The pH, or potential hydrogen, level of drinking water reflects how acidic it is. The scale for pH is measured from 0.0 to 14.0, with 7.0 as a perfect neutral. In general terms, water supplies with a pH below 7.0 have a greater acid content and tend to dissolve rock into minerals. Water supplies with a pH above 7.0 have a lower acid content and tend to build mineral scale.
There are two key conditions for scale formation. The pH level must be neutral or above and there must be an energy transfer, cooling or heating, to act as a catalyst.
The normal range for pH in ground water lies between 6 and 8.5. When compared to other common liquids, vinegar measures 3 pH, beer measures between 4 and 5, and milk measures around 6.4 pH.
How pH levels affect water and how can it be treated
Water with a low pH can be acidic, soft and corrosive, which results in damage to pipes and fixtures as metals like copper, iron, lead, manganese and zinc dissolve into the water and create a metallic or sour taste. Other types of damage that can occur include blue-green stains in sinks and drains.
Drinking water with a pH level above 8.5 could indicate that the water is hard, which can cause aesthetic problems like bitter tasting coffee, scale buildup, water deposits, increased detergent usage, and reduced energy transfer and efficiency loss.
Acidic, low pH drinking water can be treated with a neutralizer. Everpure offers a special neutralizing filter cartridge, the 7NE. The 7NE elevates pH in water, reducing acidic corrosion and protecting plumbing and equipment. Used on water with pH between 5.6 and 6.5.