There’s a lot of information out there about hard water, acidic water, even the chlorine in municipal water – and it can be more than a little confusing. Everybody out there has a product to sell, and some of them are good products, not a thing wrong with them, but a lot of the information you’re going to get takes one particular angle just to sell that product, whether it be a water softening system, an acid neutralizing system, or a reverse osmosis (filtering) system. All of these have their place in treating your household water, but if you aren’t educated about these types of water treatment and how they relate to your particular water situation, you’re liable to feel like you’re being “sold” or “scared” into buying something you don’t understand, without understanding what you really need.
Below, we get into the real dangers of hard water, acidic water, and contaminated drinking water, and break down the real, not hyped-up, problems with each. Hopefully, this info will set you at ease about the right approach for your home and your family. The right solution depends on your particular situation.
Part 3: Acidic Water
All water falls along the “pH” continuum. It’s either “acidic” (a pH between 0 and 6.9) or “alkaline” (a pH between 7.1 and 14.) As a reference: battery acid has a pH below 1 and household bleach has a pH of 13. Normal pH for groundwater is between 6 and 8.5 and totally pure water has a “neutral” pH of 7. It is worth noting that alkalinity (the opposite of acidity) is related to hardness. The harder the water, the more alkaline. We’ve discussed the problems with hard alkaline water above, but acidic water can be “soft” and still not safe. In the most extreme cases, very acidic water is going to leach metals out of the pipes in your home and the pipes bringing municipal water from the street. When corrosive water interacts with lead in old municipal pipes, there could be very serious health impacts. On a less life-threatening note: If you have acidic water and copper pipes, you’re going to see blue-green stains in your sink and shower drain. Over time, acidic water eats its way through copper pipes, resulting in “pin-hole” leaks and a call to the plumber.
What to Do About It?
Acidic Water can be made more alkaline with an acid neutralizing system. The most common type of acid neutralizing system is a calcite acid neutralizing tank. With these, magnesium oxide is injected to “neutralize” the acid in the water, in other words, bring the pH back towards a neutral measurement of “7.”
What’s the Solution for Your Home?
Well, that depends on the type of water you have, and there are clues all around you.
* Do you see mineral build-up in your shower head?
* Do you see and blue green stains in your sink and tub?
* Does your water taste like chlorine?
* Does your water taste like metal?
* Are you replacing your hot water heater too often?
* Does your water smell bad?
These are clues about the hardness, acidity, and contamination in your water. To get a detailed breakdown, with exact measurements of dissolved mineral content and pH, you’re going to have to test your water with a home water testing kit. These are available for consumer purchase or you can give your plumber a call. Whatever the particular problem with your household water, your plumbing professional has a water treatment solution to fix it.
We deal with this stuff every day.
Interested to learn more about how we can help with your acidic drinking water issues? We’d be happy to stop by your property to assess the problem and provide some solutions. If you live or work in eastern Baltimore or Harford County, please consider us at Coldwright Plumbing & Heating your go-to plumbers!
We serve the towns of Joppa, Abingdon, Fallston, Belcamp, Forest Hill, Bel Air, Aberdeen, Baldwin, Hunt Valley, Kingsville, White Marsh, Towson, Fulton, Middle River, Perry Hall and more! Call us or request a quote online!