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Ask Buck

Spring-Fed Water

Is it safe to drink untreated ground water?

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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