pH in Drinking Water and its Acceptable Levels

What is pH?

pH is the measurement of acidity/ basicity of water. It is measured by analyzing electrically charged particles in a substance. Whenever the pH of water or any other substance is measured, then it lies on the scale of 0 to 14.

pH lower than 7: Substances with pH lower than 7 are acidic. The substance which has a pH of 0 is the most acidic.

The pH of 7: Substances that have a pH of 7 are neutral. These are pure substances like water at pH seven because it has neither basic nor neutral properties.

The pH of 8 or above: Substances with pH above 8 are basic. These are also called alkaline substances. Substances like Iye are the most alkaline substances at a pH of 14.

Acceptable level of pH in drinking water

The pH value of water is not a quality that can be easily deteriorated from the water supply. It is the inbuilt quality of water that can be maintained naturally for a long time. When it comes to talking about the specific pH value of drinking water, the authorities suggest municipal drinking water suppliers keep the pH of 6.5 to 8.5 of the drinking water.

The pH of 7 is the pH of pure water, and this pH of water is attained at temperature 250C.

Other pH levels of water

Water with a pH level less than 7: When the pH level of water is less than 7, it could be soft, corrosive, and acidic. Low pH water contains elevated levels of toxic metals. That is why; water with low pH can leach metal ions such as manganese, iron, lead, copper, and zinc from plumbing material, piping, etc.

These toxic metals present in low-level pH of water can cause pre-mature damage to laundry staining, and metal piping can cause metallic or sour taste and laundry staining. The problem of low pH water can be resolved with the proper use of a neutralizer. The most preferred and readily available neutralizing agent is soda ash.

When soda ash is used as a neutralizing agent, it increases the sodium content in water.

Water with a pH level above 8.5: When the pH level of water is above 8.5, then the water is basic or, say, alkaline. Alkaline water is hard. Though hard water does not possess any health risk but can, it can cause aesthetic problems.

The water with high pH starts tasting different. It gives your tongue an alkali taste, which can provide a bitter taste in your mouth and can even change your vegetable and coffee taste to which this water is added.

The basicity of water forms precipitates in piping, which leads to a decrease in water pressure and the interior diameter of the piping.

This can also cause difficulty in washing dishes and forms precipitates on clothes while washing. Moreover, it can also decrease the efficiency of electric water heaters.

These severe problems are faced with occurring when hardness exceeds 12 grain per gallon.

In an endeavor to soften the hard water, you can add a mixture of lime-soda ash, or you can use the ion-mixture, but both can lead to an increase in the sodium content of water.

Common water pH levels

Tap water – Varies in different locations; typical pH level is about 7.5
Ocean water – pH level is about 8
Common bottled water – pH level is 6.5 to 7.5
Acid rain – pH level is 5 to 5.5
Distilled reverse osmosis water – pH ranges from 5 – 7
Bottled waters labeled as alkaline – pH level is 8 to 9

How you test pH at home?

In the first place, municipal water suppliers do their job perfectly in maintaining the pH of your water around 7, which is the pH of pure water. So, you hardly have any need to do home pH testing.

Find something suspicious in the taste of water, or you discover discoloration of pipes and water. You might take certain steps to ensure your safety and to ensure the quality of water you are using in every household chore; if the pipes in your house are corroded, then it’s definitely because of acidity in your water. For corroded pipes, you’ll have to call the professionals for help.

When it comes to testing the pH of water at home, it’s inexpensive and relatively effortless. To test the pH of water at home, you’ll need a home testing kit. This home testing pH kit comes in different forms and at different prices.

Among the variety of products available in the market for pH testing high rated quality tester “pens” are used as the most effective pH testing products at Home. All you have to do is, take a sample of drinking water at your Home and dip this pH testing quality tester pen into the sample; after some time, notice the accurate pH reading.

If your drinking water’s pH level is between 6.5 and 8.5, your water is pure, but if the reading goes below or above this value, you can take action against water suppliers.

Views on alkaline water

We have discussed above that alkaline water is not suitable for health; many people nowadays have started speaking in favor of alkaline water. Many people say they have experienced that drinking water of pH between 8 and 9 is good for health. It maintains healthy pH in your body, makes you age slowly, and block chronic diseases like cancer.

Though many health claims of alkaline water are alkaline water drinkers, there is no scientific evidence to prove their claims. But science says that alkaline water can help people who are suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, acid reflux, and high cholesterol. Alkaline water is electrolyzed, so it can be helpful for dehydration one feels after heavy exercise.


The accurate pH for drinking should be between 6.5 and 8.5. When your drinking water’s pH decreases or increases the limit, it can cause severe issues to your health, piping, and faucets.

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