Dangerous raw water prices are skyrocketing to $60 as Silicon Valley's latest trend flies off the shelves

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raw water live water san francisco 3 Melia Robinson/Business Insider An empty container sits on a shelf in Rainbow Grocery, where Live Water is sold.

  • Silicon Valley's latest obsession is untreated, unfiltered water.
  • One store selling raw water increased the price of 2.5 gallons to $60.99, from $36.99, after a New York Times' article on the bizarre trend - and it's still sold out.
  • According to the "raw" or "live" water company, there has been a surge in demand.
  • Consuming untreated water can spread infections such as cholera, Hepatitis A, and E. coli.

Raw water prices are skyrocketing, after a New York Times' article detailing Silicon Valley's latest bizarre obsession.

In San Francisco, "unfiltered, untreated, un-sterilized spring water" is flying off the shelves.

The New York Times reported last week that Rainbow Grocery, a coop in the city's Mission District, was selling a 2.5-gallon jug from the Live Water startup for $36.99.

raw water live water san francisco 2 Melia Robinson/Business Insider

However, when Business Insider's Melia Robinson visited Rainbow Grocery on Tuesday, she found the coop was sold out of the Fountain of Truth Spring Water from Live Water - and a sign indicating a "slight price increase."

Since The Times published the article, the price of Live Water had increased from $36.99 to $60.99.

raw water live water san francisco 5 Melia Robinson/Business Insider Rainbow Grocery is expecting a new shipment of Live Water on January 4.

Live Waters' website also indicates a recent surge in demand.

"We're Experiencing A Surge Of New Customers," the website reads. "First Water Delivery Might Take Longer Than Usual~ New Orders Will Be Delivered In The Order They Are Received".

Startups dedicated to untreated water are popping up. People - including failed startup Juicero's cofounder Doug Evans - are gathering gallons of untreated water from natural springs. Evans told The Times that he and his friends brought 50 gallons of raw water to Burning Man.

However, food safety experts remain skeptical.

"Almost everything conceivable that can make you sick can be found in water," food safety advocate and attorney Bill Marler told Business Insider.

That includes bacteria and diseases such as cholera, E. coli, Hepatitis A, and Giardia. Because filtered, treated water has become the norm, Marler says, most people don't realize how dangerous "raw" water can be.

"The diseases that killed our great-grandparents were completely forgotten about," he said.

Most Americans don't personally know anyone who died of Hepatitis A or cholera, thanks to advances in technology and more stringent safety standards. As a result, they had a hard time realizing the risks involved in consuming untreated water.

"It's fine till some 10-year-old girl dies a horrible death from cholera in Montecito, California," Marler said.

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