Friday, 13 July 2012

Your Baby & Well Water in Halifax Dartmouth Nova Scotia

Well Water Safety Halifax Dartmouth Nova Scotia

Do NOT use your well water for your baby unless test results tell you it is safe. 

Have your well water tested before your baby is born.

You should use caution if you are using well water for your baby. There may be high concentration of heavy metals or fluoride, nitrates, nitrites, uranium and arsenic in Nova Scotia well water. Health Canada recommends testing your well water at least twice a year for these substances as well as coliform bacteria if your baby drinks the water. Boiling well water does not make it safe to use for your baby if arsenic & uranium are present.

Bacteria Levels in Water
Bacteria may be found in well water. This can occur if a well is not properly constructed and sealed, or if the ground water itself has been contaminated.

Are bacteria harmful?
Many types of bacteria cause disease. Bacteria from human or animal waste are the most harmful. Drinking well water which has been contaminated with bacteria can result in stomach cramps, diarrhea, and other health problems.

What can you do?
Have your well water tested regularly. 
At the lab, the sample will be tested for coliform and E. coli bacteria. If these are found, do not use the water for drinking, preparing juice or infant formula, washing fruits and vegetables, or brushing your teeth. To make water safe, boil it for one full minute, or treat it by another method to kill the bacteria. Carbon filters do not remove these bacteria. Ultraviolet sterilizers are 99.99% efficient to sterilize coliform bacteria + e.coli. UV Sterilizers in Halifax Nova Scotia
Until the problem has been corrected, use an alternate safe water source for bathing infants.

Ultraviolet Sterilizers

Fluoride Levels in Water
Fluoride is a mineral found in rocks and soil. Your well water may contain naturally-occuring fluoride. Drinking water which contains fluoride has a protective effect on tooth enamel.

Is fluoride harmful?
Drinking water with levels of fluoride which are too high can lead to dental fluorosis, a condition which causes discoloration of the teeth.
Generally, fluorosis is not a health risk; however, it may be unattractive. In severe cases, the teeth may become pitted, and require treatment by a dentist.

What can you do?
Have your well water tested by an accredited laboratory. Reverse Osmosis drinking water systems are highly recommended to reduce fluoride levels. Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Systems

Nitrate Levels in Water
Nitrates are chemicals that occur naturally in soil and rock formations. Nitrates get into ground water from decaying plant or animal material, manure, fertilizers, or septic systems. Generally, the level of nitrates in the ground water is low, however runoff of ground water can affect the water in your well.
Nitrates can be found in wells regardless of the type of construction, and the nitrate levels can vary according to the location of your well. Eliminating the source of nitrates for an individual well can be difficult.

Are nitrates harmful?
High levels of nitrates in water used for drinking and cooking cause a condition in infants called well water cyanosis. This is sometimes called blue baby syndrome because the blood's ability to carry oxygen is affected, and the baby's skin turns a dark shade of blue or purple. Infants under six months of age lack enzymes which protect against blue baby syndrome, and are at risk if given formula prepared using water with high levels of nitrates.
Breastfed babies doe not get blue baby syndrome unless they drink unsafe well water. Expectant mothers can drink well water that is high in nitrate content without harming their unborn babies.
Ordinary carbon filters, water softeners, and boiling or chlorinating water do not remove nitrates. In fact, boiling water increases the level of nitrates - the water evaporates leaving harmful elements behind.

What can you do?
If you are pregnant, or have a baby, have your well water tested for nitrates by an accredited laboratory.
If your water test has nitrates over 10 milligrams per litre, or 10 parts per million, use an alternative drinking water source such as bottled water, or a treatment system such as reverse osmosis.

Lead in well water
Recently, concern has been raised about Lead in drinking water. Although high concentrations of lead can be harmful to all people, fetuses and children up to six years of age are most susceptible to the adverse health effects of lead. If your water does have elevated lead levels, you should prepare baby formula with water from an alternative source that is known to be safe. Well Water System for Lead in Halifax Nova Scotia

Arsenic in well water
Arsenic has been recognized as a poison since ancient times. A long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic in drinking water
causes bladder, lung, skin, kidney and liver cancer. It can also harm the central and peripheral nervous systems, affect heart functions, damage bloods vessels, and can cause tremors, headaches, numbness and serious skin problems. It can also cause birth defects and
reproductive problems. Some symptoms linked to long-term
exposure to high levels of arsenic in drinking water include thickening and discoloration of the skin, nausea and diarrhea, decreased production of blood cells, keratosis and peripheral vascular diseases. Acute arsenic poisoning associated with ingestion of water with high levels of arsenic includes abdominal pain, vomiting, and pain to the extremities and muscles.

Whole House Arsenic and Uranium Filters

What can you do? 
Install a whole house arsenic water system in Halifax Nova Scotia or a reverse osmosis drinking water system.  Boiling water does not eliminate arsenic.

Never give well water to a baby under six months of age, or mix infant formula with well water that has not been tested and found safe for nitrates. Breastfeed your baby if at all possible.

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Evolution Water
731 Rosemary Drive
Middle Sackville, NS
B4E 3N9