What's raw water? Unfiltered, untreated spring water.

“Flawless, gem-grade spring water…freely bubbling to the earth’s surface in Maine since the last Ice Age,” says Tourmaline Spring. “Alive” with probiotics, says Live Spring Water (only available in parts of California).

If you get your water straight from a spring—or if you take Live Spring Water’s advice about “visiting nature and gathering [y]our own spring water”—you’d be foolish.

Why raw water can harbor parasites

“There’s a potential for contamination any time water reaches the surface,” says Glenn Morris, professor of infectious diseases at the University of Florida College of Medicine. “Gorgeous mountain springs or babbling brooks are at risk of carrying disease-causing parasites like Giardia or Cryptosporidium.”

Tourmaline Spring and Live Spring Water provided results showing that they passed safety tests for groundwater (which don’t test for Giardia or Cryptosporidium). But if you’d pay $59.70 for 12 liters of Tourmaline (with shipping), we’re still talking foolish.

The bottom line

Raw water isn’t worth the price or risk.

Photo: stock.adobe.com/PhotoAlto.