“The first wealth is health.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson.
For centuries, humans have been discovering new ways to stay healthy. They have conducted thousands of researches and written millions of articles over the subjects that affect our health.
Amongst these researches, one of the most focused topics is water. This element is vital for our survival as it makes up most of our body mass and regulates our every function.
One of the major concerns associated with water is the factors that affect its purity. These include contaminants, hardness, ph of the water, etc.
In this post, we’ll discuss the pH of the water. So, without further ado, let’s dig right into our topic.
pH stands for “power of hydrogen” in a water-based solution. In chemistry, pH is a scale used to indicate how acidic or alkaline the liquid solution is.
Depending upon the presence or absence of free hydrogen molecules, the pH ranges from 1 to 14. A lower value indicates acidic, while higher expresses an alkaline solution.
If we talk about its relation to the water, the pH ranges from 6.5 to 8.5.
Now, that we have a basic idea about pH, we will discuss the causes behind its changes, their effects, and finally, the correction measures.
Causes of Unbalanced pH in Water
The causes of unbalanced pH can be natural or due to human interventions.
Some natural causes include:
- Minerals invade the water as it passes through the ground and canals.
- Addition of rain and snow in the water, both of which are slightly acidic.
- Aquatic plants remove carbon dioxide from water during photosynthesis, which increases water’s acidity.
Similarly, the causes of pH changes due to human intervention include:
- Industrial and chemical waste products cause water pollution, which in turn affects the pH of the water.
- Acid rain produced by air pollution.
- Mining exposes rocks and minerals in the water.
Changes Water Properties
If your water has unbalanced pH, you may experience a metallic, sour, or bitter taste. Furthermore, the water feels slippery or greasy and leaves stains in your mouth with regular drinking.
A lower pH causes acidosis, while a higher one causes Alkalosis. Both of these diseases are severe and may cause organ damage, coma, respiratory distress, or even death.
Due to these reasons, our body is highly sensitive to pH change. Even slight fluctuations activate different types of mechanisms, which are regulated by the help of buffers.
Buffers are chemical compounds that balance the pH by either accepting or releasing free hydrogen molecules in the blood. Thanks to these regulations, the irregular pH of the water we intake may not be a problem for our health.
However, high levels of acidity in water causes the skin to become dry, itchy and irritated.
Other problems may include teeth corrosion, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney problems, bone diseases, etc.
Furthermore, it can leach metals from plumbing systems, which can lead to different health problems depending upon the metal. Examples include lead, zinc, and copper. They cause diseases such as metal toxicities, anemia, skin irritations, GI distress, kidney disease, and brain damage.
On the other hand, research shows that alkaline water is better for your health.
Staining and Plumbing Problems
Acidic water is corrosive. It keeps eating away the pipes and water-tanks, causing the metals to leach into the water. Over time, the metals are scraped from the pipes, resulting in destructed plumbing along with water leakage.
Furthermore, the acidic water also causes staining of the household items, such as clothes, floors, and fixtures. Depending upon the type of material used in plumbing, the stains can be of blue color (copper plumbing) or red color (cast-iron plumbing).
Similarly, the alkaline water forms mineral scales. These scales may clog the pipes over time, damage faucets, and decrease the life-span of water heaters, coffee makers, and washing machines.
Initially, we can detect the changes in the pH of water by observing the signs. As mentioned before, the water becomes metallic in taste, the touch gets greasy, and staining occurs.
However, its confirmation requires laboratory analysis. You need to take a sample of your water, deliver it to the water testing labs, and get it tested. The problem with this method is that it takes a lot of time and energy for each trip.
Not to mention, you have to take one of these trips after every month or so, to ensure that the pH of the water is in-check.
Another suitable method includes usage of water testing kits.
With the help of these kits, you can check the pH of your water with ease, without the hassle of visiting the testing labs. They are convenient, fast, and efficient.
You can check out our reviews on the best water testing kits available, and save yourself from the trouble of visiting those water testing labs.
Correction of the unbalanced pH
This method includes neutralizing the pH of water by manual addition of acids or bases.
If your water is acidic, adding Sodium carbonate and Sodium hydroxide in the water may solve the issue.
Similarly, for alkaline water, acetic acid can be used to correct the pH.
The problem with this method is that measuring the required acids or bases is tricky. Negligence in this regard might further unbalance the pH.
Also, this method requires a lot of labor and time, making it less convenient for regular use.
Water Ionizers (Automatic Process)
These filters are point-of-entry devices that neutralize the acidity of water. Like the manual method, they do require bases such as calcium carbonate and magnesium oxide, but their addition is fully automatic.
As a result, the water is neutralized faster, with better efficiency and less labor!
There are different types of neutralizing filters. Some feature a convenient design, while others are known for their efficiency. You can read our review on the best water ionizers to compare different filters and buy the one suitable for your needs!
Alkaline Water Pitchers
These portable pitchers might be the best option for you if you are unable to install a water ionizer.
They are easy to use, filter many impurities, and decrease the acidic pH of water.
However, they are not as fast as water ionizers and may not be able to store much water.
For further information on this product, check out our in-depth review of the top water filter pitchers currently available in the market!
In short, water pH should be normal or slightly alkaline. Acidic water not only ruins our plumbing system and household items, but it also has detrimental effects on our health.
Therefore, if you want to enjoy pure and healthy water, then keep an eye on its pH!