Do you remember learning about water pH levels in science class? Maybe you placed a piece of litmus paper in various liquids to check their level? If not, here’s a quick refresher.
The pH scale is used in chemistry to describe how acidic or basic an aqueous solution is. Acidic solutions have a lower pH value, while basic (or alkaline) solutions have higher values. The pH of water can range from 1 to 14, with the natural pH of water being approximately 7.
In addition, the pH scale is logarithmic, which means that going from 4 to 3 isn’t a slight increase in acidity. Rather, each number on the pH scale is 10 times more than the next. For example, a water pH level of 14 is 10,000,000 times more alkaline than a pH level of 7. A high pH value in drinking water tells us that it's very alkaline.
Causes of High pH Levels in Water
In general, chemicals, minerals, pollutants, soil or bedrock composition, and any other contaminants that interact with a water supply will create an imbalance in the water’s natural pH of 7. In short, environmental factors are the biggest contributor to water pH, whether high or low.
When it comes to increasing drinking water alkalinity, various chemicals and pollutants are known to cause high pH levels. If the soil or bedrock around groundwater sources includes carbonate, bicarbonate, or hydroxide compounds, those materials get dissolved and travel with the water. These mineral deposits also increase the alkalinity of the water.
If the pH value of a drinking water source changes significantly in a relatively short period of time, that can be an indicator that it's contaminated with pollutants, which makes it unsafe to drink.
Highly alkaline water can smell and taste unpleasant, too. It can also damage pipes and create accelerated wear and tear in appliances, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Because of this, many municipal water suppliers test their water for pollutants and elevated pH values.
High pH and the Human Body
Some believe that slightly more alkaline water has health benefits. There are even water brands that produce alkaline water products. However, there is no solid scientific evidence that the body benefits from consuming higher-alkaline water or foods.
Since your body strives to maintain a homeostatic neutral state of approximately 7 pH, drinking either acidic or basic solutions will not change your plasma pH levels. However, high levels of pH in water can indicate pollutants or unwanted chemicals are present, and those substances can be harmful to your health.
Concerned With the pH of Your Drinking Water?
People today are beginning to ask the question, “What’s in my water?” and for good reason. Water quality is an extremely important issue, not just in developing countries, but here in the United States, as well. If you’re curious about the pH level of the water in your home, you can buy litmus paper and easily test it.
For those looking for a higher quality of drinking water, natural spring water delivery service for the home is a great option. In Colorado for example, residents can get bulk water delivered conveniently to their home each month from Eldorado Natural Spring Water. Not only are service plans highly affordable and incredibly convenient, families can rest assured knowing that they are getting perfectly pH-balanced natural spring water free of any unwanted chemicals or additives.
This blog was previously published on 4/8/2021