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Understanding pH In Your Water

 

When it comes to water we need to make sure that the water we wash our hands, use for cooking, and drinking to quench our thirst, must be a hundred percent safe. Free from contaminants and harmful substances.

We need to make sure that the health of ourselves and our family is safe from lead, arsenic, and nitrates, which can be present in water especially in the water we drink. But what about pH?

Do you need to be safe from pH in water?

Chemical substances and microorganisms that are found in water can quickly determine if they are safe to drink or not. Whereas knowing the pH does not directly tell if the water is of good quality.

The pH in water, regarding its quality, has its nuances but can simply be solved just by using filters. Whether or not you know what is pH, it is still a good idea to learn about the water that possibly you drink.

What is pH?

The pH of a solution stands out for the “potential/power of hydrogen”. A solution’s acidity or basicity is determined by its pH. The pH values of these liquid solutions range from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most basic.

The pH is the logarithm form of free hydronium and hydroxyl ions found in a solution. Acids tend to have more hydronium ions than hydroxyl ions and bases vice versa. The solution tends to be more neutral if the ratio of these ions is close to one. 

A liquid solution that is neither an acid or a base is called a neutral solution. Neutral solutions have a pH value of 7. An example of a neutral solution is water.

pH in water

Not all the time water has a pH value of 7. A pH value of 7.0 is attainable for pure water at 25oC. Most drinking water lies within the range of pH 6.5 to 8.5 according to the World Health Organization.

The pH of a liquid can also indicate the presence of additional pollutants or bacterial life. In general, water with an extremely high or extremely low pH is unsuitable for specific purposes.

The biological availability and solubility of chemicals in water can be determined by knowing their pH. Knowing whether the water is acidic or basic will give you an idea if it is now the time to use simple water treatment such as filters.

Here are the differences between acidic and basic water:

Acidic water

Water that has pH values below 6.5 is acidic, soft, and corrosive in general. Metal ions such as iron, manganese, copper, lead, and zinc could be leached from the aquifer, plumbing fittings, and pipe by the water. 

The metals that are leached are caused by the increase of hydronium ions which resulted in the increased solubility of these metal ions. Elevated levels of toxic metals in water pose detrimental health risks.

Tap water users should be more aware of the common traits of acidic water. 

This water is connected to aesthetic issues such as:

  • Sour or metallic taste
  • Staining of laundry
  • Blue-green staining of drains and sinks

 

This water with low pH values should be treated primarily by using a neutralizer. Chemicals such as using soda ash neutralize the water but leaves with increasing its sodium content.

One such neutralizing equipment is using a neutralizing filter to bring back the pH to normal levels.

Basic water

Water that has pH values above 8.5 is basic or hard water. Hard water does not pose immediate detrimental health risks unlike acidic water but can also cause aesthetic issues:

  • Alkali taste to the water
  • Formation of precipitate on pipelines and fittings, resulting in decreased water pressures, and piping interior diameter.
  • Difficulty on foaming of soaps and detergents and the formation of insoluble precipitates
  • Scale or deposit formation on dishes and utensils

Water alkalinity

Basic water is commonly associated with alkaline water. Basicity and alkalinity are commonly used interchangeably although they have a significant differences. Basicity refers to the direct correlation with the pH scale while alkalinity refers to the acid-neutralizing capacity of the water. 

Alkaline water had become hype. Alkaline water has various claims that slow’s the aging process, body pH level regulator, and prevents cancer.

The pH alone does impart substantial alkalinity to water and not enough scientific support was reported about the claims of alkaline water. Filtered tap water can still have pH levels the same as alkaline water.

Water hardness

The hardness of water is also associated with mineral water. Mineral water was named such because of the presence of mineral ions such as:

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium

These minerals are also present with hard tap water. The significant difference between mineral water to tap water is that mineral water should contain these mineral ions. The presence of minerals is the cause of the aesthetic issues regarding tap water.

Mineral water is bottled at the source using plastic bottles. And if you are a nature lover, consider drinking filtered tap water as it has a lower environmental impact and is cheaper than bottled mineral water.

Conclusion

Water safety has been a major factor in our standard of living. Understanding how safe our water is does not only improve our lives but can also save the lives of others. Water quality is easily monitored by knowing the contaminants that are present in water.

While knowing pH does not directly tell us if the water is of good quality or not. The pH of water gives us many interpretations.

Generally, water can be acidic or basic. The danger concerning pH is when water comes to the extremities of the pH scale which is either close to 0 or 14, being very acidic or very basic.

The pH of water tells us about the possible contaminants that can exist in our water that poses several health risks. The World Health Organization established the pH range that is safe for drinking.

When our water is outside of the safe pH range, we can use water filters that neutralize the pH of our drinking water, especially tap water. Understanding pH in your water gives us a broader idea of our safety and for our family.

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