For anyone who has ever watched a cowpie float down a stream in Upstate New York, this idea is either long overdue or just the latest stab at capitalizing on New York City's thirst for clean drinking water: A couple of East Village entrepreneurs are now hawking none other than New York's finest tap water, reports the Wall Street Journal. Claiming that New York's water supply, which originates Upstate, is laden with pesticides, herbicides, prescription drugs, and the aforementioned cowpies, the owners of Molecule run the water through a $25,000 seven-stage filtering gizmo—then sell it to you for $2.50 a bottle. "I mean it's subtle, but if you have a sensitive palate you can totally tell," says a co-owner.
That predictably has upset public health officials, who have long prided themselves on the Big Apple's water quality; one DEP spokesman calls it the "safest, highest quality (water) in the world, a standard we confirm through more than 500,000 tests each year." One expert says dropping $15 on an in-home filtration system would get the job done; NYC's "water quality is not that bad to begin with," she says. But that's not slowing down Molecule's owners, who "sex it up" a bit by adding electrolytes or pH infusions to their pure H2O. Also available are vitamin shots, or mixes of fruits, herbs, mushrooms, and roots that are variously supposed to boost energy, immunity, or "skin, hair, and nails." And while some say water is water, the co-owner says his is "fluffy" with a "smooth" finish. "I think you'll have people who will start becoming water connoisseurs," says a customer. (Read more New York City stories.)