'Raw Water' Offers Unique, Potentially Dangerous Option

A start-up offering water from an Oregon spring is dispelling modern processing in favor of completely untreated water.

Raw Water

Mukhande Singh is the founder of a company called Live Water, which sells untreated water from an Oregon spring. The glass containers of this untreated, unfiltered water are flying off the shelves in San Francisco as consumers are prescribing to Singh’s theories of staying away from tap water that he described to the New York Times as “toilet water with birth control drugs."

However, a recent article in Business Insider helps demonstrate why ‘raw water’ could be a dangerous and unhealthy concept:

  • In addition to potentially containing chemicals like lead, feces and pesticide runoff, water in nature can carry parasites like Giardia and Cryptosporidia that can be deadly for people with compromised immune systems. 
  • The paper that Singh and Live Water cite in touting the benefits of their spring water isn't actually about drinking water at all, but refers to the healing effects of spring water for rabbit wounds. 
  • Live Water also promotes their addition of key electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. That’s great, but Business Insider cites physicians who’ve studied the mineral content of tap water who state these minerals are already abundantly present in most tap water.
  • Live Water’s testing has shown their product to be free of many illness-causing contaminants, but those tests were not performed to federal standards.

On their website, the company offers some insight on their operations and goals. “Opal spring, where we source our water is from, is an ancient aquifer that we have extensively tested and has shown no harmful contamination what so ever. 

“Water is collected from the covered spring head, so there is no chance for surface bacteria to enter the water. Our bottling facility is a sterile environment in which we triple rinse and wash our glass jugs. We also test each batch for harmful bacteria, and no one has ever gotten sick from drinking the water we bottle.” The company feels the use of all plastic bottles and many industrial sterilization processes compromise water quality. 

“The town of Madras Oregon trusts the water so much that they have been drinking unprocessed Opal Spring Water from the tap for over half a century. We choose to transport and store our water in refrigerated facilities to protect the healthy probiotics present in our water. This additional cost ensures an unparalleled freshness and health benefit.” 

The company also offers a delivery service complete with an ornate glass dispenser and smaller glass jars for sharing or transporting. It has also pledged to contribute 10 percent of profits to dropinthebucket.org in support of clean water efforts around the world.