I never fail to get a chuckle here when I describe my old drinking water supply in London; through a series of sewage treatment works and reservoirs from Oxford to Heathrow, down the Thames Valley to the Great Wen. "They say" I usually conclude "that London tap water is very pure, having been filtered through the kidneys of seven people before one drinks it". Not only pre-owned, London's drinking water also bears the traces of nitrate fertilizers, and of the Oestrogens used as cattle growth promoters as well as the ubiquitous Flouride. Many folk are suspicious of Flouride, including a very sane econometrist of my acquaintance.
Well, in the US the public revolt against the chemical soup of urban tap water has lead to a craze for 'Raw Water' - and with all the attendant health industry shouting crazed warnings that everyone will die of Cholera.
Well, to a point, Lord Copper. Here water and sewerage are managed by the local council. We have our own little sewage treatment plant that deals with the output of some 2,500 souls and our water comes from the 'moss slopes' collected in two small concrete tanks with sand filters half way up the mountain. No further treatment. It comes out of the taps at about 9 bar with no pumping. It is pure Raw Water, absorbed from winter snowfall by the moss layers and slowly released.
However, things get even better. Our valley is a geological anomaly. On the south side, where the water comes from, are acidic schists, giving the wonderfully soft 'gemeindewasser' excellent for washing and brewing. On the north side, where we live in the Sun, is magnesian limestone, giving me hard water from the two sources or quellen on my land which is better for watering plants and fine for livestock. This can also be drunk raw, as it runs from the earth pipe. So not only do I have running Raw Water, but a choice of hard or soft. Knowing that septics are paying €6 a litre for it makes me feel all the luckier.