The purpose of this study was to evaluate the physical, chemical and microbiological characteristics of drinking waters known as 'healing/sour water' among the people of Trabzon (Turkey). Water samples were collected from 10 'healing/sour' water sources in Trabzon, and parameters for the three characteristics were studied. pH was low in almost all the water specimens, and all physical parameters from one source were unfit. Two water sources were unfit in terms of iron and manganese, and six in microbiological terms. Unfitness was determined in terms of at least one parameter in all water sources. On the basis of these findings, waters known as 'healing/sour water' and intensively used by local residents were evaluated as a risk to health.