The best way to ensure that you are drinking water that is completely free of contaminants (and chemicals like chlorine and fluoride) is to get your water from a natural spring. When most people hear that, their first reaction is “that’s great, but easier said than done.” It’s actually easier than you think.
To find a natural spring near where you live, check out FindaSpring.com. This website has a large database of natural springs around the world and they have a built in google maps interface to help you easily locate one.
When you click on individual springs on the FindaSpring.com map, you can see whether they are public or private, whether there are fees and in many cases, you can actually see the pH of the water. You can also see the hours of operation.
Before going to the spring, you will need to have your own container to fill up. There are many options, but the best solution for both maintaining the purity of the water and transporting large quantities, is to purchase 5 gallon glass jugs. With glass, you do not need to worry about anything leaching into your water. These can be purchased from wineries and breweries.
If you do want to get a plastic bottle (they weight much less and will be easier to transport), make sure to get one that is BPA and DEHP-free. While these can hard to find at many stores, you can look for better bottles at the website Better-Bottle.com to find a source for safe plastic bottles.
It is helpful to go the spring with 4-5 bottles at once. That way, you can limit the amount of trips you need to make. The water will stay fresh and you don’t need to worry about it expiring. Try to keep it in a cool and dark place, and if you are storing it for a long period of time without drinking it, put the water in amber or dark-colored bottles.
If there is not a spring listed on Find a Spring for your area, all is not lost. It may be that there is a spring close by, but it simply hasn’t been listed. Do some research on the local level. Sometimes springs are on private property and you may have to work out an individual arrangement. In any case, it’s often possible to find a natural spring that is within an hour or two of where you live. Even if the spring is 2 hours away, if you bring enough containers with you, the trip is easily worth it.
In this video, Daniel Vitalis from Find a Spring talks about some of the basics when it comes to collecting your own water from a spring.
There are lots of resources available out there to start drinking the most pure and fresh water around. What are you waiting for?
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/indi/