What is pH Level in Drinking Water? – Everything You Need To Know!

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Blue litmus turns red in an acidic solution, and red litmus turns blue in an alkaline solution. But why is it so? The answer is pH.The pH determines whether a liquid is acidic or alkaline. Similarly, it is essential to know the pH level in drinking (pure) water whether it is acidic or alkaline.

pH Level in Drinking Water

However, the answer to this is none. Pure water is neither alkaline nor acidic. But practically, we do not drink pure water. Therefore, the water we drink can be slightly acidic as well as alkaline.

However, before getting into that, let us first understand what this pH is.

What Does pH Mean?

pH basically means, especially in elementary terms, an indicator, indicating acidity and alkalinity. Given a solution, having pH less than 7 is acidic, and more than seven is alkaline.

Among all the liquids, pure water is considered the most neutral. It has a pH value of 7.

The carbonated drink, for example, coca-cola has a pH value of 2.5. It means it is acidic. Likewise, apple juice has a pH of 3, and orange juice comes with 3.5 pH. Milk is 6.2. Thus, all these liquids are extremely acidic.

On the other hand, baking soda comes with a pH of 8.5, bleach 12 and soapy water 10. Thus, all these liquids are alkaline.

What Does The pH Level in Drinking Water Refer to?

As mentioned earlier, pure water comes with a pH value of 7. As we know, pure water is colourless, tasteless, and odourless; therefore, some salts and minerals are essential to enhance its taste.

Now, adding these salts and minerals affects the pH value of the water. The pH value changes. According to BIS, the water with a pH range between 6.5-8.5 is acceptable.

The groundwater’s pH value ranges from 6-8.5.

Effects of Altered pH Value on The Taste of Water

Consuming water outside the mentioned range of BIS is not healthy, rather harmful. Anything different from this range results in either acidic or alkaline water.

Effects of Altered pH Value on The Taste of Water

Acidic Water

As mentioned above, pH level in drinking water below 7 is acidic. Thus, if you are consuming water with a pH level below 6.5, you might get a bitter taste.

Acids are identified with the properties of corroding metals. If you have an acidic water source, then it is not healthy. It is because it collects metal impurities on its way.

Therefore, in such a scenario, it is necessary to improve the pH level of the water. Removing the impurities would enhance the pH level.

To do so, the RO water purifying system is an ideal option to opt for.

Effects of Consuming Acidic Water

Acidic water corrodes the pipes and metals as it contains heavy metal impurities. This, in turn, affects health in many ways.

There is an accumulation of these metal deposits in our bodies which cause great harm. Here is a list of possible harms that acidic water is capable of.

  • It can lead to diarrhoea, weakness, shortness of breath, weakness, nausea.
  • It can affect the overall immune system
  • Acidic water might be bad for your teeth (enamel)
  • It might affect your bone health

Benefits of Acidic Water

Now that we are done with the effects of acidic water here some benefits of acidic water.

  • Acidic water has potent antimicrobial properties. Thus, it might help to treat inflammatory skin conditions.
  • Hair and scalp have more acidic pH. Hence acidic water is beneficial for your hair, reducing dandruff and preventing hair loss.
  • Acidic water (carbonated) might help in reducing constipation.

Alkaline Water

As mentioned above, water with a pH of more than 7 is alkaline water. However, water with more than 8.5 pH is not acceptable. Moreover, this water is extremely hard in nature.

Alkaline water having pH of more than 8.5 does not have a pleasant taste either. To neutralize the effects of alkaline water, the municipalities use chlorine. You have to use more chlorine to minimize the hardness of water.

However, this, in turn, affects health. Therefore, it is better to use RO water purifiers and Ion Exchange water purifiers to neutralize it.

Besides, there is another way of neutralizing it. Using water softeners to soften the water, especially if it does not have high levels of TDS.

Effects of Alkaline Water

Alkaline water causes scaling on utensils and heating coils of the water heaters. Moreover, alkaline water is hard water, and hard water is not harmful to your health. It is just that it does not taste good.

Here are some of the effects listed below

  • If you use it to make coffee, it will make your coffee bitter.
  • Also, there can be salt deposits on containers and bathroom fittings.
  • Alkaline water also leads to the formation of insoluble precipitates on clothing.
  • Alkaline water makes lathering of soaps difficult.
  • Too much alkaline can lead to metabolic alkalosis. Here you might have vomiting, nausea, confusion, muscle twitching, hand tremors.
  • Alkalosis might decrease calcium in the body.

Some Health Benefits of Alkaline Water

Here are some health benefits of alkaline water. 

  • It has colon-cleansing properties
  • Cancer resistance
  • Supports the immune system
  • Skin detoxifying properties
  • Anti-ageing properties

How Suitable is an Altered pH Value in Drinking Water?

Note that pH value is not the only factor that determines whether the water is suitable for drinking or not. Our stomach secretes hydrochloric acid, which has a pH value of 1-3.5 approximately. Thus, our body is able to digest acidic substances. 

We drink coffee. It has a pH value of 5.5. On the other hand, we take vinegar. It has a pH value of 2.8. Thus, an altered pH value affects the taste of water.

However, if you want pure water (pH 7), then RO water purifier is the best option.

How Good is Rainwater for Health?

As we can see the effects of increasing pollution day by day, acid rain is an effect of air pollution. Due to air pollution, rainwater has become acidic.

In areas, having high industrial and vehicular pollution, the pH of rainwater is slightly acidic (4-5.5). Therefore, it is not suitable for drinking.

However, if you want, you can harvest rainwater. Rainwater harvesting results in an increase in the pH value. But using a high-quality RO water purifier is a better option to purify when you want to consume it.

pH Level of Water

You can find pH level testers in the market. Basically, these are very simple digital equipment. The testers show you pH level in just no time.

Here is a table that shows ph levels of different water sources.

Source of Water pH Level
Rainwater 5-5.5 pH
Ocean Water Nearly 8 pH
Water labelled as Alkaline 8-9 pH
Distilled RO water 5-7 pH
Departmental store bottled water 6.5-7.5 pH
Tap water Around 7.5 pH. However, it varies

Final Words

Thus, to conclude, it is better to consume water, having pH as mentioned by BIS. Moreover, note one thing our body can maintain pH on its own.

However, from this entire discussion note that we must not contribute to pollution as well. It is ruining the natural source of water- rainwater. Therefore, we must be careful about it as well.


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