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The Important Role of pH Level in Water Treatment


The pH level is very important in water treatment because whether the water is acidic, neutral or alkaline affects the chemical properties of the water and the behavior of various pollutants. Here are some reasons why pH level plays an important role in water purification:


  1. Chemical Balance in Water : The pH level determines the acidity or alkalinity of the water. pH indicates the concentration of hydrogen ions (H⁺) and indicates whether the water is acidic (pH < 7), neutral (pH = 7), or alkaline (pH > 7). The pH level of water affects the chemical balance of water.

  2. Availability : pH level affects the usability of water. For example, drinking water for humans should ideally have a neutral pH level (about 7). Because acidic or alkaline water may not be suitable as drinking water and may cause health problems.

  3. Chemical Purification Processes : Many water purification processes work based on pH level. For example, disinfection processes such as chlorination can be affected depending on the pH level of the water. If the pH level is not appropriate, the disinfection process may not be effective.

  4. Solubility of Pollutants : Some pollutants vary in solubility depending on the pH level of the water. For example, some metals may be more soluble in acidic conditions, while their solubility may decrease in alkaline conditions. Therefore, the pH level affects the effectiveness of the treatment processes used to remove contaminants present in the water.

  5. Adaptation for Living Things : pH level is vital for aquatic creatures. Fish and other aquatic organisms can survive within a certain pH range. An unbalanced pH level can cause serious problems in aquatic ecosystems.

In this context, pH value has a serious impact on the following stages of purification processes.


  1. Chemical Coagulation and Flocculation: In chemical treatment processes, the pH level of the water determines the effectiveness of the coagulation and flocculation processes. Optimal pH levels for coagulation are generally between 6 and 7. In this pH range, coagulants (usually alum, such as iron salts) work more effectively and the turbidity of the water decreases.

  2. Scale and Acidity Control: In water treatment, pH level is important for scaling (usually removal of calcium and magnesium ions) and acidity control. Precipitation of calcium and magnesium ions reduces the hardness of water and can balance the pH level. Additionally, acidity control can be achieved by lowering the pH level.

  3. Disinfection: pH level is important in disinfection processes, especially chlorination processes. Optimal pH levels allow chlorine to effectively kill microorganisms. Generally, pH should be between 6 and 8.

  4. Membrane Filtration and Reverse Osmosis: In membrane filtration and reverse osmosis processes, which are advanced water purification technologies, the pH level affects the performance of the membrane. Proper pH levels ensure longevity of the membrane and purification of water more efficiently.

  5. Corrosion Control: pH level affects the corrosive effect of metal parts or pipes in water. Optimal pH levels help protect metal parts and ensure that water does not damage the plumbing system.

  6. Microbial Control : Some microorganisms are sensitive to pH level. Therefore, properly adjusting the pH level of the water can help control microbial growth.

  7. Ion Exchange : Ion exchange processes are used to remove or replace unwanted ions in water. These processes are also effective depending on the pH level. For these reasons, controlling and balancing the pH level in water treatment is vital to ensure healthy and safe drinking water.


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