The measure of acidity/basicity of a solution is termed as its pH. It is the hydrogen potential of water. The pH is measured on a scale of 1-14. Value of 7.0 is associated with a neutral pH. Anything less than 7.0 is acidic, while a value greater than 7.0 is associated with basicity. In case of neutral pH, the number of hydrogen (H+) and hydroxide (OH-) ions are equal in number. The ideal pH levels in water used for the purpose of drinking range from 6.5-8.5. It is advisable to check the pH of drinking water; the water with pH that doesn't fall in this range can affect one's health.
How to Test pH levels in Water
The level of pH in water can be tested both at home and by professionals. pH testing kits can be purchased at pool supply/hardware stores. There are different kinds of water testing kits and the simplest of all is one that makes use of litmus paper. It is a strip of coloured paper dipped in water for testing pH levels. Colour code helps in determining the pH level. One can also think of giving samples of water to pool supply stores. Professionals carry out the testing of pH at these stores. It helps obtain much more accurate test results. More information on distilled water pH level should be useful.
pH levels in Water for Fish
Maintaining correct pH levels is important for keeping the fish healthy. Negligence on the part of fish-keepers can be fatal for the life of fish. The knowledge of water pH where the fish earlier resided proves to be useful. One should always ask the attendant at the fish store about the desired level of pH in water. There are many pH test kits available in the market. The commonly used kits are as follows: Marine pH & Alkalinity Multi Test Kit, Instant Ocean Test Kit and High pH & Alkalinity Test Kit. Number of tests that one can perform with these kits can be 30-75. It is recommended to check the pH once in a month.
pH levels in Water for Plants
The water used for plants should also be tested for pH levels. To check the pH level, one can make use kits available in the market. A tester which comes with these kits needs to be dipped in water. As per the directions provided on the kit, one should carry out the process. Sophisticated pH testing kits directly provide a read out. However, for kits with litmus paper, the colour chart needs to be referred to. The pH can be brought to the desired level with the help of adjusters. The adjusters used for alkaline water are citric acid, vinegar, lemon juice, etc. High pH levels in water can be brought down with these adjusters. For acidic water, baking soda is the commonly used adjuster.