Table of Contents
What is Acidic Water?
Acidic water is water with a pH, or potential of hydrogen, that is less than 7. pH is measured on a scale of 0-14: 7 is considered neutral, anything under 7 is considered acidic, and anything over 7 is considered alkaline.
What Causes Acidic Water?
Acidic water is caused by natural processes that begin with rainwater and the soil leading to your well water source.
Rainwater is extremely acidic: when water evaporates, it leaves behind everything the water contains, including minerals, which are called dissolved solids. When these dissolved solids are removed from water, the pH is lowered immensely.
When that water falls back to the earth, it seeps into the ground and eventually reaches the source of your well water. As it makes its way through the soil, it normally picks up minerals. If it does, this can cause other issues, like iron water and hard water if the soil is rich in iron, calcium, and magnesium; however, if the water does not pick up minerals, it tends to stay acidic, and then you have this problem.
Do Any Places in Maryland Tend to Have Problems With Acidic Water?
Anne Arundel County tends to have low pH water as well as iron water issues.
However, because of how soil composition works, it is hard to say any given county or community has acidic water issues. It varies everywhere, including between adjacent properties. It all depends on where your well is located, what water source it draws from, and what the soil environment leading to that water source looks like.
Is Acidic Water Harmful?
Acidic water is certainly harmful to your pocketbook. When acidic water comes into contact with any metal, it begins to degrade it and leeches metal into your water. To put it in more relatable terms, acidic water corrodes your plumbing, wrecks your appliances, and ruins your fixtures.
This kind of damage adds up over time, costing the average homeowner thousands of dollars over the years.
Acidic water can also lead to health issues since it strips metal from your pipes. For instance, acidic water can leach copper into the water if you have copper plumbing, which can lead to copper poisoning if your levels get too high.
What are Signs Around the House My Water is Too Acidic?
Damaged Water Fixtures
Do your water faucets and sinks look like they’re being eaten away by something? Because acidic water has a low pH, it strips away metal, and is an obvious sign of the problem.
Do you have blue-green or green stains in your sinks or around your water fixtures? (It will look like the Statue of Liberty.) Do you also have copper plumbing? This is a sign that you have copper in your water, and the likely culprit is acidic water.
Frequently Replacing Hot Water Heater / Issues with Your Dishwasher, Washing Machine, Hot Water Heater, or Other Appliances
Think back over the past few years: have you had to replace or fix your hot water heater? Had issues with anything else that uses water along the same time frame? While these things do break, they can be a sign of acidic water issues.
However, if your hot water heater had issues with warming up the water, and other appliances experienced problems, you may instead have hard water issues.
Leaky Plumbing Lines
If you do not have PVC plumbing and your pipes have developed leaks, acidic water could be wearing them away from the inside-out. If this is the case, you’re probably seeing some of the other issues mentioned above as well.
How Can I Treat Acidic Water?
You’ll want to consult with a water treatment expert about the best approach for your home. Some water issues cause other problems, some water issues share the same signs (for example, acidic water and hard water ruin water heaters), and different homes require different approaches. You’ll want an expert to test your water to find out what’s going on and walk you through your ideal solution.
Generally, acidic water is addressed with a neutralizer, which is the tried and true method for dealing with low pH water. As fancy as that sounds, neutralizers mimic the soil and add in what your water source is missing. In the case of acidic water, neutralizers expose the water to calcite, which increases the water hardness. We prefer the EcoWater ETF 2300.
If a neutralizer isn’t effective enough – for instance, you have an extremely low pH – we would install a chemical feeder system instead.
Want to Know What is in Your Water? Request a Free Water Test.
If you think you have problems with your water, request a free water test below. A specialist from Carroll Water will schedule a time convenient for you, come out to your home, and find out what is impacting your water supply so you can ensure you have clean, safe, and delicious water.
Water-Related Diseases: Arsenicosis – World Health Organization
Basic Information about Arsenic in Drinking Water – Environmental Protection Agency – 9/17/13
Arsenic in Drinking Water – Natural Resource Defense Council – 2/12/09
Radium and Your Drinking Water – The Department of the Environment, State of Maryland – 7/9/15
Basic Information about the Radionuclides Rule – Environmental Protection Agency – 3/6/12
MTBE – American Cancer Society – 7/17/14
Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) – Environmental Protection Agency – 11/15/14