People in San Francisco are spending $37 for untreated,
unfiltered water — and it is so popular, stores are apparently
having a hard time keeping it in stock.
Other Silicon Valley insiders are gathering and storing
their own spring water, which has not been treated.
Consuming “raw” water can spread infections such as
cholera, Hepatitis A, and E. coli.
Silicon Valley is developing a “raw water” obsession.
In San Francisco, “unfiltered, untreated, un-sterilized spring
water” from Live Water is selling for $60.99 for a 2.5 gallon jug
— and it’s flying off the shelves,
the New York Times reported. Startups dedicated to untreated
water are gaining steam. Zero Mass Water, which allows people to
collect water from the atmosphere near their homes, has already
raised $24 million in venture capital.
People — including
failed startup Juicero’s cofounder Doug Evans — are gathering
gallons of untreated water from natural springs, venturing out
onto private property by night to get the water. Evans told The
Times that he and his friends brought 50 gallons of raw water to
“I’m extreme about health, I know, but I’m not alone with this,”
Evans said. “There are a lot of people doing this with me. You
never know who you’ll run into at the spring.”
On January 2, Business Insider’s
visited a San Francisco supermarket where a
small company called
untreated water. Rainbow Grocery was sold out of the Fountain of
Truth Spring Water from Live Water, but a sign indicated a
“slight price increase.”
The cost of a 2.5 gallon jug increased from $36.99 to
$60.99 since The Times’ article published. While the price
includes the glass container, a refill costs only $14.99,
according to The Times.
Fans of the untreated water are not backed by science. However,
many told the times that they feel confident that they are
getting health benefits from drinking “live” water.
For example, Mukhande Singh, the founder of Live Water, told The
Times that his startup’s water expired after a few months —
something he says is normal for “real water.”
“It stays most fresh within one lunar cycle of delivery,” Singh
said. “If it sits around too long, it’ll turn green. People don’t
even realize that because all their water’s dead, so they never
see it turn green.”
However, food safety experts said there no evidence that
untreated water is better for you. In fact, they say that
drinking untreated water could be incredibly dangerous.
“Almost everything conceivable that can make you sick can be
found in water,”
food safety expert Bill Marler told Business Insider. That
includes bacteria and diseases such as cholera, E. coli,
Hepatitis A, and Giardia.
“You can’t stop consenting adults from being stupid,” Marler
said. “But, we should at least try.”
Melia Robinson contributed reporting to this article.