Learning about things like, is acidic water bad for you? Or how to treat acidic water, is beneficial information to know, especially if you a caring homeowner.
Water is essential to all life, yet some of its types aren’t as vital as the rest. Some are even regarded as hazardous if consumed.
However, even though acidic water has many risks, it also has benefits, which you will learn in the following sections.
Is acidic water bad for you? Its common terms and definitions
- Acidic water- It is any kind of water that has a pH level below seven. The most acidic matters have a zero pH level, and a good example of this is battery acid.
- Alkaline water- It is a kind of water with an eight pH level. Lye, regarded as the most alkaline material on Earth, has a fourteen pH level.
- Pure water- It has a seven pH level and is neutral since it doesn’t have either base (alkaline) or acid qualities.
- pH- it is how you measure a particular substance’s electrically charged particles. It will tell you how basic or acidic it is, and its pH scale starts from zero to fourteen.
Safe drinking water in the pH scale
One of the tasks of the EPA or Environmental Protection Agency is to monitor the entire USA’s public drinking water. However, the pH in the water is not part of its regulations because it is regarded as an aesthetic quality. Yet, they still recommend water providers to keep their respective water supply at 6.5 to 8.5 pH.
The pH measurement of freshwater is different in every location on Earth that depends on natural processes, weather conditions, and human activities. Water with either very high or low pH can be an indication of heavy metal contamination or chemical pollution.
If a particular water type is not part of the safe range in the pH scale of 6.5 to 8.5, it is regarded as not safe to drink. It falls under the range of where alkaline is.
Acidic water sometimes becomes that way because it is contaminated by impurities, thus enabling it to be unsafe. It can also be corrosive to metal piping.
Many municipal and city water suppliers usually test the pH level of their water for contaminants and will indicate when the pH changes.
When contaminants appear, they will treat the water to make is safe to consume again.
Water types and their pH levels
- Tap water- Its pH level deviates, but typically about 7.5.
- Regular bottled water- Its pH level ranges from 6.5 to 7.5.
- Distilled/reverse osmosis water- Its pH level ranges from 5 to 7.
- Alkaline bottled water- 8 to 9 pH.
- Acid rain- 5 to 5.5 pH.
- Ocean water- 8 pH.
More about alkaline water
For many years now, alkaline drinking water has been a popular choice for drinking. Some of its drinkers espouse that consuming water with a fraction amount of alkaline, which has a pH level between eight to nine, will make your health better.
They also say that it can hinder cancer and other chronic diseases, slows down the aging process, and can enable your body to have a healthy pH level.
However, there has been little scientific proof about all of them, despite the many supposedly healthy benefits that it’s a healthier alternative.
Also, there have been scientific studies that alkaline water can help patients with medical conditions like acid reflux, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high levels of cholesterol.
Electrolyzed water that has high alkaline levels can aid people with dehydration resulting from harsh exercise. Yet, more scientific research needs to be done, to fully support these assertions.
How you can test pH levels at home
Your city or municipal water providers usually do a great job maintaining your water at a regular pH level of seven, so you don’t have to do any home tests.
However, if you see that your pipework and faucets have changed color to either bluish, whitish, or reddish color, then you have to do home testing.
The color changes from the piping and water itself are because of acidic water that caused corrosion. The pipework has to be examined by a plumber and substituted.
It’s not difficult to do home testing for your water source. It is also not expensive to do it. You would need a home test kit for this, which has varying forms and costs.
If your tests result in the 6.5 to 8.5 range, which is the EPA standard range and it means your water is fine.
If you find out that your water is outside the pH safety parameters, call your water supplier with your findings so that they can do something about it.
In the meantime, you can still use that water for drinking, just as long as you filter it out using effective water filter types, like a water pitcher filter or an under-the-sink unit.
Acidic water treatment
As mentioned earlier, acid water is the opposite of alkaline water, wherein it has a pH level of 6.5 and below. There are many reasons why a particular water source has low pH. Natural causes like acid rain, also rock formations, tree roots, and soil microbes render water to be acidic.
Sometimes, acid water is the result of pollution coming from large factories. Low level pH water is located close to chemical dumping areas, mining areas, landfills, and animal feeding grounds.
What causes acidic water?
- By mildly acidic rainfall
- Soil microbes, roots, and trees
- Acidic spills, chemical dumps and mine drainage
- Shallow groundwater is discovered to be acidic because of the inability of igneous and metamorphic rocks to neutralize the acidity in water
- There are soil and rock sediments that have minerals that can neutralize the acidity in water, and that’s why underground water is consumable and pure
Why acidic water is bad for you
Heavy metal exposure
Whenever you consume water with acidic content, it will expose you to minerals and heavy metals it. It creates issues for the pipework because it is corrosive and might even destroy it.
So think about it: if it can destroy the metal pipework, you can suppose what it can do to you. The heavy metals consist of zinc, iron, manganese, and copper.
Being exposed to too many heavy metals can result in poisoning and other maladies. It also makes the water taste different and metallic, which is not what water should taste like.
It can destroy your teeth
Your mouth is already a dirty place that is naturally acidic and can dissolve bacteria and foodstuff. Cleaning it with acidic water will have the opposite effect and destroy it further.
Acidic water will cause your teeth to rot faster and harm the soft gums.
Especially risky to children
Since acidic water has contaminants and heavy metals and particularly risky to children, who have sensitive dispositions. They also grow at a rapid rate and absorb pollutants quicker than adults.
High levels of metal in the drinking water can result in many health problems that can cause impairment and be lethal to them. Different illnesses like diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, nausea, liver and kidney disease can happen to them if they drink it.
Destroys the plumbing
Your plumbing and pipework can be damaged by the acidic content in the water. It can corrode and dissolve the copper from the pipes and render the water unsafe for consumption.
If it gets to contaminate your water, it can lead to grave bodily issues. Even though copper can have nutritional benefits, too much of it can result in liver or kidney damage.
If you want to make sure that you have acidic water, observe your piping. Check if it has bluish or greenish color on the copper pipework, reddish discoloration in galvanized iron, leakages, and overall corrosive issues.
Unable to retain calcium
If there is an overabundance of acid in the water and people drink it regularly, it lowers their capability to absorb calcium in their bodies. It will lead to bone loss over a long time.
Om the other hand, drinking alkaline water can advance the retention of calcium in the body. It is because calcium is thirty percent more immersible than any food.
The percolation of heavy metals from acidic water leads to an upset stomach and intestines. If you consume zinc coming from the pipework, it causes vomiting, diarrhea, nausea. The same symptoms occur from too much exposure to copper.
Heightens contaminant exposure
If the pH level of a particular body of water increases to a scale of ten or goes down to 4.5, many marine creatures will perish. It is due to pollutants becoming too many, which includes parasites, harmful bacteria, and an increase in ammonia levels.
Sixty percent of all public water originates from shallow sources. That has more acid due to erosion of bedrocks, carbon dioxide, thus limiting the natural filtration process. It will increase the likelihood of people to have consumed acidic water at one time or another.
Some benefits of acidic water
If you consume acidic water and go through your internal processes, it results in bodily harm. However, if you apply it topically, it is good for you.
acidic water for skin
Is acidic water good for skin?
It has attributes of an astringent that make it excellent for face and skin washing. It provides relief from skin-related issues like dryness, itchiness, athlete’s foot, eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
It also has antibacterial and medicinal attributes that aid in making wounds sterile and hand washing. It works effectively against Staphylococcus aureus, which can lead to atopic dermatitis.
Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin condition that makes your skin have itchy rashes. Upon application topically of acidic water, it can aid in removing the redness and itchiness.
It was found out that bathing in it is as effective, to reduce the degree of the severeness of its symptoms as wet wrap dressing, which is the usual treatment.
Since the human skin’s surface is marginally acidic, an increase in the pH level was observed that the skin will be irritated and dehydrated. Also, scientific research has discovered that patients with eczema and other types of skin conditions have an increase in their pH level.
So skincare products with acidic water can aid the skin from skin-related diseases. But still, a lot more research has to be made to ensure this.
Acidic water for hair
It also works well in washing and rinsing off your hair and proves to be beneficial to the scalp. It can also prevent dandruff from occurring in the hair.
A person’s hair and scalp also have acidic levels, yet acidic water can prevent hair loss. One study discovered that Malassezia and Staphylococcus epidermis organisms were found on people’s scalps and are the known causes of dandruff.
Since acidic water has powerful antibacterial effects, it can treat dandruff. Also, shampoo that has a 5.5 or more pH level can sometimes cause hair to break. But no concrete research was made that it can prevent hair loss or dandruff.
Acidic water is also useful in cleaning and washing foodstuffs like meats, vegetables, and fruits. Any water type below three pH can terminate pathogens and get rid of any traces of pesticides.
There is a type of acidic water made with hydrochloric acid called acidic electrolyzed water. Some research has discovered that it is efficient in killing foodborne bacteria and pathogens in fresh fruits and vegetables.
It can also assist in the growth of plants, making them healthier. It drives back pests and bugs, hinders fungi development, and enables the lifespan of cut flowers within vases.
It also works well in cleaning dirty surfaces in the kitchen. It is bad for ingestion but works well in superficial means.
Getting rid acidic water
One of your municipal or city water provider’s main tasks is to maintain the pH level of your drinking water. But you can also check on its pH level with a home testing kit.
The recommended range is 6.5 to 8.5 pH by the EPA. If you find out it’s below it, call your water provider about this information.
If you have a private well but have acidic well water, you have to set up a neutralizing filter to protect you and the pipework in your home.
Although acidic water isn’t good for consumption, there are other beneficial uses. But always remain vigilant of the water you ingest in your body. This way, you and your family will be safe from its harmful effects.