Water is the building block of every cell of our body, and while polluted water is unsafe for anyone to drink, it’s especially hazardous for expectant mothers and their unborn babies. Knowing the dangers of drinking tap water during pregnancy, and taking actions to ensure your water is safe is extremely important for your health and your child’s.
Water Contaminants to Watch Out for During Pregnancy
- Lead is one of the most serious toxic chemicals to humans, and has been associated with reduced cognitive function, lower IQ and increased attention-related behavioral problems in children. Pipe corrosion is a leading factor in lead poisoning in a home’s water supply.
- Arsenic can enter your water supply from natural deposits in the earth or from industrial pollution, and have been linked to increased risk of miscarriages and birth defects.
- Nitrates and nitrites are found in water supplies that are polluted by fertilizer and human sewage runoff. Some studies have linked high levels of nitrates with thyroid dysfunction in women, which can cause complications during pregnancy.
- Microorganisms and bacteria such as E.coli and noroviruses can enter your town’s water supply through sewage contamination, and may cause gastrointestinal illnesses dangerous to moms-to-be.
- Pesticides enter your water through crop production and agricultural practices. Some studies have suggested that drinking water contaminated with these organic chemicals can increase the risk of reduced fetal growth.
How to Ensure Your Drinking Water is Safe
Most of our water comes from public water systems, which are tested frequently. A municipality’s water supply is considered safe to drink unless it is deemed by a government entity as otherwise, and you will be notified if this happens. Make sure to pay close attention to alerts about water supply disruptions, particularly in the case of a chemical spill or natural disaster.
Here are some signs that your water supply may need to be tested:
- You notice the taste of your water seems off.
- Your water smells odd.
- The coloring of your water doesn’t seem right.
- Your pipes are deteriorating.
If you feel you want to take the extra safe route, you can always contact your local water supplier or the EPA. The EPA requires communities to send an annual report called a Consumer Confidence Report, which will allow you to view the safety and quality of your town’s water supply.
Private Well Water
If your water comes from a well, it should be tested annually to make sure high levels of chemicals are not present which could affect you and your baby.
What to Do if Your Water is Not Safe to Drink
- Install a filter that is designed to filter specific contaminants.
- Buy bottled water that is NSF certified if your city’s well water is contaminated with lead.
- Boil water before use to remove bacteria if alerted by local health officials (boiling water is NOT enough to remove lead, arsenic, or nitrates.)
- Flush your pipes by running the water until it becomes as cold as possible before using the tap for cooking or drinking.
At Aquarius Water Conditioning, we can perform a free water analysis and install a water filtration system best suited for your home’s needs. For the best water in Minnesota and Wisconsin, give us a call at 888-741-9025.