Frequent Questions

What is the difference between pH and alkalinity?

Alkalinity is the capacity of water to neutralize acids. This capacity is caused by the water's content of carbonate, bicarbonate, hydroxide and occasionally borate, silicate and phosphate. pH is an expression of the intensity of the basic or acid condition of a liquid. EPA has a suggested range of 6.5 to 8.5 for pH (called a secondary maximum contaminant level or SMCL). Furthermore, alkalinity and pH are different because water does not have to be strongly basic (high pH) to have a high alkalinity (EPA's Drinking Water Glossary: A Dictionary of Technical and Legal Terms Related to Drinking Water, EPA810-B-94-006, June 1994)).

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