source=201801RadiationRelease&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=201801RadiationReleaseGM.
Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. Have you downloaded your free PDF?
Wow!! What an article. I understand chemicals and all that but in essence it sounds like we are being poisoned right through our taps. As a diabetic my Dr made it quite clear to me that I need to drink a lot more water. So what do I do? I go to the tap 8 to 10 times a day and fill up my water bottle. Now I feel like that may be doing me more harm then good. I am going to have to rethink tap water and being that I live in an apartment look for an alternative. Thank you for this info.
Good afternoon Dale,
Some people get poisoned through their water of which they think is safe to drink. I can understand your concern as your doctor tells you to drink a lot of water. You tell me you fill up your water bottle often during the day. I hope you use a glass bottle?
To feel safer perhaps you consider in getting a good water filter at home. I am sending you the link of EWG.https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/water-filter-guide.php?utm_source=201801RadiationRelease&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=201801RadiationReleaseGM.
Thank you for your comment, I hope to see you again,
Having your own groundwater well sounds like a luxury that not a lot of people get to have. I had never really thought about outs chemically treated water being a danger until I stumbled upon your site, but it makes sense. I think almost everything we consume is overly treated with chemicals. It scares me to know that some of this has been linked to cancer. How can we get away from all these cancer causing agents when we don’t fully understand what the chemicals are doing. What a catch 22. If we don’t treat it we could get some parasites or disease and if we do we could get cancer.
Good afternoon Mariah,
Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?
These modern times pose a dilemma quite often and it is not easy to know what to do. I think it is a good idea to investigate a little and know where your tap water comes from. Buying water might be an option but expensive plus never drink water from plastic bottles.
It might be a good investment getting a water filter in the house, here is the link of EWG.https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/water-filter-guide.php?utm_source=201801RadiationRelease&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=201801RadiationReleaseGM.
Congratulations on your website. Very interesting I do say, never would have thought of your topic but I will give you kudos on your site. How to check if your drinking water is clean is an interesting subject. You wrote a good post with lots of information. Amazing that so many people still lack clean drinking water in our world.
Good afternoon Justin,
Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?
Nice to hear you like my website and found my post of interest. It is sad that still, so many people worldwide lack access to clean water. It is so important for our health to drink water which is free of harmful substances.
The benefits of drinking pure water cannot be overestimated. It is very vital to our health and general well-being but the government and some water companies tend not to care about this. They’ve turned blind eyes to the effect of radioactive elements in our water. They are just concerned with making their profits with no thought about the health of the people. I’m of the Opie that government should take more bold steps in addressing this issue.
Good afternoon Sammy,
I live on an organic farm in the south of Spain. I have water rights to a well next to my property and I also have a borehole on the property which I use for the house. As Spain is drying out I am happy I 2 water sources of good quality. That so many people worldwide do not have access to clean water is a scandal the same as the contaminated water in Western countries.
Thank you for your comment. I hope you have downloaded your free PDF?
Hello, I absolutely love what I read in this insightful article because it is full of great information. This is fascinating and interesting to me.Water is one of the most essential thing to our body, 60‰ of our body is made of water. I live in a country where digging a well of water isn’t too hard for everyone,direct and clean water does more good than tapnwater full of chemicals. Thanks for the eye opener. Regards
Good afternoon Adamu,
I have my own water on my organic farm and it was tested recently. Luckily it is clean and also has a good taste. To think so many people worldwide do not have clean water is sad and I am afraid in the future there will be a huge water shortage. We should learn to be more careful with water as we all need it.
Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?
Due to the fluctuations in the cleanliness of these water, Instead of tap water, buying bottled water isn’t such a bad idea. This is a personal decision that depends on your water source. If it’s from a well, routine water quality and safety testing should be done. It should be safe if it is municipal, as quality is monitored by the EPA. However, accidents do occur, as was the case in Flint, Mich., where in 2014 dangerous levels of lead were found in the tap water. The city has been providing residents with free bottled water since 2016.
Good afternoon Fasuan,
Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?
I do not think it to be a good idea to always have all your daily water in a plastic bottle. It is not good for your health and neither for the environment. It would be nice if we could trust the authorities with this issue but I think it is better to stay vigilant.
Hi. I found this article an extremely interesting read . You are so right the water we drink in the uk from the tap, we just take it for granted, without a second thought as to where it comes from and what’s inside it.
I am originally from South Africa so I know what bad or even no drinking water is all about. Many people constantly ill from drinking the dirty water. A few simple ground water holes with filters on the taps , would save many lives but it all costs money unfortunately.
In our household we use filter water bottles that we store in the fridge. It may not be perfect but at least it removes some of the chemicals from the tap water.
Which is the best water purifier you would recommend for me to purchase and use ?
Thank you for sharing this article with me and good luck to you.
Good evening Matthew,
Thank you for your comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?
Perhaps the first thing you should do is have your tap water analyzed. Here in Spain, you get a special test bottle which you buy in the Pharmacia. You bring your water sample and the Pharmacia will pass it on to a laboratory for different tests. Perhaps your water is not so bad after all.
I give you the link of EWG where you will get more information on water filters.https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/water-filter-guide.php
Hi Taetske! How important is to check if our drinking water is clean. I hadn’t read about the hundred of tube wells drilled in Bangladesh in 1970 and how 35 to 77 million were at risk.
I have recently heard about the Kentucky water crisis. And I see you have mentioned it also.
I have always been a bit suspicious even of raw water (it’s obvious that our leaders have failed in many ocasions to reveal the real condition of tap water, but that’s other topic). And the reason is that even though raw water is out in nature, flowing out of mountain, it can still be contaminated. What are your thoughts on this?
Good evening Henry,
Nice to see you again. Thank you for your comment.
Your question is not so easy to answer as it depends on each individuals situation. If you are doubtful about the quality water you have the best would be to have it tested and or install a good filter for home use. If you are out in nature the best option you have is to boil it but that does not eliminate harmful minerals, it does kill bacteria and pathogens but keep it boiling for at least 15 min.
That was very nice one. We are all responsible for whatever that we put in our mouth. Water is essential in our daily lives and the drinking of pure and healthy water is equally essential in our daily lives. As I read through your article, I began to ponder on how one could be able to detect on which water is healthy and which one is unhealthy. In this part of the world where I am(Africa Precisely) Nobody cares about what we drink(not even the government) and untreated water is everywhere. The few ones that are treated are sold by companies and their water is very expensive. Due to this, almost everyone has resorted in drinking the unhealthy water because not everyone can foot the bills of the pure and healthy water. Now my question is how can the poor masses purify their water in an affordable way?
Good evening Kenechi,
Nice to see you again.Thank you for your comment.
One should care about the quality of water as our health depends on it.
I am sending you a link where you can read about different and affordable systems. https://inhabitat.com/6-water-purifying-devices-for-clean-drinking-water-in-the-developing-world/
This is really an informative article. I actually had a little idea on raw water that you have explained in your article. Now I have a clear idea about it. I am from Bangladesh and I know how much we had to suffer from impure water. My grandfather got affected by drinking water which was with high levels of arsenic. It was pathetic for me! Whatever, raw water should be safe and free from intervention. In my current place where the water contain a high level of iron. What can the distillation process play in this case?
Have a great day!
Good afternoon Tushar,
Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?
The high content of iron in your water is not dangerous but it does not taste nice. When you distill your water the iron will stay like a residue in the container but doing this process many times it will, of course, build up there.
Many thanks for this educative piece. Water is life. Sadly, despite the abundance of water nature had given us, many governments cannot provide their citizens with safe and clean water. Children are most affected from drinking contaminated water, a country like the U.S is not left out in this. We all need to take individual responsibilities on the water we take in. Raw water can be chlorinated and distilled further with a product like the sawyer mini filtration system in your post. I won’t subscribe to drinking raw water without necessary cleaning to make it safe for drinking
Good afternoon Tolu,
Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?
Yes, we are responsible for the food we eat and the water we drink. On my organic farm I have my own water and recently had it tested. Luckily it is clean and very nice tasting. It is sad that worldwide so many people do not have drinkable water available.
This is a great article on the dangers of drinking water, Where I live it is recommended not to drink the tap water. Most people who live here buy bottled water by the truckload. After it has sat in a plastic bottle for lord knows how long, it doesn’t have the same appeal. Because of this we have a reverse osmosis machine that filters our water, we test it regularly and know that it’s one of the purest waters you can drink.
Good Morning Lisa,
Thank you for your visit and for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
Buying water in plastic bottles is never a good idea. The chemicals they make the plastic with affect the water quality and is not good for your health. I am happy I have my own water source on my small farm. It was tested and found to be excellent. Good you have a reverse osmosis machine as the water quality you drink every day is of utmost importance.