How Does The pH Of Drinking Water Affect Your Health?

How does the pH of drinking water affect your health?

Let’s tackle the myths and facts of alkalinity and acidity of water.


There are many misconceptions about pH in drinking water. Some sources claim that alkaline water has numerous health benefits, others warn of the dangerous health risks posed by acidic water.

It’s time that we get to the bottom of 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 have 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 in drinking water a health concern?

There is some evidence that slightly alkaline drinking water could aid those with acid reflux disease or help slow bone loss, but the studies are far from conclusive.

Otherwise, there is 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.

If the pH of the water coming into your home falls too far on either side of the scale, it has the potential to cause a number of issues, including staining, poor taste, and even corrosion.

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?

There is one indirect way water pH can affect your health.

Water with acidic pH levels can corrode plumbing infrastructure and cause metal ions such as iron, manganese, copper, lead and zinc to leach into water supplies.

Elevated levels of lead in drinking water is a primary concern because it places adults at risk for health problems such as cancer, stroke, kidney disease, memory problems and high blood pressure. Children are at an even greater risk because their rapidly growing bodies absorb the contaminant more quickly.

Like pH, Copper, Iron, Zinc and Manganese are classified as secondary drinking water contaminants. These contaminants are more likely to cause hard water and staining problems at home, but if found in elevated levels, they could cause a variety of health issues including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, kidney disease, liver disease and nervous system problems.

What are the treatments for pH in water?

For acidic pH levels, Culligan recommends acid neutralizing filters, which will balance acidic water before it enters your home.

Water with high levels of alkalinity can be treated with a water softening system.

Save money on plumbing repairs and eliminate adverse effects on your home and health by contacting 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.


Better water is one call away. Get started with a water test from your local Culligan Man.