Water pH is a measure of how acidic or basic a liquid is. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral, lower than 7 being acidic, and higher than 7 being basic. The pH of water can affect its taste, quality, and suitability for different purposes. For example, drinking water should be close to neutral, while plants and fish may prefer slightly acidic or basic water. In this article, we will explain why and how to raise the pH of water using different methods.
Why Raise the pH of Water?
The pH of water can change due to various factors, such as the source of water, the minerals and chemicals dissolved in it, the presence of carbon dioxide, and the temperature. Some of the reasons why you may want to raise the pH of water are:
- To make acidic water more alkaline and less corrosive. Acidic water can damage pipes, appliances, and fixtures, as well as leach metals such as copper, lead, and iron into the water. This can cause health problems and aesthetic issues such as metallic taste, blue-green stains, and reddish-brown discoloration
- To improve the taste and odor of water. Acidic water can have a sour or bitter taste and a pungent smell. Raising the pH of water can make it more palatable and pleasant to drink
- To adjust the water quality for plants and fish. Different types of plants and fish have different preferences for the pH of water. Most houseplants thrive in slightly acidic water, between 5.5 and 6.5, while some vegetables and flowers prefer more alkaline water, between 6.5 and 7.5 Similarly, most freshwater fish prefer neutral to slightly acidic water, between 6.5 and 7.5, while some saltwater fish need more alkaline water, between 8.0 and 8.4. Raising the pH of water can help create a suitable environment for your plants and fish.
How to Raise the pH of Water?
There are different ways to raise the pH of water depending on the purpose, the amount of water, and the desired level of pH. Some of the common methods are:
- Adding baking soda. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a basic substance that can raise the pH of water by one unit when added in a ratio of one teaspoon per gallon of water. Baking soda can also increase the alkalinity of water, which measures how well water can neutralize acids. Baking soda is an easy and inexpensive way to raise the pH of drinking water or small amounts of water for plants or fish.
- Adding crushed coral or limestone. Crushed coral or limestone are natural sources of calcium carbonate, which can raise the pH and hardness of water by dissolving in it. Hardness refers to the amount of calcium and magnesium in water, which can affect its clarity and softness. Crushed coral or limestone can be added to a mesh bag and placed in a filter or directly in an aquarium or a pond to raise the pH of water gradually over time.
- Installing a neutralizing filter or an injection system. A neutralizing filter is a device that contains calcite (calcium carbonate) or magnesia (magnesium oxide) as a media that reacts with acidic water to raise its pH and hardness. A neutralizing filter can be installed on the main water line or under the sink to treat all or part of the household water supply. An injection system is a device that injects a solution of soda ash (sodium carbonate) or caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) into the water to raise its pH and alkalinity. An injection system can be installed on a well pump or a storage tank to treat well water or large volumes of water.
Raising the pH of water can have various benefits for your health, your home, and your hobbies. Depending on your needs and preferences, you can choose from different methods to make your water more alkaline and less acidic.