The A to Z ph Guide – ph Level of water and why it matters

Water is one of the essential elements responsible for life on earth. 75% of the human body consists of water. Even 2/3 rd of the earth’s surface covered with water that has different ph Level of water.

But is all that water available for our drinking? No. We cannot drink seawater. It’s way too salty. Thus we need pure water that has been purified and has a neutral pH. 

But, does the pH level of water matter? 

To answer these questions, we have to know about the pH level and why it matters.

What is pH?

In scientific language, pH defined as the measure of the concentration of hydrogen ion in a solution. It has a 0-14 value scale, in which seven considered neutral. The value below 7 is acidic, and the amount above 7 becomes alkaline.

pH is a logarithmic scale. It means that every change in position on a range represents a tenfold increase or decrease in value. 

We remember the property of acid used in our house. Concentrated acid is dangerous and can even burn our skin. We can’t drink that water. Did you know that black coffee has a pH of about 5, baking soda is around nine, and bleach has a pH around 12.

What is the pH of water? 

The pH of the water should only matter if it dangerously affects our health. Just imagine, along with your water, you are taking a small amount of acid every day. It will surely show an adverse effect on our bodies. 

The Bureau of Indian Standard(BIS) states that the permissible limit of pH for safe drinking water prescribed to be 6.5 to 8.5. 

According to various studies, our body likes to stay around a blood pH of 7.4, i.e., slightly necessary. Drinking acidic or alkaline water alone is not likely to alter the acidity of our body. However, the similar properties of acidic water can be detrimental to our health. Thus the pH level of water safe for our drinking must lie particularly in this range. 

Is Groundwater Unsafe for Drinking? 

In our childhood, we used to drink direct pump water. But nowadays, every home has RO purifiers installed. It makes us think that is our groundwater contaminated? Is it not safe for our drinking. 

India is a developing country. In a few years, there has been advancement in every field. Even farmers use fertilizers and pesticides for their crops to yield more. These chemicals and also the chemical waste coming from the factories have affected the groundwater in evil ways.

Thus if the pH tests of your tap water are acidic, then it is corrosive and can interact with metal pipes such as Lead, Copper, and Zinc, thus contaminate the groundwater coming through these pipes. 

Also, algae is another major problem which can contaminate the water and hence responsible it’s pH. 

How can we know the pH of the water we are drinking? 

All these scientific words make us all wonder that we must have to go with a lengthy procedure to check the pH of our water or maybe send our sample to any lab. But it is effortless to check the pH value of water and is possible even at home. 

Following are the ways to check the pH value of water:

  1. Using litmus paper:  litmus paper is of two types, blue litmus paper, and red litmus paper. These papers are available in the form of strips. In case the color of the blue litmus paper strip changes to blue when dipped in the water, then the water is acidic. And if the red litmus paper strip changed to a bluish color, then the water is necessary. In case the color of the strip does not change at all, then the pH of water is 7, i.e., neutral. 
  2. pH test strips: These strips are also available in the market. The color of the strip changes when dipped in water. In other words, the pH value for each color of the strip fixed. So matching the color of the piece will let us know the pH of our water. 
  3. pH meter: the most accurate and costlier method of all these methods. It is a small electronic device that will let us know the precise pH of the water we are drinking when dipped in water. 

Is RO water pH balanced? 

Before talking about pH, let us know what Ro water is and how it works. RO or reverse osmosis is a water filtration method that removes more than 99% of all the contaminants present in water. So after filtration, we get pure water, which maintained at a pH level of 7.

But, when this water exposed to air, it reacts with the carbon dioxide present in the air resulting in a weak acid, i.e., carbonic acid making it slightly acidic but still in the range of the pH safe for drinking. Although this problem, too, had been solved by making RO water somewhat alkaline, which is inbuilt in its system. 

It is the reason that few bottled water brands run towards a pH or slightly alkaline. So even when it reacts to carbon dioxide, the water remains in the pH range of 6.5 to 8.5.

Effect of acidic or alkaline water in our health

  • In general, water with a pH< 6.5 could be acidic, soft, and corrosive. As we have already seen earlier that acidic water can corrode metals. In other words, we can say that acidic water contains elevated levels of toxic metals. 
  • The increased level of lead in water can cause health problems such as seizures, hearing loss, and reproductive health issues. Lead is more dangerous for the physical and mental development of the children. Increased quantities of Zinc and copper affect the gastrointestinal system and thus causing nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. It can also affect kidney and liver functions.
  • Even though there is no metal content in the water, acidic water may cause ingestion as it alters the natural acidic nature maintained in our stomach. Low pH value also causes tooth decay faster. It can prove by coastal sea areas having more dental problems. 
  •  However, Alkaline water has no such serious effect on our health except it isn’t very pleasant in taste. Although it may affect our household activities such as less formation of lather during washing and cleaning, the formation of precipitate in the inner lining of piping and fixtures, the formation of deposits on dishes and clothes, etc. 
  • We know that enzymes play an essential role in the breakdown of our food. These enzymes are pH-dependent. So, if the pH level for a particular enzyme is too high or low, these breakdown process may take a longer time, affecting the digestion of food. 

Conclusion :

We can see the increasing health issues around us. It makes it necessary for us to follow all the safety measures so that we can stay fit and fine. So it is essential to check the ph Level of water we are drinking. After all, it is said by Mahatma Gandhi that “it is health that is real wealth and not the prices of gold and silver.”

Read This : – Easy Tips on How to Save Water in Daily Life

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