Most paper manufactures obtain their water from nearby rivers. Obviously, whatever foreign matter is contained in the water can wind up in their paper. Our mill's water supply is from an artesian well that originates from a limestone water table 800 feet below the earth's surface. For the 60 years they have tested their water, it has never varied in these astonishing characteristics: pH 7.2 - 7.6, no iron or copper traces, and a high concentration of calcium. Alum is never used in the manufacturing process.