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Drinking Tap Water During Pregnancy

Is it OK to Drink Tap Water During Pregnancy?

If you're pregnant, tell your doctor where you live and whether you have public water or well water. Most U.S. drinking water comes from public water systems, which are regulated and kept safe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The rest comes from private wells, which also can be safe, but should be tested privately to make sure.

Most tap water is safe and drinkable. Rarely, things like lead, germs, or pesticides can contaminate tap water. But if this happens, it's usually discovered and dealt with quickly because laws require water suppliers to test the water regularly.

What Else Should I Know?

If you're worried, contact your local water supplier to get a copy of the annual water quality report. If you're still concerned and/or have private well water, have your water tested by a state-certified laboratory. (Well water users should test their water once a year.) This can cost anywhere from $15 to hundreds of dollars, depending on the number of contaminants you want to have your water tested for.

To help ease your mind, you could also buy a water filtration system to help lower the levels of lead, some bacteria and viruses, and chemicals such as chlorine. Be sure to read the product's label, as some filters do more than others.

Systems that treat the entire home's water supply are pricey (up to thousands of dollars). Countertop pitcher and faucet-mounted units, though, are much cheaper (some for under $50). You can also have refillable water coolers delivered to your home, often through wholesale — or bulk items — stores.

Bottled water might taste better or different than tap water, but it isn’t necessarily any safer. And it's usually not needed unless the tap water is known to be contaminated. Also, bottled water:

  • is more expensive
  • may contain chemicals that come from the plastic
  • creates plastic waste
  • might contain tap water that has been bottled