I just found a FREE local source of spring water that I never new about. Here is how it is described:
The water seeps through a mixed, healthy forest before exiting from the hillside through a PVC pipe. The flow is strong and continuous, and the water is mineral rich and slightly alkaline. This spring has been frequented by hundreds of locals since the early 1900′s and has long been reputed to have great healing properties.
Would anyone question the quality of it? I love the taste of fresh spring water. I do have a filtered water supply in my home (Culligan).
Would YOU drink it?
You can get a water test from any home improvement store (I got two different brands at Home Depot) that will test for lead, bacteria, pesticides, pH etc. They are very easy to use and pretty accurate. It is probably overkill to test water that you would only drink occasionally. But if I was going to make that my only source of drinking water for every day use, I would definitely test it just for pollution reasons.
I have a well and have had problems with the pH and I diagnosed this issue with a do-it-yourself test as mentioned above. http://paleohacks.com/questions/13304/well-water-and-dry-scalp-i-need-some-chemistry-help#axzz1Hcq8h3nk I tried two different brands and they both had the same results. When I contacted a well specialist about what type of filter should be installed on my equipment, they ran their own tests that also yielded the same results so I think you can assess the purity of your source using a do-it-yourself test with confidence.
In addition, our state runs a program called Texas Stream Team see here: http://txstreamteam.rivers.txstate.edu/
They provide environmental testing through local universities and junior colleges all over the state. Your state should have a similar program and you can certainly get verifiable data on water quality from almost all sources. Do a search on "water resource insitutes in name of state" and you should be able to get more information.
I wouldn't take it at face value and would test it/check out the area myself. There's plenty of areas with arsenic and other contaminants/bacteria in it the water. Even major cities aren't safe. Example: Barstow, CA gets their water from multiple wells. They recently had perchlorate contamination of several wells and had to shut down and flush their system, and require people to get bottled water. You can't boil out perchlorate. They think they've found a possible source from the 80's (!!!) and have been sampling up to 20 acres around it. Which goes to show that even if everything's clean around it now, doesn't mean someone wasn't dumping chemicals illegally back in the day.
Or shooting barrels of toxic waste to destroy them near Simi Valley, CA. Home of the worst civilian nuclear disaster in America (What? You thought it was Three Mile Island?)
Is your spring going to be contaminated like this? Probably not, but it's wise to go by "Trust but Verify".
Is that all the information you have on it?
Is there a means to get toxicity content? mineral content? trace element content? etc? For example, that information is supplied for the city water supply, surely where ever you are getting this water should have such information.
Why is it free? Where is it located?
Is it bottled and imported there? Or from an actual water source?
I need a bit more data to give an honest answer ...
I wouldn't drink it, if that's all the information I had on it. Water is honestly just not that safe anymore, even if it looks clean. I'd look into getting it tested or something. There could be anything in there.
I'd drink it, but I'm notoriously unconcerned about such things. You could get a sample and send it off for testing. My wife did that with our city water, to find out if it had anything in it we should take steps to filter out. It reported parts-per-million for things like lead, iron, other heavy metals, chlorine, etc. I don't think it was expensive.
My folks have a spring on their farm, and it gets somewhat cloudy when it rains, so we can tell it must run shallowly underground for a while, allowing it to pick up runoff from the surface. Not every spring comes up through miles of filtering rock and sand. They drank it for years without any negative effect, but sometimes I'd get very mild intestinal distress from it, not drinking it regularly. I figure it's like drinking the water in a foreign country -- it doesn't bother the locals, but it may have things in it that you're not acclimated to.