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Facts About Acidic / Alkaline Water

What is Acidic Water

Acidic water is, by definition, any water with a pH of less than 7.0.

Water that is low in pH can have undesirable effects on plumbing fixtures and piping. Green staining of fixtures is a common indication of acidic water. Copper pipe can be ruined by water low in pH.
Low pH is also an issue in water treatment. Sometimes it is necessary to raise the pH of acidic water in order for other treatment strategies to apply. For example, oxidizing iron to prepare it for filtration is difficult if the pH of the water is low, so raising the pH of the water is often the first step in removing iron from well water.
The corrosion process is an oxidation/reduction reaction that returns refined or processed metal to their more stable ore state. With respect to the corrosion potential of YOUR drinking water, the primary concerns include the potential presence of TOXIC Metals, such as lead and copper; deterioration and damage to the household plumbing, and aesthetic problems such as: stained laundry, bitter taste, and greenish-blue stains around basins and drains.

The primary health concern is the potential for the presence of elevated levels of lead and copper in the water. The primary source of the lead includes the use of lead pipes, lead lined tanks, and use of 50/50 lead/tin solder. Because of the concern with lead, the EPA banned the use of high lead solders in 1986. The primary source of copper is the leaching of copper from the household piping used to convey the water throughout the home. In some cases, the water is so corrosive that the interior plumbing system needs to be changed and completely replaced with PVC piping, PEX, or other materials. Too bad, they did not test the water and install a neutralizing system before the piping corroded and caused leaks throughout the home.

Almost all water treatment issues involve pH in some way. Water constituents change in nature as pH changes, so many treatments can be applied only if pH is within the desired range.

Treating Acidic Water

Acidic water can be corrected by several water treatment strategies. A common treatment is injection of soda ash, and a more aggressive treatment is the injection of caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). This is usually accomplished by injecting a solution of the soda ash or caustic soda directly into the water pipe.

A second strategy is to run the water through a bed of calcite (the most common treatment mineral) or corosex. As the low pH water passes through the bed, the mineral dissolves into the water and raises its pH.

Calcite treatment raises the pH by adding calcium carbonate to the water. This has the sometimes undesirable effect of increasing the hardness of the water slightly. Calcite and corosex are most commonly used in backwashing filters, but calcite alone can be used with simple upflow filters if the water is reasonably clean. Calcite is also commonly used in cartridge form as a post filtration treatment for undersink reverse osmosis units. RO lowers pH, and calcite filters are used to bring the pH back to neutral.[/vc_column_text]

What is Alkaline Water?

A chart showing the different levels of Acidity and pH in water.

The Water Ionizer industry is chalked full of confusing information. They often throw around machine specifications and technical jargon that needs to be dissected and explained in order to be understood. Our team at American Water Treatment is hoping to avoid this by giving you only the facts you need. We have written this information coherently so you may understand the properties of alkaline water and how it benefits you. So let’s start with the basics, what exactly is alkaline water?

Simply put, alkaline water is water with a potential hydrogen (pH) value of more than 7 (7 being neutral on the pH scale). Typically in the water industry, this is achieved using a whole house acid neutralizer system.  This process splits the neutral water into 2 types, acidic and alkaline. Both have their unique benefits and properties.