Consider, if you will be so good, what “drinking-water” actually is. It is the world’s sewage. It is what that dirty boy, the earth, has washed his face with. The wells, rivers and rills are nature’s slop-buckets, and the lowland springs are not much better; all soluble substances on or near the surface of the earth eventually get into them. Melted mountain snow is pure enough, but by the time it reaches the lip of the flatlander it is a solution of abomination. It is macerated man. It is hydrate of dead dog with an infusion of all that is untidy—infested with germs of nameless plagues, carrying ferocious anthropophagi and loaded with mordant minerals.
— Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?), Antepenultimata (New York: The Neale Publishing Company, 1912). Once again via Laudator.