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Spring-Fed Water

Is it safe to drink untreated ground water?

Question:

Although I am conscientious about treating surface water before drinking it, is there any danger with drinking untreated water if it comes out of the ground (for example, a spring) and there is no development or agriculture at a higher elevation?.

Submitted by - Ted, Summerville, SC

Answer:

The official stance of the Wilderness Medical Society is this: Treat all water from wilderness sources—better safe than sorry. On the other hand, it is likely that water emerging from a spring at higher elevations will be safe. The final decision, of course, is yours.  —Buck

1 Comment

  1. Welike2hike

    There are a few places where when hiking I don’t mind drinking the water straight from the source. One of which that is especially nice is in the Spring Mountains area (Mount Charleston just outside of Las Vegas). There are a few hikes where the snowmelt springs run out from the limestone and you can get your water there and not have to worry about it. There is an area where the water comes directly out of the rock, so, mother nature has provided a massive limestone filter. Some of the best tasting, cold water ever.

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