It's hard for us - on this side of the pond - to understand that many in the US of A are still getting their water from a well; either their own well, or one that serves a whole community.
Because drinking well water is a normal part of US life, I dont think they have thought much about it. Many believe that as long as you use your own well water and not the town's chlorinated supply you are OK. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The town supply has, by law, to be free of various designated pollutants - many, such as benzene and now MTBE, emanating from petroleum spills, others coming from industrial and agricultural pollutants. That does not apply to private wells, so that water may well contain known carcinogens and other substances that make chlorinated water look like a healthy drink.
Clearly some have cottoned on to this, or WalMart wouldn't be selling distilled water by the bucketful, but - as you know - that ain't the case over here.
A week or two back, I stumbled on the Guardian story of their reporter who went to Thailand and had colemas. They sound brilliant therapy, but I wont try them until I get back to my remote home, where my water supply comes from a mountain aquifer.
Incidentally, I reckon that a handyman could make a colema board from wood at a fraction of the price of bought items.