The quality of drinking water depends on several factors and the pH value is one of them. The pH value depicts the presence of electrically charged particles in water. High and low pH values can be a concern and can cause worries to users. Are you intrigued to know how the pH value can affect water quality? If yes, how can it be corrected? Read the post to know the answers.
What is pH?
pH stands for the potential of hydrogen. It depicts if the water is more likely to take or give up hydrogen ions. Any liquid is classified into one of the three classes – acid, base, and neutral based on the pH value. The pH value of 7 is considered neutral, and drinking water with this pH value is deemed fit for consumption. If a water has a pH value below, it is acidic in nature and value above 7 makes it alkaline. The acidic nature means, the water has more hydrogen ions and has a potential to lose it. The alkaline nature means the water has lesser hydrogen ions and has a potential to gain it. pH value is used to measure the alkalinity and acidic nature of water. Any liquid is organized in pH values between 1 and 14. Each value on the pH scale is ten times higher or lower than the next level. For instance, if a liquid has a pH value of 6, then it is 10 times more acidic than drinking water with a pH value of 7. If a liquid has a pH value of 5, then it is 100 times more acidic than drinking water.
Causes of Unbalanced pH in Water
The presence of minerals and chemicals in water will increase pH unbalance. Water may take elements from areas it passes, such as bedrock, soil, and surroundings where the supply comes from. Highly alkaline water is formed when water flows through limestone rocks. This water may contain bicarbonate, carbonate, and hydroxide compounds that get dissolved in it. Highly acidic water may come be formed due to rainfall. Chemical sanitization and plant decomposition are factors that lowers the pH value of water.
Can Unbalanced pH in Water Cause Health Problems?
No, because pH levels are considered to be secondary-level contaminants. They may alter water’s taste or aesthetic appeal of water, leaving it unfit for use. Also, the high or low level-pH may signify chemical or metal pollution, which needs to be addressed on an immediate basis.
The pH level of water is not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or any other regulatory agencies in the US. However, the pH value of 6.5 to 8.5 is considered the best.
Common Drinking Water pH Levels
The following are common drinking water pH levels.
- Sparkling water. pH 4.5 – 6
- Bottled water: pH 5 – 10
- Mineral water: pH 5.5 – 8.5
- Distilled water: pH 5.8 – 7
- Spring water: pH 6.5 – 8.5
- Tap Water : pH 7.5
- Ocean water: pH 8 – 8.1
- Iceberg water: pH 6 – 8
- Artesian water: pH 6.5 – 8.5
- Alkaline water: pH 8-10
Signs of Unbalanced Water
The following are signs of unbalanced water.
- Reduced water flow
- Bitter taste
- Scaling on tank water heaters, shower doors, and fixtures
- Slippery device surfaces
- Metal toxicity
- Sour taste or acidic taste
- Leaching and corrosion
- Rust-colored staining on cast-iron or steel plumbing
- Pipe leakage
- Green or blue color stains on copper pipes
How to Measure pH Levels of Water?
There are various ways to measure the pH levels of water at home. You can use any of the following:
- pH Level Test Kit: These kits feature a pH test meter, indicator drops, and pH test strips. They can be found online or you can purchase them from nearby supermarkets.
- pH Meters: They are the perfect way to measure the pH value of water. These devices feature a reference electrode, a pH measuring electrode, and a high input impedance meter. There are various types of pH meters, including wireless pH transmitters, portable pH meters, benchtop pH meters, and pH panel controllers.
- pH Paper and Litmus Paper Test: A pH paper comprises indicator bars that will change color after dipping into a solution.
Methods to Perform pH Adjustment of Drinking Water
The pH adjustment of drinking water can be made following any of these techniques:
- pH Neutralizing Filters: These filters feature a sacrificial media within them. Flomag, Corosex, and Calcite are the trade names of sacrificial media. In this, Flomag and Corosex are magnesium carbonate are used to increase pH value of water. Magnesium carbonate dissolves quickly and neutralizes any excess hydrogen, as well as boost the pH value. Calcite media is basically calcium carbonate and is used for pH adjustment of water with values above 6.4 and below 7. The pH-neutralizing filters are also used to improve water taste after reverse osmosis.
- Carbon Dioxide Injection Systems: These systems are used on large scale to reduce corrosion and rust in cooling towers. They may come with PLC for remote monitoring.
- Anion Exchange Resins: These resins can easily remove alkalinity and adjust pH value.
- Acid Injection Systems: These systems are used for pH adjustment of water with pH values higher than 7. If the water has pH values above 9, it can corrode metals and is unfit for use. Acid injection systems may feature a chemical feed pump that injects acetic acid or white vinegar solution in water to balance its pH value. These solutions are proven to improve the results of chlorination.
If you have been considering these pH neutralizers for your home or commercial premises, ensure to source them from trusted brands. Intec America Corporation is one of the leading providers of pH neutralization systems in the US. The experts at the company will help you understand the effectiveness of different pH neutralizers and their impact on your project. You can get in touch with the team at the company to discuss your requirements.