Water is a valuable commodity. We drink water and dilute it in many other drinks. We need water to bathe in and keep ourselves clean and healthy. The world’s eco-system needs water to ensure growth. It’s a vital element that we simply could not exist without. When we turn on a faucet, we expect water to flow out – hot or cold – and we take it for granted. However, it’s not as simple as that. We all know that water starts somewhere, and that it is processed, but what processes does it need to go through?
Every school kid learns that water is a H2O. That means each molecule of water contains one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms. That’s basic science. Yet, water differs in many ways in different locations. One important measurement that is carried out on water – both commercially and sometimes domestically – is that of the pH level. What is pH, and why does it matter? Let’s have a look.
What is pH?
The pH level of water is a measurement of its acidity or alkalinity. The scale runs from 0 to 14. A 0 reading indicates a very acidic pH; a 14 reads a ‘base’ level, or one that has zero acidic qualities. Why does this matter? There are many reasons why water should be in the middle of the scale – around 7 – as the pH level can affect the way water handles certain substances.
The pH reading of a natural water course – one that may feed the water system that goes to your home – is important for the lifeforms that exist within it and serves to indicate pollution and other possible problems. Ground source water can be polluted by heavy metals in the earth. These are more soluble in lower pH water. This may mean that aquatic life cannot live in that water.
At the water processing plant – the interim point between where the water is collected and how it is delivered to homes and commercial buildings – keeping the pH levels right is very important, and this is where the pH water meter comes into the picture. There’s more information on the range of OHAUS PH water meters for you to check out, and whether you want one for a laboratory, an educational establishment or for your home there is something in that range for you.
Do I Need a pH Meter?
In teaching science, the subject of water pH is a basic part of the subject. It can also be fascinating for the students an introduces them to the way water can be different from place to place. In industry it is often the case that pH water meters are employed, as different levels of water acidity may influence corrosion of pipes and machinery.
In the home you may want to keep a check on the pH level of your water just to be on the safe side, so we recommend in either of these cases you check out the range of water meters we mentioned and keep check on the condition of your water supply.