The pH value in water can range from 0 to 14
You may have heard of the popular word “pH value” which is used to describe drinking water quality, but do you know what it means? Does the pH value of your drinking water have an effect on your health?
In this article, we will share with you useful information about the pH value in water and its effects on human health. Besides that, we also offer effective solutions to adjust pH value for your drinking water.
- What is pH and what does pH mean for water?
The pH level of your drinking water reflects how acidic it is. pH stands for “potential of hydrogen,” referring to the amount of hydrogen found in a substance (in this case, water). The pH value in water can range from 0 to 14:
- Acidic water has a pH lower than 7. The most acidic substances have a pH of 0.
- Alkaline water has a pH of 8 or above. The most alkaline substances, such as lye, have a pH of 14.
- Pure water has a pH of 7 and is considered “neutral” because there is a balance between acid and alkalinity.
To better understand the range in pH, we give you some examples: apple juice 3, orange juice 3.5, coffee 5.5, milk 6.2, baking soda 8.5, soapy water 10, bleach 12. The pH of water is a very important measurement concerning water quality. Temperature will also affect the equilibria and the pH. In pure water, a decrease in pH of about 0.45 occurs as the temperature is raised by 25 °C. The normal range for pH in surface water systems is 6.5 to 8.5, and the pH range for groundwater systems is the range 6 to 8.5.
- Does the pH value in water affect human health?
Following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – the agency in charge of monitoring public drinking water quality across the United States, pH isn’t a quality that falls under EPA regulation because it’s considered an aesthetic quality of water. However, the agency recommends that municipal drinking water suppliers keep their water supply at a pH of 6.5 to 8.5.
Freshwater pH varies across the world depending on weather patterns, human activity, and natural processes. A very low or high pH value in water can be a sign of chemical or heavy metal pollution.
2.1 Acidic water
Use litmus paper to measure the pH of water
In general, a water with a low pH (< 6.5) could be acidic, soft, and corrosive. Therefore, it could contain elevated levels of toxic metals, cause premature damage to metal piping, and have associated health problems such as:
– Exposes you to heavy metals
You can be exposed to heavy metals and minerals present in the water by drinking acidic water. Metal ions such as copper, manganese, zinc, iron, and lead can leach from pipes and plumbing fixtures when water is acidic.
The danger of exposure to too much heavy metals is that you can have several health effects in the body. Heavy metals can damage and alter the function of organs such as the brain, kidney, lungs, liver, and blood. Acidic water also has a rather metallic, sour and unsavory taste.
Acidic water can harm your teeth
– Harm your teeth in a long time
Just like the rest of your body, your mouth needs a balanced pH. But by clearing your mouth with acidic water, it can make the acid in your mouth work even harder and the acids start to demineralize (break down) tooth enamel.
– Endanger your child’s development
Because of the rapid growth of their bodies, children are the most vulnerable persons when exposed to heavy metals from acidic water. Their systems absorb nutrients–as well as contaminants–at a faster speed and rate than adults. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney disease, liver disease, and stomach cramps are among the most common health issues caused by the consumption of acidic water.
– Low Calcium Retention
When you drink acidic water regularly, your body is difficult to absorb calcium because there is a high amount of acidic water in its system. That can cause more rapid bone loss.
– Causes gastrointestinal disorders
It can cause gastrointestinal disorders because your stomach has to leach metals from acidic water for a long time. When you are overexposure to zinc or copper residue from acidic water, you can get serious symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The primary way to treat the problem of acidic water is using a process of pH correction and re-hardening with acid neutralizing filters. We will introduce more about the treatment in the 3rd part below.
2.2 Alkaline water
The pH value of over 8.5 would indicate that the water is hard. Hard water does not cause a health risk, but can pose aesthetic problems. These problems include:
– Have an unpleasant smell or taste; your drinks will taste a bit bitter
– Hard water can contribute to dry your skin and hair. Washing your hair often with hard water can leave your scalp feeling itchy.
– The minerals in hard water can change the your skin’s pH balance weakening it as a barrier against harmful bacteria and infections. People with eczema may be especially vulnerable.
- Common treatment methods to adjust pH value in water
Recently, there are 3 common types of pH adjustment devices are discussed below:
3.1 Neutralizing filters
When you filter water with reverse osmosis, most minerals could be removed from drinking water. In others cases, potable water from seawater or pure water after the water treatment process could also deficient in minerals. Therefore, the pH value in water will be lower than 6.5. So, we need to correct pH that is safe enough for drinking and food preparation.
To raise the pH of acidic water, we need to neutralize it by adding the minerals to balance between acid and alkalinity. You can use a neutralizing filter to do that. Normally, a neutralizing filter uses pH-correcting material which has the main ingredient as a calcite or ground limestone (calcium carbonate) for normal pH correction, but if the pH is very low, it could also include a blend of magnesium oxide and calcite. When the acidic water passes through the filter, it absorbs these minerals so the alkalinity and hardness will increase, the pH value in water will be raised too.
Rehardening Filter URF Series
URF is a state-of-the-art product from Ueberall GmbH for the purpose of increasing and sustaining pH value in water between 7.0 – 8.0. The URF System generates a more constant hardness value during the rehardening process
The material used in a neutralizing filter needs to be refilled and the filter needs to be backwashed regularly.
pH Correcting Material H06
H06 is a unique substance created by Ueberall GmbH to be paired with a URF chamber. H06 increases and sustains the pH of water to 7.0 – 8.0. It is a mixed material including Calciumcarbonat, Calciumoxid, Magnesiumoxid, Magnesiumcarbonat, Eisenoxid + Aluminiumoxid, Kieselsäure and water. With the special formula, the HO6 material filling is available for refill of any other rehardening filter, which is based on Dolomite material.
3.2 Soda ash/sodium hydroxide injection
This treatment method is used if water is acidic (low pH value). A chemical solution is made by mixing water and Soda ash (sodium carbonate) or sodium hydroxide. This high pH solution is injected into a water system that can raise the pH of water to near neutral. Unlike neutralizing filters, they do not cause hardness problems in treated water.
3.3 Acid injection
Acid injection treats water with a high pH value by lowering the water pH value to around 7, which eliminates the unpleasant taste. A chemical feed pump made from corrosion-resistant materials injects a solution of acetic acid (white vinegar) into high pH water. We can use citric acid and alum instead but these ingredients will cost more. After adding the acid solution, the feed rate should be adjusted until water reaches a pH value around 7.
- How to select a pH treatment method?
When selecting the pH treatment method, the levels of total dissolved solids (TDS) and carbon dioxide in the water should also be taken into consideration. For example, neutralizing filters are not as effective in increasing pH when the water contains excessive levels of TDS or carbon dioxide.
Besides that, you should consider both the investment cost and the operating costs. Operating costs include the energy needed to operate the system, additional water that may be needed for flushing the system, consumable supplies and filters, repairs, and general maintenance. Therefore, looking for a reputable brand and a professional distributor will help you choose an effective and economical water treatment product.
In Singapore, you can consider the products of UEBERALL, a German company with over 50 years of experience in water treatment and UV disinfection equipment. Let’s find out the high quality products of UEBERALL at our website www.delton.com.sg. Or you can pick up the Delton hotline: (65) 6686 2282 for promptly answer
Delton Marine – One-stop provider for fluid and engineering solutions, and genuine distribution of UEBERALL products from Germany