Parameter Type: Drinking Water Testing for Physical Properties
Parameter Name: pH
What it is and Where it Comes From:
pH is a scale used to specify the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Acidic solutions (solutions with higher concentrations of H+ ions) are measured to have lower pH values than basic or alkaline solutions. A lower pH means that there are more hydrogen ions in the liquid, whereas a higher pH indicates fewer hydrogen ions in the liquid. In simple terms, pH is a scale from 1 to 14 that measures the acidity or alkalinity of a liquid. In the middle of the scale is pure distilled water, with a neutral pH of 7. Anything with a pH below 7 is an acid, and anything with a pH above 7 is an alkali, or base. Drinking water testing gives you several benefits like peace of mind, identifying contaminants in your water, and insight into health concerns. Safe Home offers two platforms of drinking water testing for pH. The first platform in drinking water testing for pH is Do-It-Yourself, this allows you to perform testing in the comfort of your own home. The second platform is a Laboratory drinking water testing kits for pH, allowing you to collect your water sample and ship it directly to our EPA-Certified Laboratory. This platform of drinking water testing for physical properties will give you an accurate level based on the lowest level of a parameter our instruments can detect (Method Detection Level). Safe Home drinking water testing for physical properties can be used for city and well water supplies. Drinking water testing should be done any time you notice a significant change in your water quality.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not regulate the pH level in drinking water. It is classified as a secondary drinking water contaminant whose impact is considered aesthetic. However, the EPA recommends that public water systems maintain pH levels of between 6.5 and 8.5, a good guide for individual well owners. Water with a low pH can be acidic, naturally soft and corrosive. Acidic water can leach metals from pipes and fixtures, such as copper, lead, and zinc. It can also damage metal pipes and cause aesthetic problems, such as a metallic or sour taste, laundry staining or blue-green stains in sinks and drains. Water with a low pH may contain metals in addition to the before-mentioned copper, lead, and zinc. Drinking water with a pH level above 8.5 indicates that a high level of alkalinity minerals is present. High alkalinity does not pose a health risk, but can cause aesthetic problems, such as an alkali taste to the water that makes coffee taste bitter; scale build-up in plumbing; and lowered efficiency of electric water heaters. Alkaline water is actually preferred for consumption, by many health enthusiasts.
Solutions to Contaminant Levels:
Two home treatment methods to adjust pH are acid neutralizing filters and chemical feed pump systems injecting a neutralizing solution. An acid neutralizing filter uses a calcite or ground limestone (calcium carbonate) for normal pH correction but could also include a blend of magnesium oxide and calcite if the pH is very low. Since the water absorbs these minerals when it passes through the filter, the alkalinity and hardness will increase. Hardness is easily treated with a water softener that uses an ion exchange process to remove the hardness minerals. A chemical feed pump solution is made with well water and soda ash (like baking soda) and mixed in a solution tank. The chemical feed pump injects this high pH solution into the household piping system where it reacts with the low pH water in a retention tank (typically 40 gallons) and neutralizes the pH. Who do I need to contact to find out more information about water quality in my area? Every community water supplier must provide an annual report to its customers, known as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). The report provides information on your local drinking water quality, including the water’s source, contaminants found in the water, and how consumers can get involved in protecting drinking water. How often does the local public water system preform drinking water testing? Frequency of drinking water testing depends on the number of people served, the type of water source, and types of contaminants. Certain contaminants are tested more frequently than others, as established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. You can find out about levels of regulated contaminants in your treated water for the previous calendar year in your annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).
File Under: Physical Properties
Drinking Water Testing - Parameter Types
MCL’s (Maximum Contaminant Levels) MCL’s are levels that set by the USEPA and are enforceable to Public Water Utilities, requiring additional treatment, when the levels are exceeded. These same guidelines should be at least considered, by owners of private wells. Some states have more strict guidelines than the USEPA. Not all parameters have MCL’s. If the parameter has an MCL, it’s listed.
MCLG’s (Maximum Contaminant Level Goals) MCLG’s are goals set by the USEPA that we should all strive for when consuming drinking water from any water supply. Concentrations of certain parameters (even below the MCL’s), are still not healthy for humans and animals to drink. These same guidelines should at least be be considered, by owners of private wells. Some states have more strict guidelines than the USEPA. Not all parameters have MCLG’s. If the parameter has an MCLG, it’s listed.
ACTION LEVELS ACTION LEVELS are a specified concentration of a respective parameter in drinking water, that is above a “treatment level” set by the USEPA. When these levels are exceeded, further treatment and monitoring is required by the respective utility who’s water violated this limit.Action Levels apply to parameter-rules such as but not limited to the Copper/Lead Rule.
PARTS PER MILLION (ppm) PPM is a scientific measurement which represents milligrams of the parameter being tested per liter of the respective liquid. Example: If Copper in your water supply is at a concentration of 1.00 mg/L, this is the same as saying the concentration is 1.00 ppm.