What is Alkalinity?

The alkalinity of water is a measurement of its buffering capacity, or its ability to resist changes in pH. Alkalinity of natural waters is typically a combination of bicarbonate, carbonate, and hydroxide ions. Sewage and wastewater usually exhibit higher alkalinities due to the presence of silicates and phosphates. Alkalinity inhibits corrosion in boiler and cooling waters. It is also used to control water and wastewater treatment processes or the quality of various water processes. Measuring alkalinity is also important for environmentalists and ecologists as it determines a stream's ability to neutralize acidic pollution, making it one of the best measures of the sensitivity of the stream.

Health Risks

The lower the alkalinity levels, the more corrosive the water will be. Alkalinity that is too high causes scale buildup. The ideal range is 150-200 mg/L or 80-120 ppm. If the water becomes corrosive, it will have a metallic taste due to the corrosion to pipes and/or fixtures. Drinking water with slightly elevated alkalinity is considered safe, but it may produce negative effects. Excess alkalinity can cause gastrointestinal issues as well as nausea, vomiting, muscle twitching, and confusion.

Measuring Alkalinity

The products we carry to measure Alkalinity can be found HERE.

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