Water pH

While the pH of water is not often discussed or certainly not mentioned in the nightly weather section of the news, pH is an important measurement of water and an important factor in our day to day lives. The impact occurs in nature and in commercial uses of water. The U.S. Geological Survey thinks enough about it that they take a pH measurement whenever water is studied. Not only does the pH of a stream affect organisms living in the water, a changing pH in a stream can be an indicator of increasing pollution or some other environmental factor. That is in nature. Water pH is just as important in non-natural usages of water. It should be a part of every testing procedure for commercially used water as well.

We have prepared a diagram for you of pH information in ways that effect our lives on a daily basis. The examples are from nature although the impact on a closed water system is easily related. As this diagram shows, pH ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. pHs less than 7 are acidic while pHs greater than 7 are alkaline (basic). You can see that acid rain can be very acidic, and it can affect the environment in a negative way. Conditions of high or low pH can be very harmful and very expensive to closed water systems as well. Here are some other water characteristic comparisons.

Diagram of pH. pH 1=battery acid, 2=lemon juice, 3-vinegar,
 6.5=milk, 8.5=baking soda, sea water, 10.5=Milk of Magnesia,
 12=ammonia, 13=lye.  ph 3 to 4=Adult fish die. ph 4-5=Fish reproduction
affected. pH 5-6.5=Normal range for precipitation. pH 6-8=Normal
range of stream pH.  pH 1-5=Acid rain.

An Alternative pH Table

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