A local watering hole has proven to be a hotbed for those looking to stay refreshed with natural mountain water but Alberta Health Services is warning against consuming the runoff.

The spot, located along the Palliser Trail just off the Trans Canada Highway in Canmore, has a natural runoff of mountain water where many come to fill containers. 

"We come out here intentionally from Calgary and fill up. It's kind of all the water that we drink," said one user. "We’ve come here for about 15 years, here and Banff. But it's a popular spot because people are seeing what’s in their water now and why not come to the source." 

However Alberta Health Services is warning against going natural. 

"Any surface water that has access to wild animals can have contamination from the feces to those animals," said David Strong, lead medical health officer in the Calgary Zone, with Alberta Health Services. 

Strong added that there are many side effects to drinking untreated water. "Usually after about a week of drinking the water, they’ll start to get diarrhea and it can be prolonged and can go for weeks, and sort of be coming and going." 

Another user says the water just tastes better. "You know how you can go to different places and the tap water tastes different there based on how its treated? This just tastes better. Different.”

AHS could not say whether anyone has fallen ill or died from drinking the water near the Palliser Trail. 

The Town of Canmore has recently installed a sign at the watering hole warning people that the water may be subject to contamination.