pH value in Drinking Water

What is the pH value?

The pH value indicates the concentration and activity of free hydrogen ions in an aqueous solution. They determine its acidic or basic (alkaline) character. The scale of the pH value ranges from 0 to 14. The neutral mean value is 7. A value above the mean indicates an alkaline solution (lye); below it is an acidic one (acid). 

To illustrate, here are some examples: 

  • Coca-Cola 2.0-3.0
  • Vinegar 2.5
  • Wine 4.0
  • Coffee 5.0
  • Soap 9.0-10.0
  • Caustic soda 13.5-14.0

The pH value can be determined using different methods. The simplest is a determination using indicator dyes. This is because some chemical compounds change their structure and colour depending on the pH value. This behaviour predestines them to be used as indicators. The well-known litmus test shows bases in blue and acids in red. The colourimetric evaluation is done visually using a comparison scale. 

The pH value influences the conductivity of a solution. The pH value can be used to infer the electrical conductivity and vice versa for a water analysis that examines chemical and physical parameters. The active ions dissolved in the water are decisive. The measurement is carried out electrometrically. At companies like IVARIO, you can have your drinking water tested to determine the pH value of your water. The pH value is not the only parameter that can be tested.

What role does the pH value play in drinking water?

Drinking water generally has a neutral to slightly alkaline pH value. That lies between 7.0 and 8.5. Since the choice of materials for the water pipes is based on the pH value of the water, a constant value has an essential economic significance for public utilities and homeowners. For example, galvanised steel has a risk of corrosion at a value below 7.5. Copper pipes must not be installed at a value below 7.0. Slightly acidic water (4 – 6.5) also attacks cementitious materials. The total hardness, with its three hardness ranges, is equally vital for maintaining water-bearing pipes and installations.

How does the pH value influence the human body?

A balanced budget of acids and bases is important for health because it influences the body’s metabolic processes. Unfortunately, nutrition is often not in the spirit of this healthy balance in modern industrial society. Too few alkaline builders (unprocessed foods, fresh fruit and vegetables) are on the menu. Too much food (fast and convenience food) is not metabolised optimally – we become acidic. This can lead to chronic oxygen deficiency and, as a result, to lack of drive, loss of appetite and muscle and joint complaints. 

Preparing baby food has exceptionally high demands on drinking water quality. Neutral to slightly alkaline drinking water, therefore, fulfils a vital function for the acid-base balance in the body. To prevent tap water contamination, operators of rainwater harvesting systems and well owners must adhere to the following principle: non-potable water pipes must not be connected to drinking water installations. Both systems must be strictly separated. 

Externally, the skin’s protective acid mantle keeps pathogens away from our largest organ. The skin has a slightly acidic pH value of 5.5. Frequent showering and hair washing, especially using soap-containing, alkaline care products, destroys this protective layer. In the worst case, the skin dries out and becomes susceptible to germs and harmful environmental influences. An unfavourable water hardness additionally intensifies this effect. Therefore, only skin-friendly and moisturising products should be used.

The redox value offers an alternative view of the water. The balance of reduction and oxidation is calculated from the redox potential (rH2) and the pH value of the drinking water. The term to consider is “free radicals”. They are an explanation model for the ageing process of organisms. The pH value is also relevant for microbes, whose habitat is water. Some of them can be threatening to humans. Legionella colonises the wetlands of domestic installations and fittings and loves a pH value between 5.0 and 8.5.

How to get my water pH value tested?

A water test can quickly and easily determine whether food-grade water is flowing out of your tap. IVARIO offers a portfolio of laboratory Water Test Kits with different parameters are tested. A recognised laboratory determines the exact pH value of your tap water. 


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