'Magic' water well draws long lines of believers citing health benefits

ByZach Ben-Amots via WLS logo
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
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There's a magic water well in northwest suburban Schiller Wood, where a seemingly endless stream of Chicagoland believers get in line to fill up empty bottles with untreated water

CHICAGO, Illinois -- There's a 'magic' water well in Chicago, and a seemingly endless stream of believers get in line to fill up empty bottles with untreated water from an aquifer.

But they don't trust all wells, just this one.

Regulars say that the well water improves their health. Some swear the water helped them deal with illnesses ranging from chronic headaches to cancer.

Others, like Nick Karapournos, even say the water can make you 10 years younger. Karapournos first visited the well over 10 years ago to save money.

"I come here over 10 years," Karapournos said. "I start here and I not change."

Robert Ryan hasn't touched tap water for decades.

"It's coming straight out of the aquifer," Ryan said. "They said these wells are 85 feet deep. So it's drawn all the way up through, it's fresh water all the way up the pump."

After several months at the well, Ryan said "everything changed" and he started feeling less rundown.

Ezra Robinson found the well a year ago online while searching for untreated water in the area.

"I was looking just for best places to get natural water -- stuff that just wasn't touched by people," Robinson said. "Drinking this water, I've felt a lot more energized."

Since making the switch, Robinson says that tap water gives him headaches.

Lisa Young is trying the well water as part of a long list of natural treatments for her daughter's health issues.

"We just want to see what it tastes like and see if we feel better after we've been drinking it for a while," Young said.

Many regulars at the well don't trust the way that the local government treats their tap water. They don't mind the well smell and prefer the taste, which is slightly metallic and tastes of minerals.

There are two wells just across the road, but one doesn't work and the other has slightly rusty pipes due to infrequent use.

For the Cook County Forest Preserves, high usage at the 'magic' well means frequent testing of the water and oiling of the mechanics.

"Due to this specific pump's popularity, the Forest Preserves tests its water quarterly," communications director Carl Vogel wrote in an email to WLS-TV. "We are always happy to see that an amenity in the Forest Preserves - from our campgrounds to bike trails to a spot to get fresh water - is enjoyed and popular with residents."