Is your water acidic, basic, or just right?
In chemistry, pH is a scale that shows how acidic or basic a solution is. The range goes from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. pHs of less than 7 are acidic, while those greater than 7 are basic.
Technically speaking, pH is a measure of the relative amount of free hydrogen and hydroxylions in the water. (Complicated – I know!)
The pH of water determines the solubility (amount that can be dissolved in the water) and biological availability (amount that can be used by aquatic life) of chemical components such as nutrients (phosphorous, nitrogen and carbon) and heavy metal (lead, copper, cadmium etc.).
So, the pH affect organisms living in the water, and a changing pH can be an indicator of increasing pollution or some other environmental factor.
What do the pH results mean?
Below 6.5 (Low pH): This water could be acidic, soft, or corrosive. Low pH water will corrode or dissolve metals and other substances. Pollution can change a water’s pH, which in turn can harm animals and plants living in the water.
6.5 – 8.5: This is considered the normal range for pH in water systems. The pH of pure water (H20) is exactly 7.
Above 8.5 (High pH): This water is considered ‘hard’ – as it is likely to deposit elements such as calcium and magnesium (rather than corrode them). While higher pH does not pose any health risks, it can cause the skin to become dry, itchy, and irritated. As pH levels surpass 9, it becomes very difficult for aquatic organisms to survive.