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What is pH Adjustment?

Burt Process Equipment


pH adjustment is an important issue, especially when it comes to clean drinking water. pH in water is a measurement of the amount of alkaline or acid in that water. Water pH is affected by minerals in rocks that are in the area, natural geological conditions and manmade causes like acid rain. In heavy industrial locations, where pollutants are regularly released into the environment, the pH level in water can be critical, requiring neutralization, also known as pH adjustment. For industrial wastewater treatment, pH adjustment is also critical, to protect the environment when that wastewater is eventually released.

What is the pH of Water?

Pure water has a pH of 7. Surface water systems (streams, lakes, and rivers) have a normal pH range of 6.5 to 8.5, while groundwater systems (underground water) have a pH range of 6 to 8.5. These numbers are generally considered to be a safe range for drinking water pH.


How to Neutralize Acid in Water

Water that has a pH level of less than 7 is considered acidic. If this water becomes highly acidic, it can be corrosive and harmful to pipes and plumbing systems. It can also be unsafe to drink. Metals like copper and lead can leach from the pipes, causing a serious health risk. Treated water is the best solution. For effective water treatment, a neutralization system can be used, along with a base chemical that will raise the pH of water going through the system. Common chemicals that are used for this purpose include sodium carbonate (soda ash) and sodium hydroxide. Both can raise water pH closer to a neutral level when they are injected into a water treatment system.

Alkalinity in Drinking Water

Alkalinity in water protects against the harmful effects of acid rain since it will neutralize toxic chemicals. Raising the water’s pH with a base chemical creates an important buffer that will help maintain the pH stability of the water.

pH Adjustment and Industrial Processing of Wastewater

For the pH neutralization of wastewater, the two main system designs are continuous and batch. A continuous flow pH adjustment system is recommended for moderately acidic or alkaline wastewater with a high flow rate. These types of systems are generally smaller and less expensive than batch models. However, if the flow rate fluctuates or if the wastewater is highly acidic or alkaline (or if the pH varies), then a batch neutralization system will be more effective.


Automatic pH Adjustment of Wastewater

Burt Process Equipment offers specially designed systems that are easy to install and extremely reliable. These are pre-packaged, integrated solutions for industrial wastewater treatment, and we offer full customization to fit the needs of your organization and application. These automated acid neutralization systems use pH adjustment chemicals and can process 2-12 pH range liquids with various flow rates. We have both continuous and batch treatment options, including designs for difficult to adjust waste streams.