How does the pH of drinking water affect your health?
Let’s tackle the myths and facts of alkalinity, acidity and the pH of drinking water
Marketing are having a field day with the pH of drinking water. Some claim alkaline water is a miracle drug capable of curing any disease, even cancer. And others warn that acidic water is deadly, and the cause of countless diseases.
Let’s look at these claims. Does the pH of your drinking water have an effect on your health?
What is pH?
The term pH stands for “potential for hydrogen.” It’s a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in a diluted solution. Acidic solutions contain more hydrogen ions. And alkaline solutions contain fewer.
The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 considered neutral. Water pH below 7 is acidic, and anything higher than 7 is alkaline.
Is pH of drinking water a health concern?
The pH of drinking water may have one benefit. Some evidence shows that slightly alkaline drinking water can ease the symptoms of acid reflux. And there’s limited evidence that alkaline water can slow bone loss. But these studies have been disputed, and don’t implicate acidic water as dangerous or unhealthy.
Otherwise, there’s no scientific basis that the pH of drinking water has an impact on health.
But, the effects of pH on your home could give you headaches.
Effects of Acidic water:
- Metallic or sour taste of drinking water
- Stained laundry
- Blue-green staining of sinks and other household fixtures.
Effects of Alkaline water:
- Bitter tasting coffee
- Scale buildup in household plumbing
- Decreased efficiency of electric water heaters
These effects aren’t harmful to your health, but they can be harmful to your budget.
The EPA recommends public water systems maintain a pH between 6.5 and 8.5, but does not actively regulate it. As a “secondary drinking water contaminant,” the impact of pH levels on public drinking is considered mostly aesthetic.
What is the connection between pH and other contaminants?
The pH of water can have an indirect affect your health.
Water with acidic pH levels can corrode plumbing and leach metal. Iron, manganese, copper, lead and zinc are commonly found in acidic water.
High levels of lead in drinking water is a primary concern of pH. It places adults at risk for health problems such as cancer, stroke, kidney disease, memory problems and high blood pressure. Children are at a greater risk because their rapidly growing bodies absorb the contaminant more quickly.
Copper, Iron, Zinc and Manganese are also classified as secondary drinking water contaminants. These contaminants are likely to cause hard water and staining problems at home. But if found in elevated levels, they could cause a variety of health issues. That includes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, kidney disease, liver disease and nervous system problems.
What are the treatments for water pH?
For acidic pH levels, Culligan recommends acid neutralizing filters. They will balance acidic water before it enters your home.
A water softening system can treat alkaline water.
Save money on plumbing repairs and eliminate adverse effects on your home and health. Just contact your local Culligan Man today. He’s trained and equipped to test your water for contaminants and a pH imbalance. And he’ll ensure you’re equipped with a perfect Culligan solution.