Living close to nature is what many of us are missing these days. This is mainly due to our urban setup, with concrete buildings and highly sophisticated living. We do make the occasional encounters with raw nature when we go hiking or mountaineering or nature trail. For those who cannot do this very often, they try to go green, in every opportunity, whatsoever, they get. Using “Raw Water” from natural water sources on earth, is one such initiative, trending in many parts of the world.
The rawness of our surrounding nature sometimes attracts us. Instead of having a fine dining in a fancy restaurant, a fruit lunch during a nature trail seems to be a better option. It becomes a social media shareable moment when you enjoy Kashmir apples directly from a tree in Pahalgam. You get the gist, right!
Now, how about adding raw water into your routine? Raw water represents to completely untreated and non-filtered water, as it occurs in nature, in the form of springs, rivers, lakes. People, like any other initiative to go green, are adopting the trend of using “Raw water” for drinking or cooking.
Going Natural – What Could Go Wrong
The heading may seem inappropriate, as going natural is perceived to be non-hurting to the human or nature. But gulping raw water voluntarily is an exceptional case in which man is putting himself in health danger by adopting natural wealth of water.
Apparently, it is being advocated that the natural water loses its dissolved useful minerals when it is being filtered and treated. The statement is making a huge impact and the businesses are trying to mint money by offering raw water in the bottle, to people who have strong faith in this notion.
The motivation is so strong that people are ignoring the harsh consequences of drinking raw water. The untreated water may be rich in minerals, but they miss the hygiene standards due to the presence of dirt, harmful pesticides, animal poop, and many disease-causing bacteria. And due to high urbanization, the natural water may also contain traces of nitrate, lead, arsenic and alike health-destroying elements. This is highly risky. People are arguing for this lifestyle and trying to convince people to be a part of this fad by asserting that raw water has more sweetened taste and natural strength which gets vanished when it is treated by man for purification.
The truth is, consuming raw water is highly dangerous.
Sources of getting raw water
When someone refers to raw water sources, they are referring to surface and sub-surface sources.
Surface sources include ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, oceans.
The sub-surface category is formed by water from sources like springs, infiltration wells, tube wells, and wells.
Raw water from wells and springs is different in quality than the surface sources since the water in sub-surface sources has gone through a natural process of filtration. For example, the water in the wells is the underground water, which got infiltrated within the soil after being checked for solid waste by surrounding vegetation and then it must go through different permeable layers of ground before it reaches the water bed. Unless any large-sized impurity has fallen into the open well, its water can still be passed for drinking standards. But the open surface sources of water are just too prone for almost every kind of impurity.
What is there in the treated and filtered water
The water from natural sources is diverted towards man-made storage for treating it with substances to remove harmful impurities, which are detrimental to human and animal health. The water is cleaned with Chlorine and Fluoride compounds. Chlorine compounds can kill harmful bacteria while Fluoride compounds help in maintaining tooth health.
The filtration of the water is done to provide the appropriate physical, chemical and bacteriological characteristics, in a drinking water. The physical characteristics such as turbidity (cloudy or opaque look due to suspended matter), colour, taste & odour and temperature are maintained.
With treatment by chemical compounds, the water is balanced for its pH, acidity, alkalinity, hardness, chlorides, sulphates, iron, solids, nitrates.
Due to presence of pollutants in the raw water, there is susceptibility of pathogenic (disease-causing bacteria) and non-pathogenic bacteria (bacteria like E.Coli, which do not cause diseases but lives in intestine and can cause resistant to other helpful entrants in the body, which sometimes cause adverse effects on the human body, such as allergies or weak immune system). The bacterial quantity and quality is estimated by running few tests such as Standard Plate Count Test, Most Probable Number, Membrane Filter Technique
The intention of the general public who are promoting the use of raw water may not be doubtful, but they are harming themselves as well as others. They should either eradicate pollution from the globe overnight (which will be a difficult task 😊) or filter water before drinking it.
The companies who are grabbing this opportunity and trying to promote this fad must think twice about its sustainability. Their main selling proposition is based on the argument that the filtered water removes the necessary minerals, needed for a healthy mind and a human body. Arguably, even if their accusation is correct, people can still compensate for the loss through healthy food items. There must be a check of Federal law which should enforce standards on such companies to ensure tap water is safe to drink. There are thousands of deaths being reported worldwide due to lack of clean drinking water.
Chaitanya’s Take on Trending Raw Water Consumption
We are a responsible organization and never promote anything by being prejudice. This blog was presented based on the knowledge and discussions on reputed online blog forums like Washington Post, Time, etc. Our major concern is to spread awareness about the trends; your further actions are based on your discretion.
Being a provider of rainwater harvesting products and services, we have always advocated the preservation of water, its safe storage and purification before it can be consumed for drinking. Hence, it is difficult for us to support the use of raw water for drinking, in the absence of verified government regulations. Till then, drink safe & stay safe.