How Much Water Does Bamboo Need?

bamboo plant in the jungle

Bamboo needs enough water to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Check the top few inches of the soil. If it feels dry, the bamboo needs water. The age of the bamboo plant, soil type, drainage, and climate will affect how much water the bamboo will need. You’ll need to monitor the level of moisture in the soil to accurately determine how much water your bamboo plant will need.  This article covers all you need to know about – How Much Water Does Bamboo Need?


Does Bamboo Require a Lot of Water?

Yes, bamboo requires a lot of water. You need to make sure the soil it is growing in remains moist. The best way to do this is to use the touch test. Press your finger into the top few inches of the bamboo soil. If it feels dry, it needs more water. Factors affecting the amount of water a bamboo plant needs are the growth stage of the plant, soil type, drainage, and climate. See below.

bamboo plant in a pot

• Growth Stage of the Bamboo

During the first year of growth, a new bamboo plant needs regular watering. It consumes more water than mature bamboo. Plenty of water is needed to help the young plant grow its roots. Deep thorough watering works best for bamboo in the early growth stage – the first 12 months of growth.

• Mature Stage of Bamboo

Mature bamboo needs less water compared to a young plant. Its roots are established and it consumes less water. Mature bamboo is more robust and it can withstand short periods of drought. However, make sure the plant’s soil remains moist and add water as necessary.

• Container-Grown Bamboo

Bamboo grown in containers needs to be closely monitored. Are you using a pot to grow bamboo in your home? Some pots retain water and can easily lead to the plant becoming waterlogged. Others cause the water to drain away more quickly. You should check the soil regularly for container grown bamboo and add water only as necessary.

• Soil Type & Drainage

The amount of water bamboo needs is greatly influenced by the soil type and its drainage. When water is added does the soil retain the water or does it drain away? The plant prefers well-drained soil that prevents water logging. When water accumulates in the area of the plant it can damage the roots and lead to a condition known as root rot. Soil with good drainage helps to maintain the best moisture levels for bamboo.

• Climate

Bamboo can be grown in many different climates. It is a highly adaptable plant. And, the type of climate it is grown in will affect its water needs. In hot and dry climates, bamboo needs more water and in cool moderate climates, it needs less.


Can You Give Bamboo Too Much Water?

Yes, you can give bamboo too much water. If you give the plant too much water the soil will become water logged and this can cause root rot. This is one of the most common problems associated with excessive water around the roots. If the roots are submerged in water they cannot access the oxygen they need to grow and survive. You should take care to avoid giving too much water to the plant.

bamboo in the wild

How Much Water Do You Put in a Bamboo Plant?

You should give a bamboo plant enough water to keep the soil it is growing in moist. You’ll need to stick your finger into the top 2-3 inches of the plant soil to determine if it needs water. If the soil is dry, add water. If it is moist, leave it alone. The factors outlined above determine how much water an individual bamboo plant needs.

What is the Best Time to Water Bamboo?

The best time to water bamboo is in the morning. This allows time for the bamboo plant to absorb the moisture it needs before the temperature begins to rise. You can also water in the late afternoon. This allows the plant to regain the moisture it lost during the heat of the day. Watering during the middle of the day is not recommended, especially in hot climates. The water can evaporate quickly in the intense heat of the sun.

Should I water my Bamboo Plant Every Day?

Watering your bamboo plant is not necessary as a rule. Instead, you should check if it needs water. Perform the touch test with your finger. If the soil is dry, add some water. And, if it’s moist, leave it alone.  Instead of watering your plant everyday, spend some time figuring out if it needs water or not.

bamboo plant

Why is My Bamboo Turning Yellow?

Why are bamboo leaves turning yellow? Bamboo turning yellow can be a sign of several underlying health issues. Several factors can trigger the problem, see below.

• Overwatering & Underwatering

Both overwatering and underwatering can damage the health of a bamboo plant. Overwatering can lead to root rot and underwatering can cause dehydration and nutrient deficiencies.

• Poor Drainage

Poor drainage can lead to water logging. This can damage the roots and turn the leaves yellow.

• Nutrient Deficiencies

If the plant can’t get the nutrients it needs, it can cause the bamboo to turn yellow. The plant needs a healthy balance of nitrogen, iron, and magnesium.

• Pests & Diseases

Pests like spider mites and diseases such as fungal infections can cause trigger the yellowing of bamboo leaves.

• Poor Light Exposure

Inadequate or excessive sunlight can damage a bamboo plant and cause yellowing of the leaves.

• pH Imbalance in Soil

Bamboo plants perform best in slightly acidic soil. Imbalances in the pH of the soil can stunt nutrient absorption and lead to yellowing of the leaves.

lady smiling and making a hand gesture


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How Much Water Does It Take to Grow an Almond?

almond nuts in a bowl

How much water do almond trees need? It takes approximately one gallon of water to grow one almond. The amount of water needed to grow an almond will vary based on climate, soil type, and irrigation methods.  In general, it takes a gallon of water to grow one single almond. Below we cover everything you need to know about – how much water does it take to grow an almond?


Do Almonds Take a Lot of Water to Grow?

Ever wondered, how much water to grow an almond?  Well, almonds take a lot of water to grow. The general rule of thumb is that it takes a gallon of water to produce a single almond.

Almond trees require a lot of water to grow and bear almond nuts. Most almonds are grown in California and the Almond Board of California state it takes 1.1 gallons of water to produce a single almond in the region.

flow of water

Responsible water management is key to the efficient farming of almonds. Almond farmers in California use a range of irrigation techniques to deliver water to their almond trees. These methods include the use of micro-sprinklers and drip irrigation. They have also developed the use of soil moisture sensors and weather data analysis to boost water use efficiency.


What Nuts Take the Most Water to Grow?

Now you know – how much water does it take to grow an almond – you’ll never look at an almond again in the same way. They are certified water guzzlers. But, how about other nuts? Is it just almonds that consume so much water? And, how do they compare to our other favorite nut snacks? Let’s take a look.

lady smiling and making a hand gesture

The amount of water it takes to grow a nut will vary depending on climate, soil quality, and irrigation practices. However, here are some general guidelines for how much water it takes to grow other nuts.

Gallons to Produce 1 Single Nut

  • Walnut 4.9 Gallons
  • Pecan 4.9 Gallons
  • Almond 1.1 Gallons
  • Cashew 1 Gallon
  • Pistachio 0.75 Gallon
  • Peanut 0.2 Gallon

Why Do Almonds Need So Much Water?

Why do almonds need so much water to grow? Almonds are a water-intensive crop that needs a lot of water to grow and bear nuts. The main reason almonds need so much water is due to the climate the crop is grown in. Almonds are grown in regions that experience Mediterranean climates. And, these areas experience long hot summers and mild winters with little rainfall.

almond nuts in a box after harvest

These are challenging conditions for a crop to grow and flourish. This requires the addition of lots of water to maintain a healthy crop. Additionally, almonds are grown on trees. And, trees need lots of water. They need water for the leaves and fruit. But, they also need water for their extensive deep root system. Tree crops tend to require much more water compared to vegetable crops.


Where In the World Are Almonds Grown?

Almonds are grown all over the world but the top five producers are the United States, Spain, Australia, Iran, and Italy. California in the US is the largest producer of almonds in the world and accounts for 80% of global production. Spain is the second largest producer coming in at 10%.

image of planet earth from space

In Australia almond tree water consumption is a hot topic.  Production is centered around the South Australia and Victoria regions. In Iran, most almond production takes place in northeastern areas of the country. And, in Italy Sicily and Apulia account for the lion’s share of production.

Other countries where almonds are farmed include China, Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Portugal, and Israel. Each of these countries has a suitable climate for cultivating almond trees.


Do Almonds Have High Water Content?

No, almonds do not have a high water content. Almonds are a low-moisture food and have a water content of just 4-6%. Considering how much water it takes to grow an almond they are a surprisingly dry food. And, it is this low water content that allows almonds to be stored for long periods without deteriorating. You might ask yourself the question – where does all the water go?


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Are Almonds a Sustainable Crop?

What about sustainability?  We’ve covered how much water to grow almonds – but are almonds a sustainable food source considering how much water they take to grow? The crop takes approximately 1,900 gallons of water to produce just one pound of almonds. This has led to concerns that they are not a sustainable crop.

lady making a hand gesture and smiling

With droughts and water shortages becoming more commonplace – almond farming is a cause for concern. Can farmers justify consuming such large volumes of water to produce such a small yield of almonds? The debate is hotly contested, with many vested interests. And, it will take time to play out and establish an honest answer.


What is Almond Milk?

Almond milk is a non-dairy alternative to regular milk. It is a plant-based milk made by blending soaked almonds with water and straining the mixture to remove solids. It has a distinctive creamy and nutty taste. Almond milk tastes great when added to coffee, especially iced coffee and latte.

It is lactose-free and is a popular alternative to cow’s milk. And, it has a lower fat and calorie content and is a natural source of vitamin E. However, it is lower in protein and micronutrients compared to cow’s milk.  Surprising, when you consider how much water does it take to grow one almond.


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How Long Before Bedtime Should You Stop Drinking Water?

woman asleep in bed

When’s the best time to stop drinking water before bedtime? You should stop drinking water 2 hours before bedtime. This allows your body time to pass the liquid before going to bed and having to disrupt your sleep for a toilet break during the night. Below we take a closer look at how long before bedtime should you stop drinking water.


How Many Hours Before Bedtime Should You Stop Drinking Water?

If you want to avoid disrupted sleep and a trip to the bathroom during the night you should stop drinking water 2 hours before bedtime. This applies to water and any other fluids such as tea, juice, or soft drinks. A 2-hour window gives your body time to process the liquids and pass them before you go to bed. And, this means you won’t have to get up during the night to go for a pee.

woman holding a glass of water

If you want to get a good night’s sleep that is not interrupted by a toilet break – aim to stop drinking liquids 2 hours before you go to bed. You can always leave a glass of water on your bedside locker if you wake up during the night and need to take a sip. This way you give yourself the best chance of sleeping through the night without having to take a trip to the bathroom.


What Happens If You Drink Water Right Before Bed?

If you drink water right before bed you increase the chance you will have to use the bathroom during the night. The water you drink will pass from your stomach to your kidneys, and finally to your bladder. Once the water reaches your bladder it creates an urge to urinate. If this happens you run the risk of disrupted sleep as the urge to take a pee will wake you up.

man sleeping in bed

If you want to avoid waking up for a pee during the night you should avoid drinking water close to bedtime. But, how long before bedtime should you stop drinking water? Two hours is best. Allow a two-hour window of no fluids before you go to bed and you should sleep through the night without having to wake up and visit the bathroom.

Waking up during the night leads to a fragmented sleep pattern. This reduces the quality of your sleep and can leave you feeling tired in the morning. Additionally, drinking water right before bedtime can cause heartburn or reflux. This happens when stomach acid travels from the stomach back up towards the mouth and causes a burning sensation and discomfort.


What Is Nocturia?

Nocturia is the name given to the condition where a person has to wake up during the night to take a pee. It is a very common problem, especially in adults, older individuals, and affects both men and women. Nocturia results in a fragmented sleep pattern, poor sleep quality, and daytime fatigue.

night sky with full moon

Nocturia is often the result of aging but can also be caused by diabetes, urinary tract infections, kidney disease, or simply by drinking water too close to bedtime. The condition is treated by reducing fluid intake before bedtime, adjusting medications, and simple bladder training exercises.


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How Much Water Should You Drink Before Bed?

You should avoid drinking any water in the approach to bedtime. In fact, you should avoid any liquids for at least 2 hours before going to bed. This gives you the best chance of sleeping through the night without experiencing nocturia. If you drink water before bed you increase the chances of waking up during the night with an urge to pee.

ionized water in a glass

However, you should listen to your body. If you feel dehydrated or thirsty you should sip a little water before bedtime. Try and keep the volume to a minimum. You can always leave a glass of water next to the bed. That way if thirst is affecting your sleep you can reach for a quenching swig during the night.


How Long Before Bedtime Should You Stop Drinking Water FAQ

lady making a hand gesture and smiling

Is it okay to drink water before bed?

You should try and avoid drinking water before going to bed. Drinking water before bedtime increases the chances you will have to visit the bathroom during the night and disrupt your sleeping pattern.

Is drinking water before bed good for sleep?

No, drinking water before bed is not good for sleep. It can cause a condition known as Nocturia – whereby you wake up during the night with an urge to pee. If you feel thirsty you should sip just a little water to quench your thirst and leave a glass of water next to the bed if you need it during the night.

Does drinking water before bed affect your bladder?

Yes, drinking water before bedtime affects your bladder. When you drink water it first travels to your stomach, then your kidneys, and finally to your bladder. Once the water begins to accumulate in your bladder you begin to feel an urge to urinate.

How much water should you drink before bedtime?

The best advice is to drink as little water as possible before bedtime. If you need to quench a thirst sip just a small amount of water. And, if you can, avoid drinking water for 2 hours before you go to bed.


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HOW MANY GALLONS OF WATER DOES A CAMEL DRINK?

how much water does a camal drink

A camel drinks 30 gallons of water in 15 minutes. The amount of water a camel drinks depends on several factors, including how hot it is, how long its been since it last had a drink, and how hard it is working. But, a camel can drink 30 gallons of water in one go. Let’s take a closer look at how many gallons of water can a camel drink.


HOW MANY GALLONS OF WATER CAN A CAMEL DRINK?

A thirsty camel can drink 30 gallons of water in just fifteen minutes. That works out to 113 liters of water for our European friends. The amount of water a camel drinks depends on the individual camel, its environment, and the amount of fat in its hump. More on humps later.

camels walking over a sand dune

Modern camels were domesticated by humans over 3,000 years ago. They have been used for centuries to help transport goods and people across harsh desert environments. Camels can go long periods without food and water and are known as the ships of the desert.

There are two types of camels – dromedary and Bactrian. Dromedary camels are also known as Arabian camels and make up 90% of all camels in the world today. These camels have been domesticated and are found in the Middle East and northern Africa. They are recognizable by their single large hump on their back.

Bactrian camels are found in Asia and can be easily recognized by the two large humps they have on their back. Below we cover everything you need to know about how many gallons of water does a camel drink.


HOW LONG CAN A CAMEL GO WITHOUT DRINKING WATER?

A camel can go 7-10 days without drinking water. And, they can go months without eating any food. Camels are incredibly robust animals when it comes to surviving in the absence of water. The blood cells of camels are specially adapted to maximize their water consumption efficiency.

desert oasis

Camels have oval-shaped blood cells. This cell shape allows the blood to flow freely even when the body begins to become dehydrated. This special cell structure plays a large part in enabling a camel to go such long periods without food or water. They have even been known to suffer 40% body weight loss and continue to function in harsh conditions.


HOW MUCH WATER CAN A CAMEL DRINK IN 10 MINUTES?

A camel can drink 20 gallons of water in 10 minutes. And, it can consume a whopping 30 gallons in just 15 minutes. That works out at an incredible 10 gallons every 5 minutes. Thirsty camels drink very large quantities and retain the fluid in their bodies to enable them to endure long periods without water.

water pouring into a pool of water

The amount of water a camel will drink in 10 minutes will depend on how thirsty it is. And this is influenced by its current level of hydration, its environment, and how much work it has been doing. But, the thirstiest of camels can drink 20 gallons in just 10 minutes.


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HOW MUCH WATER CAN A CAMEL DRINK AT ONE TIME?

picture of a camels face

A camel can drink 30 gallons of water at one time. If a camel has not had a drink in a long time, up to one week, it can drink a staggering 30 gallons of water in one go. The oval shape of the camel’s blood cells allows them to consume more water than other animals of a similar size. The oval cells have an elastic nature and change shape to allow them absorb larger volumes of water compared to normal blood cells.


HOW MUCH WATER DOES A CAMEL’S HUMP HOLD?

a drop of water falling into a pool of water

A camel’s hump doesn’t hold any water. It is a common misconception that a camel uses its hump to store water. In fact, there is no water in a camel’s hump – only fat. Camels store water in their bloodstream. Their oval-shaped blood cells expand and change shape to allow for the absorption of large volumes of water.  They can hold up to 30 gallons of water at a time.


WHAT IS A CAMEL’S HUMP FOR?

What is a camel’s hump for then? A camel uses its hump to store fat. This is a source of food and nourishment when times get tough and food is scarce. When a camel runs out of food it begins to consume the fat in its hump to keep it going.

camel in the desert 2

When this happens the hump begins to shrink and tip over. When the camel gets a chance to eat again and replenish its fat levels the hump returns. The fat deposits sit on the camel’s back instead of around its belly to help protect it from the heat of the sun.


HOW OFTEN DOES A CAMEL PEE?

This is a question we often get when discussing – How Many Gallons of Water Can a Camel Drink. Camels don’t pee as often as other mammals. But when they do, they pee a yellow-orange colored pee. It’s made up of wastewater and toxins that have been removed from the body by the kidneys. Camel pee is highly concentrated and contains very little water relative to its electrolyte and waste product content.

camel smiling at camera

Camels that have restricted access to water will pee less. These camels pee just 0.2 gallons of pee per day. And, camels that have regular access to water will pee much more frequently – up to 1.3 gallons per day.

So, there’s a big difference in the amount of pee depending on how much water the camel has been drinking. The sex of the camel also plays a part in determining how often the animal pees per day. Male camels pee a little more frequently than female camels – usually 10-12 times per day.

Camels are incredibly efficient at retaining water once they drink it.  Their blood cells change shape and expand to allow them to store large volumes of water in their bloodstream. But just like all other mammals, they need to pee at some stage to remove toxins from the body.


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WHAT MINERALS ARE IN WATER?

glass of ionized alkaline water

Are there minerals in water? Yes, there are minerals in water. You will find minerals in both bottled water and in tap water. The most common minerals in water are calcium, magnesium, sodium, fluoride, potassium, and phosphorus. And, trace elements include copper, iron, selenium, chromium, and zinc.


ARE THERE MINERALS IN WATER?

Water contains a range of minerals. It picks up these minerals naturally as it passes through rivers and streams and makes contact with rocks and the earth’s crust.

The minerals most commonly found in water are calcium, magnesium, sodium, fluoride, potassium, and phosphorus. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

CALCIUM

Calcium is a mineral that plays an important role in maintaining your health. This mineral helps protect your bones and teeth by keeping them strong. It also helps the regular function of
blood clotting, hormone production, and cell growth.

MAGNESIUM

Magnesium is another mineral you need to help protect your health. It plays a key function in keeping bones strong and healthy. And, it is involved in energy metabolism and the structure and performance of muscles.

SODIUM

Sodium is a vital mineral. We need to ingest sodium for the role it plays in the regulation of blood pressure and hydration levels. However, too much sodium is bad news and can result in high blood pressure. We need to strike a careful balance and make sure we don’t take in too much.

FLUORIDE

Fluoride can be absorbed naturally by water as it passes through the earth’s crust. It is also common practice to add fluoride to tap water. This mineral plays a role in preventing tooth decay.

For this reason, fluoride is also added to toothpaste. Some people believe that high levels of fluoride in water may be associated with certain health risks.

POTASSIUM

Potassium plays a similar role to sodium. This mineral helps regulate your fluid balance and your blood pressure. It is also involved in the regulation of blood sugar levels and nerve impulses. All your bodily tissues require the presence of potassium.

PHOSPHORUS

Phosphorus is mineral that plays an important role in the human body. It forms a vital component of bones, teeth, and your genetic material. It is also involved in the production of energy at a cellular level. A lack of phosphorous can lead to fatigue and tiredness.


TRACE ELEMENTS IN TAP WATER

In addition to the minerals outlined above several trace elements are also found in water. These trace elements are also minerals but are present in much smaller concentrations. And, sometimes they are not present at all.

woman drinking alkaline water

The trace elements most commonly found in water are copper, iron, selenium, chromium, and zinc. Let’s take a look at each one and discuss how it impacts your body and your health.

COPPER

The presence of copper is often found in water as a trace element. Copper plays a role in protecting your cardiovascular health, immune system, and blood clotting.

Your body also uses copper as it forms new connective tissue and bone structures. And, it is involved in energy production and neurotransmitter synthesis.

IRON

Iron is a vital mineral used in the production of new blood cells. It is also used to transport oxygen throughout your body. A lack of iron in the human body leads to the condition anemia. The consumption of too much iron can lead to a feeling of nausea and constipation.

SELENIUM

Selenium is found in trace quantities in many household tap water supplies. This mineral plays an important antioxidant role in our bodies.

It helps protect our cells and shield them from oxidative damage. It is also involved in the operation of the reproductive system, DNA synthesis, and thyroid hormone metabolism.

CHROMIUM

Chromium is a mineral that helps your body break down protein, fats, and carbohydrates. It plays a role in converting carbohydrates into energy.

This trace mineral is not an essential component of your diet but it is believed it may help increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels and boost insulin sensitivity.

ZINC

Zinc is another trace element found in tap water. This mineral plays a role in tissue growth and the synthesis of cellular proteins. It is an essential mineral and also plays a role in the immune system, wound healing, and DNA synthesis.


ARE THERE MINERALS IN TAP WATER?

water in a glass with ice

Yes, there are minerals in tap water. Almost all tap water will contain some form of mineral content. The mineral content will vary from one location to the next. When minerals are present at the right concentrations they contribute to your overall health and well-being.


HOW DO MINERALS GET INTO WATER?

Minerals are absorbed into tap water naturally. As water moves through rivers, lakes, and streams it absorbs minerals. This happens when it brushes up against rocks in the earth’s crust and surface.

lady in gym drinking alkaline water

Sometimes minerals are added to the water supply by a local authority. This can happen when it is believed the addition of a mineral will impart some kind of health benefit. For example, sometimes fluoride is added because it is believed to promote healthy teeth.


WHAT MINERALS ARE IN TAP WATER?

The minerals found in tap water will vary depending on where you live and how your water is treated before it reaches your tap. Water treatment and the area you live in will play a key role in the mineral composition of your tap water.

water pouring from a bottle

This means that two samples of tap water taken from two different locations can have very different mineral content. There is a large degree of variance as you move from one area to another.

The main source of minerals in your tap water comes from the natural environment the water moves through as it makes its way to your tap. When water brushes up against rocks and river beds it absorbs tiny amounts of minerals.

These minerals dissolve into the water and become invisible to the human eye. The minerals most commonly found in tap water are calcium, magnesium, sodium, fluoride, potassium, and phosphorus.

In addition, some minerals can be found in tiny quantities. These minerals are called trace elements. The trace elements most commonly found in tap water are copper, iron, selenium, chromium, and zinc.


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DOES FILTERED WATER HAVE MINERALS?

Do water filters remove minerals from water? Yes, some do. But it depends on the type of water filter you are using. Water filters known as Reverse Osmosis filters do remove minerals from water.

reverse osmosis filtered water in a glass

These filters use a high-performance semi-permeable membrane that removes tiny particles from water – including minerals. Some reverse osmosis filters include a remineralization step to reintroduce minerals to the water after it has been filtered.

On the other hand, activated carbon and ceramic water filters do not remove minerals. These filters remove contaminants but allow the dissolved minerals to pass through. They will not affect the mineral content of your water source.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

HOW TO USE A PH TEST STRIP AT HOME

test ph of water color codes

How to use pH test strip – just dip it in your test sample, wait 15 seconds, and allow the indicator to change color. Once the color has changed compare it against your color chart to find the pH value of your test sample. It’s that simple.


CONTENTS


WHAT IS A PH TEST STRIP?

A pH test strip is a cheap and effective tool you can use at home to measure the pH of your water supply. They are small strips of paper that use a color code to indicate the pH of a solution.

lady making a hand gesture and smiling

They are easy to use, cost-effective, and give quick clear results. PH stips are made from a special type of paper – sometimes called litmus paper.

One tip of the paper has color-coded patches that change color when emersed in a solution. The resultant colors can be checked against a color chart to determine the pH of your water supply.


HOW TO USE A PH TEST STRIP

Using a pH test strip is easy. All you need to do is remove a strip from the packet, immerse it in your test solution, and then wait for 15 seconds for the color change to take effect.

ph test kit

It’s a very straightforward process and you will know the pH of your water in seconds. See below for simple step-by-step instructions on how to use a pH test strip.

1: PREPARE WATER SAMPLE

The first step in ‘how to use ph test strip’ is to get your water sample ready. Grab a clean glass and add some of the water you want to test. You don’t need a large volume, just enough to dip the end of the test strip into.

2: GET YOUR PH TEST STRIP

Carefully remove a test strip from the packet. PH test strips usually come in small plastic tubs. There will be quite a few in there. Just be careful to only handle the end of the strip that does not have the color indicator.

3: SUBMERGE THE END OF THE STRIP IN THE WATER

Dip the color-coded tip of the strip into your water sample. Make sure you submerge all the color patches. The number of color patches varies depending on the strips being used but there are usually 2 to 4.

4: REMOVE THE STRIP

Remove the water pH test strip from your sample and lay it down on a flat surface. We like to use a piece of clean dry kitchen paper. This way it will soak up any excess water.

5: WAIT 15 SECONDS

Now you have to wait 15 seconds to allow the reaction to occur. You will see the color indicator changing color. The change can happen very rapidly but you should wait 15 seconds to be sure the indicator has finished adjusting color.

6: READ THE RESULT

The last step involves reading the result. All you have to do is compare the colors on the end of your test strip against the color chart provided. The chart should be on the outside of the packaging or may be included in a pamphlet inside the container.

7: MATCHING THE COLORS

Most pH indicators come with at least two color patches. You will need to find the corresponding result on the color chart that matches your strip. This often involves looking at a two or three color code combination.

8: WHAT DOES THE RESULT MEAN?

Now you have your result, what does it mean? The pH scale runs from 0 to 14. A score of 7 is neutral. If your water scored 7, this means it is neither acidic nor alkaline. It is neutral and sits right in the middle.

Anything below 7 is acidic and anything above 7 means you have alkaline water. You can use these test strips to test your regular water supply or to test water from an alkaline water machine to see if it is working as designed.


HOW TO READ PH TEST STRIPS

How do you read a water pH test strip? A pH test strip uses litmus paper that changes color to tell you if you have acidic or alkaline water. Once you dip the strip in your water sample it will begin to change color.

using ph test strip colors

Just allow 15 seconds for the color change to take effect and then compare it against the color chart provided with the kit. All you need to do is hold it against the color chart and match it to the colors that most closely resemble your result.

Most pH test strips have more than one color patch. The majority of strips we use have anything from 2 to 4. But 2 color patches are the most common.

The easiest way to read the pH test strip is to hold it up against the color chart and move it along until the two-color patches match a color combination on the chart. Then read the corresponding pH value from the chart.


HOW TO TEST YOUR DRINKING WATER WITH A PH TEST STRIP

Testing your drinking water with a pH strip involves the same method as testing any other sample of water. Just prepare a clean dry glass and add a sample of your drinking water.

glass of ionized alkaline water

Then follow the steps outlined above to perform the pH test. Dip the litmus test paper in your sample, wait 15 seconds, and then read your result. If you score above 7, then you have alkaline water.


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PH TEST STRIP COLOR CHART

A pH test strip color chart is used to determine the result of your pH test. The color chart is usually printed on the outside of the container. Or, it may be included inside the packet in a small pamphlet.

deionized water

The colors range from yellow and pale orange for acidic results to dark orange, green, and even dark blue for acidic results.

Every pH test strip kit is different so you will need to refer to the color chart for your specific kit. But don’t worry they are easy to read and you will have a clear result in seconds.


HOW DO PH TEST STRIPS WORK?

PH test strips work by changing color. They use a technology called litmus paper. When litmus paper is dipped into a solution it changes color to show how acidic or alkaline the solution is.

They are regularly used in homes to test the acidity/alkalinity of water, urine, and saliva. Litmus paper uses a water-soluble mixture of dyes that change color when exposed to an acid or alkaline substance.

The resultant color can then be read against a chart to determine the pH level of the substance. They are a cheap and relatively accurate way of testing the pH of a solution.


frequently asked questions

WHERE TO BUY PH TEST STRIPS?

You can buy drinking water ph test strips online or in most pharmacies. You can pick up a pack for between $5 to $10. All the big pharmacies carry them, most of the small ones, and you can even find them at your local supermarket.

WHAT COLOR ARE PH TEST STRIPS?

The color of a pH test strip will change once it is dipped in a test solution. The colors you can expect to see are pale yellow, dark yellow, pale orange, dark orange, pale green, dark green, pale blue, and dark blue.  Each of these corresponds to a specific pH value.

HOW MUCH ARE PH TEST STRIPS?

PH test strips are relatively inexpensive. A pack of 50 strips will set you back between $5 – $10 US dollars.  The best advice is to shop around when using pH test strips at home.


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WHAT IS TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS IN WATER?

glass of ionized alkaline water

What is total dissolved solids in water? Total Dissolved Solids is a measure of all the dissolved organic and inorganic matter in a water sample. It is often called TDS and is measured in milligrams per liter (mg/L). TDS measures anything that is dissolved in water that is not a water molecule.


TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS MEANING

What does Total Dissolved Solids mean? TDS is a measure of all the dissolved contaminants in water that are not water molecules.  TDS includes all organic and inorganic dissolved contaminants including metals, salts, minerals, and ions. It is a parameter regularly used to measure the purity of drinking water.

lasy drinking a glass of water

Water collects and dissolves particles as it passes through streams, wells, and rivers. This is a perfectly natural process. Examples include the absorption of minerals such as calcium and magnesium as it passes through rocks.

Dissolved solids also make their way into the water supply through unnatural methods – such as pollution. Runoff from fertilizers used in agriculture and chemical waste from industry results in contaminants making their way into the water supply.


WHAT TDS SHOULD BE IN DRINKING WATER?

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the recommended secondary standard for Total Dissolved Solids in drinking water is 500 mg/L. The National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations (NSDWRs) can be viewed – over here.

tds in drinking water

A TDS reading of greater than 1,000 mg/L is considered unsafe. And values above 2,000 mg/L indicate that the water filtration system being employed has failed.

The following TDS readings can be used as a general guideline:

Below 300 mg/L – LOW TDS READING

Low TDS reading. Water may lack mineral content. Very low TDS levels can lead to bad-tasting water due to the low mineral content.

300-500 mg/L – IDEAL TDS READING

This is the optimal TDS level. Drinking water within this range has a good balance of mineral content and low TDS levels. Water in this range tastes good.

501-1,000 mg/L – HIGH

Anything above the 500 reading is on the high side. But the closer to 501, the better. As you approach 1,000 you are reaching water with high levels of TDS. The water should be filtered to remove contaminants and return the value to 500.

1,001-2,000 mg/L – BAD WATER

Any water with a TDS value between 1,001 and 2,000 should be considered contaminated and unsafe to drink. You should not consume water at this level.

2,000 mg/L or above – VERY HIGH, DO NOT DRINK

Any water with a TDS of above 2,000 is considered unsafe to drink. It is an indication that the water is polluted and the water filtration system has failed.


HOW IS TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS MEASURED?

How can you measure the TDS of your home water supply? There are two methods. Firstly, you can take a water sample and send it off to a water testing laboratory for professional analysis. This is the most accurate way to measure TDS but can be expensive.

woman testing water in a lab

The second method is to test a water sample yourself at home. To do this you will need to purchase a TDS meter and perform an analysis as per the instructions provided.

TDS meters are easy to use. All you need to do is – collect a sample of water in a clean glass. Then, immerse the TDS meter sensor in the water sample and wait for the reading to appear on the screen.

Finally, compare the reading on the meter with the TDS guide values described above. Anything close to 500 mg/L means your water has an optimal level of TDS.


READ NEXT

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HEAVY METALS IN DRINKING WATER – click here

COFFEE & ALKALINE WATER – click here

BIG BERKEY WATER FILTER REVIEW – click here

HOW TO USE PH TEST STRIPS – click here

MINERALS IN TAP WATER – click here

WHAT IS ALKALINE WATER? – click here

HOW MUCH WATER CAN A CAMEL DRINK? – click here


WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS IN WATER?

What makes up TDS? The most common substances that make up total dissolved solids are calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, fluoride, chloride, aluminum, iron, zinc, bicarbonates, copper, sulfates, and nitrates.

water testing in lab

Most TDS in drinking water is made up of common salts, such as sodium and calcium-based ions. The remaining molecules fall into the categories of minerals, metals, and organic matter.

It is perfectly normal for water to contain TDS. These molecules make their way into water naturally as it passes through the earth and brushes up against rocks.

SALTS

Yes, there’s salt in fresh water!  Water absorbs salt molecules naturally as it passes through the earth, rivers, and streams.

They can also make their way into the water supply as a result of human pollution. Run-off from agriculture and industrial activities results in high salt levels in the water table.

MINERALS

Water absorbs minerals naturally as it passes over mineral-rich rocks. Water absorbs tiny mineral molecules as it makes contact with these natural structures. Minerals improve the taste of water and are good for our health at the right levels.

METALS

Metals make their way into water as the direct result of human activities and pollution. Agriculture, industrial activities, mining, and automobiles are all major sources of metal pollution of water. Also, old pipes made from lead can contribute to high levels of metal TDS.

ORGANIC MATTER

Organic matter such as microbes and algae make their way into water as it passes through the environment. These organic contaminants should be removed at water treatment facilities before the water is piped through for consumption.


HOW CAN I REMOVE TDS FROM MY WATER?

How is TDS removed from water? You can remove total dissolved solids from your water supply using water filtration. The best methods are reverse osmosis, distillation, and deionization.

REVERSE OSMOSIS

Reverse osmosis is a highly effective method for reducing the TDS levels in water. It removes between 92-98% of all total dissolved solids in water.

An RO (reverse osmosis) filtration system passes water through multiple filters. The final filter in the process is a high-efficiency RO membrane. This filter has tiny pores that allow water molecules to pass through but block almost all other contaminants.

You can install a reverse osmosis water filtration system beneath your kitchen sink.  Take a look at the best Undersink Reverse Osmosis Water Filters 2024.

DISTILLATION

Distillation involves the heating of water so that it turns to steam. The steam is then collected and cooled so that it turns back to water again.

Water has a lower boiling point than the boiling point of the dissolved solids. This means the total dissolved solids are left behind as the water is converted to steam.

The steam is cooled using a condenser and turned back to water. The majority of impurities are left behind in the heating chamber.

Impurities that manage to escape with the steam are collected in a small carbon filter that the steam passes through as it leaves the boiling chamber. It is an effective method of water filtration but is slow and expensive.

DEIONIZATION

Deionization is an effective way of removing total dissolved solids from water. This method filters water by passing it through resin-based filters.

The form of filtration used is called an ion-exchange water filter. The water is passed through both a positively and negatively charged resin bed filter. However, it is only effective for the removal of ionic substances.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

water in a glass with ice

WHERE DO TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS COME FROM?

As water passes through the environment it absorbs particles naturally that it comes into contact with. This includes organic and inorganic dissolved solids such as metals, salts, minerals, and ions. It is a naturally occurring process that occurs as water passes through the earth’s crust, rivers, and streams.

WHY IS TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS IMPORTANT?

Total dissolved solids gives a quick reading of the total organic and inorganic matter present in a water sample. It indicates the level of contamination of water. Further analysis can then be performed to determine what dissolved solids are present.

WHAT IS AN ACCEPTABLE TDS IN POOL WATER?

TDS in pool water is around the 250 ppm mark. In general, levels above 1500 ppm are unacceptable.


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PROS & CONS OF REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER – click here

 

 

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HEAVY METALS IN TAP WATER

water in a glass with ice

The main heavy metals found in drinking water are lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, manganese, and copper. These metals are toxic and cause damage to your health. Drinking water is monitored for the presence and concentration of heavy metals.


TOP SIX HEAVY METALS IN WATER

water testing in lab

The six most common heavy metals found in drinking water are lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, manganese, and copper. They are all toxic to the human body. Let’s take a look at each of these heavy metals in more detail.


JUMP TO CONTENT

LEAD  |  ARSENIC  |  MERCURY  

CADMIUM  |  MANGANESE  |  COPPER   


1: LEAD

What Is Lead?

Lead is a naturally occurring metal found in small amounts in the earth’s outer crust. It is considered harmful at any dose. Even small amounts of lead in drinking water are dangerous.

Pollution caused by manufacturing activities and the burning of fossil fuels distributes lead through the environment. It is also regularly found in batteries, lead-based paint, and metal pipes.

How Does It Get Into The Water Supply?

Lead enters the water supply through the delivery system. Lead water pipes are the main source of lead in drinking water.

It can pass into water as it passes through lead pipes that make up the water system or as it passes through plumbing inside a home. Even copper pipes leach lead as they get old and corrode.

What Are the Health Effects?

Lead is considered toxic at any level – even in small quantities. It can accumulate in your body over time. It causes damage to damage to your brain, liver, kidney, heart, brain, and bones.

Consuming lead over a period of time can cause nervous system dysfunction, kidney disease, immune system damage, and rheumatoid arthritis. In children, it can lead to developmental damage, seizures, and lower IQ.

How Do I Remove It?

Removing lead from your water supply is usually not feasible due to the source being the water system itself. Therefore you need to treat the water as it arrives in your home.

Your best options are to use a reverse osmosis, distillation, or carbon filter device that has been designed for lead removal. A simple workaround is to flush the tap for 1-2 minutes before collecting drinking water.


2: ARSENIC

What Is Arsenic?

Arsenic is one of the most toxic heavy metals found in drinking water. It is a naturally occurring metal found in the earth’s crust – often the result of volcanic activity.

Arsenic is also produced through human activities such as coal burning, pesticide production, and mining.

How Does It Get Into The Water Supply?

Arsenic can enter the water supply through the natural erosion of rock that contains arsenic. However, it is more commonly the result of human activity.

Manufacturing and agriculture are two key sources of arsenic. The disposal of wastewater from industry, agricultural fertilizers, and the use of pesticides add arsenic to the groundwater supply.

What Are the Health Effects?

Arsenic is highly toxic. Exposure has been linked to cancer, cause neurological problems, cardiovascular disease, immune system disorders, and diabetes. In children, it can result in a lowered IQ.

It is believed to contribute to many types of cancer, including prostate, kidneys, bladder, lungs, skin, and liver cancer

How Do I Remove It?

The best way to remove arsenic is to use a water treatment system that has been specifically designed for arsenic removal. The options include reverse osmosis, ultra-filtration, distillation, and ion exchange devices.


3: MERCURY

water with bubbles

What Is Mercury?

Mercury is a neurotoxin and is highly toxic. It is a liquid metal and is found naturally in rock formations in the earth. It is often found in coal.

Mercury poisoning can result from exposure to water-soluble forms of mercury in your tap water.

How Does It Get Into The Water Supply?

Mercury occurs naturally in rock formations in the environment. It can seep into groundwater when the two come into contact.

Mercury can also enter the water supply as a result of human pollution. It is found in many household products such as dry-cell batteries, switches, and even fluorescent light bulbs.

The incorrect disposal of these items accounts for 50% of all mercury water contamination according to the EPA, (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).

What Are the Health Effects?

Mercury poisoning is known to cause kidney damage, affect the nervous system, kidneys, liver, and trigger emotional instability and insomnia.

Its effects on children can be even more severe and can damage the brain and nervous system. Children exposed to mercury in the womb can suffer harm to cognitive thinking, memory, attention, motor, and visual skills.

How Do I Remove It?

To remove mercury from your tap water you will have to use a filtration device that has been designed and certified for mercury removal.

Options include reverse osmosis and mercury filtration filter cartridges. Most of these devices use thin-film composite membranes or special filters containing KDF media that reduce mercury levels.


4: CADMIUM

What Is Cadmium?

Cadmium is a soft silver-white metal. It is toxic to the human body. Cadmium is commonly used in metal plating, machinery, and batteries.

Cadmium pollution has have increased dramatically in recent decades. The toxic metal is most commonly found in rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries.

How Does It Get Into The Water Supply?

The most common source of cadmium in the water supply is caused by the improper disposal of rechargeable batteries.

These batteries require specialist disposal but are usually just dumped in the same way as regular household waste.

Cadmium also enters the water supply through impurities in the zinc of water pipes and fittings. It leaches into water as it passes through the pipes. It is also found in some agricultural fertilizers.

What Are the Health Effects?

Cadmium causes cancer in humans. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies cadmium in Group 1. This category is used when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans

It is also known to cause kidney, liver, and musculoskeletal, bone and blood damage. Acute exposure results in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps.

How Do I Remove It?

Cadmium can be removed from water using specially designed filtration devices. Your options include ion exchange, reverse osmosis, coagulation/filtration, and lime softening cadmium removal processes.


5: MANGANESE

water pouring into a pool of water

What Is Manganese?

Manganese is a silver-grey metal that occurs naturally in rocks and soil. In small quantities, it is good for human health and is an important part of our overall diet.

However, high levels of manganese are toxic and can damage human health. It is used in the manufacture of iron and steel and is found in paints, fireworks, and cosmetics.

How Does It Get Into The Water Supply?

Manganese naturally makes its way into the water supply as water passes through soil and rocks that contain manganese.

For this reason, manganese occurs naturally in surface water such as lakes and rivers, and underground water. This water is then used as a source for our water supply.

It also results from the waste run-off from the manufacture of iron, batteries, glass, fireworks, and agricultural fertilizers.

What Are the Health Effects?

Exposure to high levels of manganese can cause a condition called manganism. The illness is similar to Parkinson’s disease and has been observed in metalworkers that have been exposed to high levels of manganese.

In children, manganese can cause behavioral problems, speech and memory difficulties, lowered IQ, and a lack of coordination.

How Do I Remove It?

There are a number of options available for the removal of manganese from your water source including manganese cation exchange, water softening, filtration, distillation, and reverse osmosis.

You should choose a system that has been specifically designed and certified for manganese removal.


6: COPPER

What Is Copper?

Copper is a metal that occurs naturally in soil, rock formations, plants, and water. It is the most common heavy metal found in water.

Copper is an essential part of your diet and trace amounts are essential for survival. However, if you consume too much it can lead to health problems.

It is used to make electrical wiring, plumbing components, and pesticides.

How Does It Get Into The Water Supply?

Copper becomes a problem when it gets into the water supply in high concentrations. The two main sources of copper in drinking water are copper pipes and human pollution.

The biggest source of copper occurs when water passes through corroded copper pipes. This is particularly a concern for acidic water.

Other sources come from human pollution, namely mining, farming, manufacturing operations that release copper polluted water into the environment.

What Are the Health Effects?

High levels of copper exposure can cause harmful effects such as irritation to the mouth, nose, and eyes, diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and nausea. Infants under one and people with Wilson’s disease are particularly sensitive to copper.

How Do I Remove It?

Copper can be removed from water using reverse osmosis, ultra-filtration, distillation, and ion exchange methods. Just make sure you use a filtration system that has been designed and certified for copper removal.


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BEST ALKALINE WATER MACHINE 2024


WHAT ARE SAFE LEVELS OF HEAVY METALS IN DRINKING WATER?

woman testing water in a lab

So, what are the acceptable levels of heavy metals in drinking water, and who sets the standards?

In the US the EPA defines the criteria for acceptable levels of heavy metals and other pollutants in drinking water. The EPA is an independent agency of the United States federal government tasked with environmental protection matters.

At a global level the WHO, (World Health Organization), sets the standards for drinking water and sets guidelines for the acceptable level of contaminants in drinking water.

See the table below for the EPA and WHO heavy metal safety limits in drinking water.

heavy metal safety limits in drinking water - EPA & WHO


HO TO TEST FOR HEAVY METALS IN WATER

If you want to test your water supply for the presence of heavy metals you should contact a professional water testing lab. A quick google search will provide you with a list of suitable labs in your area.

These labs use a testing technique called spectrometry to test for the presence of heavy metals in water. Spectrometry is the measurement of interactions between light and matter.

Several different types of spectrometry are used when it comes to testing for heavy metals, these include:

  • Atomic Absorption Spectrometry
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

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frequently asked questions

FAQ – Heavy Metals in Water

What Is a Heavy Metal?

Heavy metals are metals that have high densities and are toxic at low concentrations. Examples of heavy metals include lead (Pb), arsenic (As), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), manganese (Mn), and copper (Cu).

Heavy metals occur naturally in the earth’s crust and get into our bodies via the water we drink, the food we eat, and the air we breathe.

Are There Heavy Metals in Tap Water?

Yes, heavy metals are regularly found in tap water. The types of heavy metals and their concentration varies depending on the water source.

Heavy metals are toxic and represent a danger to your health. Some of them get into the water supply naturally as it passes through the earth’s crust. Others are the result of human activity and pollution.

Tap water must be continually tested to monitor their presence for safety purposes. Consuming heavy metals when you drink tap water has a negative effect on your health.

Do Doctors Test for Heavy Metals?

Yes, you can get a blood test done with your doctor. The test is known as a heavy metals panel or a heavy metal toxicity test.

It is a group of tests that measure the levels of heavy metals in your blood. The metals most commonly tested for are lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium.

How Does A Heavy Metal Blood Test Work?

Testing for heavy metals can be performed using a blood, urine, hair, or fingernail sample.  All you need to do is go to your doctor and request a heavy metals panel or a heavy metal toxicity test.

The actual test will be performed in a laboratory and the results will be sent to your doctor.

How Do Heavy Metals Affect the Brain?

Heavy metals harm brain health. Two heavy metals, in particular, are known to affect the brain – lead and mercury.

Lead damages brain cells, triggers nervous system dysfunction, and causes developmental problems in children.

Mercury damages the nervous system, triggers emotional instability, and causes insomnia. Its effects on children are even more severe.

What are the Symptoms of Heavy Metal Toxicity?

The symptoms of heavy metal toxicity in water are:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Heart Irregularities
  • Nervous System Abnormalities (e.g. tingling sensation or numbness)

Can Heavy Metals Be Removed From the Body?

Yes, heavy metals that pass naturally through the body are excreted in your urine. Other heavy metals can be removed using a treatment called chelation.

Chelation therapy involves the injection of a chelating agent into the body. This agent binds to heavy metals in the bloodstream and removes them from the body in your urine.

How Do You Cleanse Your Body of Mercury?

If you have suffered serious mercury poisoning your doctor will recommend chelation therapy. This treatment involves the injection of a chelating agent into the body that binds to mercury in your blood and removes it from the body in your urine.

List of Heavy Metals in Drinking Water

The heavy metals most commonly found in water are:

  • Lead
  • Arsenic
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Manganese
  • Copper

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Is Alkaline Water Good For Coffee?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

COFFEE & ALKALINE WATER

cup of coffee made using alkaline water

Is alkaline water good in coffee? Yes, alkaline water is great for coffee – it makes it taste better! Alkaline water extracts more flavor from coffee beans and makes a much better-tasting cup of coffee. For the best tasting coffee use alkaline water with a pH of up to 8.5. The science is there to prove it.


IS ALKALINE WATER GOOD FOR COFFEE?

Yes, alkaline water is great for making coffee. If you like coffee, you’ll love alkaline water. Like Bonnie and Clyde, when you put the two together they form a potent couple.

water pouring into a pool of water

Alkaline water intensifies the aroma and flavor of coffee. Its alkaline properties perfectly complement the natural acidity of coffee.

Coffee is an acidic compound and the addition of alkaline water balances the acidity to enhance the taste and bring the subtle flavors to the fore.

IMPROVES TASTE

Alkaline water increases the flavor of coffee. Alkaline water extracts more flavor from the coffee beans compared to regular water and creates a more fragrant beverage.

And the science is there to prove it. A study by the University of New South Wales found that using alkaline water improved the flavor extracted from coffee beans.

They concluded that water with a pH of 7.0-8.5 resulted in the most flavor extraction and the best tasting cup of coffee.  You can make alkaline water at home using an alkaline water machine.


HOW DOES ALKALINE WATER AFFECT YOUR COFFEE?

Alkaline water improves the taste, enhances the aroma, and neutralizes the natural acidity of coffee. It is a great choice of water for making coffee – and if you haven’t tried it yet, you should give it a go.

coffee cup on a table

For the best results, choose an alkaline water with a pH of between 7 and 8.5. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14, and anything above 7 is alkaline.

Using alkaline water to brew your coffee takes the edge off its strong acidity levels and allows you better appreciate the complex flavors and aromas of the coffee bean.  Think of it like adding a little water to whiskey.

To truly appreciate the aroma of a high-end aged whiskey you need to add a little water to ‘loosen’ the flavors.  Alkaline water acts as the perfect counterbalance to the sharp acidity of a regular coffee.

It’s a real treat for your taste buds.  Check out our full guide to the Benefits of Alkaline Waterover here.


WHAT ACIDS ARE IN COFFEE?

Coffee is a naturally acidic drink. It has a pH of 4.7-5.0 depending on the beans and brewing technique used. Anything below 7 on the pH scale is an acidic compound.

glass of alkaline water in the forest

Coffee contains a wide range of acids, but the main players are chlorogenic, citric, malic, quinic, phosphoric, linoleic, and acetic acid. Alkaline water helps ‘balance out’ this acidity.

CHLOROGENIC ACID

Chlorogenic acid is the most prominent acid found in coffee. It’s also what gives coffee some of its best flavors. It is found in higher concentrations in light roast coffee. It is a type of phenolic acid and may play a role in glucose regulation.

CITRIC ACID

This is another acid that is present in high quantities in coffee. It adds a pleasant fruity flavor to the coffee – an aroma that is favored by many. It is highly soluble and readily passes from the bean to water during the brewing process.

MALIC ACID

Malic acid imparts a fruity flavor to the coffee similar to apples and plums. It is depleted during the roasting process – so the darker the roast the lower the malic acid content.

QUINIC ACID

Quinic acid is formed when chlorogenic acid is broken down during the roasting process. It is most noticeable in brewed coffee that has been left sitting on the heater too long and imparts a sour unpleasant taste.

PHOSPHORIC ACID

Phosphoric acid makes up less than 1% of a cup of coffee. However, it is one of the most potent acids found in coffee. And, it has no taste. It adds nothing to the flavor. It is believed phosphoric acid originates from the hydrolysis of phytic acid in the soil.

LINOLEIC ACID

Linoleic acid is a fatty acid. It is found in coffee in very low concentrations. The levels of linoleic acid in coffee are affected by the soil type and altitude at which the bean is grown. Linoleic acid is part of the omega-6 fatty acid family and is used to boost heart and blood health.

ACETIC ACID

Acetic acid is best known for the sharp bitter taste it gives to vinegar. It is found in coffee in low doses and gives it a sharp refreshing flavor. If the level of acetic acid is too high in a coffee it suffers an unpleasant vinegary taste.


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frequently asked questions

COFFEE & ALKALINE WATER FAQ

Does Alkaline Water Make Coffee Taste Better?

Yes, alkaline water makes coffee taste better. Alkaline water extracts more flavor from the coffee bean compared to regular water. This results in a better-tasting cup of coffee.

Does Using Alkaline Water Make Coffee Less Acidic?

Yes, using alkaline water instead of regular water makes your cup of coffee less acidic. Coffee is naturally acidic with a pH of 4.7-5.0. When you add alkaline water to your coffee it increases its pH and brings it closer to the neutral value of 7.

Can You Make Coffee With Alkaline Water?

Yes, you can make coffee with alkaline water. Making coffee with alkaline water is a great idea. It will boost the flavor of your brew and help neutralize its natural acidity.  We recommend it.

What Does Coffee With Alkaline Water Taste Like?

It tastes great. Studies have shown that coffee made using alkaline water has more flavor. Alkaline water increases the amount of flavor and aroma that is extracted from the coffee bean.

What’s The Best Water pH For Coffee?

The best water pH for coffee is 7.0-8.5. According to a study performed by the University of New South Wales in Australia, using water with a pH of 7.0-8.5 extracts the best flavor from coffee beans.


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HOW TO TEST WATER HARDNESS AT HOME

glass of ionized water sitting on a rock

Testing water hardness at home is easy. You can use the simple ‘bottle and soap’ method or buy a hard water test strip kit online. Both methods are very easy to perform and take just seconds to show results. If you’d prefer a professional analysis you can send a water sample to a test lab.


TESTING WATER HARDNESS AT HOME

There are several methods you can use to test the level of hardness of your water supply. The first two methods we will look at are DIY tests you can do at home.

water in a glass with ice

They are easy to perform and will give you a good indication of the level of hardness of your water. The final method involves getting an accurate reading from a professional water testing lab.

1: BOTTLE & SOAP TEST

This is a really simple and cheap method to test for hard water at home. All you need is a clean transparent bottle – like a plastic water bottle.

Fill the bottle two-thirds with water. Then, add some liquid hand soap. It has to be regular soap – don’t use detergent or dish washing liquid.

Then, put the cap back on the bottle and shake it vigorously for 10 seconds. After shaking place the bottle on your countertop and take a look at the solution.

If a large amount of suds formed at the top and the water below remains clear – you have soft water. If little to no suds formed and you have cloudy water below – then you have hard water.

2: HARD WATER TEST STRIPS

A more accurate way to test your water is to use a hard water test strip kit. These kits are inexpensive and can be easily picked up online.

The testing process is simple. First up, remove one of the test strips from the pack. Then either immerse it in a glass of water or hold it under a running tap for a few seconds.

The test strip will then change color as a chemical reaction takes effect. All you need to do is compare the color against the color chart provided for your result.

This will give you a clear result and tell you if you have a hard or soft water supply in your home.

3: WATER TESTING LABORATORY

The most comprehensive and accurate method is to take a water sample and send it to a water testing laboratory for professional analysis. This method will take time to process and cost quite a bit more money.

woman testing water in a lab

Your best bet is to try the home DIY methods mentioned above first. Then, if you feel your water needs more comprehensive analysis – send it to a testing lab. They can also test for chlorine, nitrates, pH, heavy metals, and microbes.


WHAT IS WATER HARDNESS?

Water hardness is the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in your water. Hard water has a high level of dissolved calcium and magnesium. And, soft water has a low level.

glass of alkaline water sitting on a table

Hard water and soft water both look the same – so you won’t be able to tell them apart just by looking at them.

CALCIUM & MAGNESIUM

Water becomes hard when it absorbs calcium and magnesium minerals as it passes through rocks. Mineral absorption is a natural process and is very common across the United States.

Hard water is not bad for your health. In fact, it may even have some health benefits due to its high mineral content.

Water hardness is expressed in ‘grains per gallon’ or ‘milligrams per liter’. Hard water contains 7.0-10.5 grains per gallon.


CHECK OUT

• THE BEST ALKALINE WATER MACHINE 2024 – click here
• HOW TO USE A PH TEST STRIP – click here
• IONIZED WATER vs. DEIONIZED WATER – click here
• WATER SOFTENER vs. WATER FILTER – click here
• BEST RO UNDER SINK WATER FILTERS – click here
• DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALKALINE WATER & FILTERED WATER – click here


SIGNS OF WATER HARDNESS

While hard water is not bad for your health it can lead to several problems throughout the house. The mineral high water can damage home appliances, clog your plumbing, and leave unwanted residues.

a drop of water falling into a pool of water

When hard water is heated it creates a white-colored deposit called limescale. You may notice limescale build-up in your kettle or dishwasher if you have a hard water supply.

Hard water also causes problems with your laundry. The minerals in the water interact with the detergent and stop it from working effectively. It can leave clothes feeling stiff and weaken fabrics – meaning clothes get worn out more quickly.


HARD WATER SOLUTIONS

So, now that we know what hard water is and the damage it can cause we need to look at how to resolve the problem. How do you fix hard water?

a glass of water

For most people removing water hardness is not a priority. It does not damage our health and the minerals it contains may actually help us. And, it tastes better than soft water.

There are several hard water treatments you can use at home. The most effective option is to use an ion exchange water softener.

ION EXCHANGE WATER SOFTENER

This device uses a mechanical process where the hard water is fed through a collection of tiny plastic resin beads.

As the hard water flows through the beads an electric charge is used to attract the calcium and magnesium ions and then lock them in place. This way they are removed from the water.

The downside of using an ion exchange softener is that it adds sodium to your supply. As the hardness ions are trapped inside the device, sodium is released and added to the water.


WATER HARDNESS BY AREA AND ZIP CODE USA

If you are interested in reviewing your water hardness by location – the good people over at flixwater have created an online tool that allows you to do just that. Check it out – over here.

water pouring from a bottle

Interestingly, over 30% of cities in the US have a very hard water supply. while just 4% benefit from soft water. The city with the hardest water supply is Bullhead City on the banks of the Colorado River in Arizona.


frequently asked questions

How To Test Water Hardness At Home FAQ

How Can You Tell If Your Water Is Hard or Soft?

The easiest way to tell if your water is hard or soft is to perform the ‘soap and bottle’ test. Just put some water in a transparent bottle, add some hand soap and give it a good shake.

If very little or no suds form and the water looks a little cloudy – you’ve got hard water. If you’ve got lots of suds and clear water – you have soft water.

What Is A Good Number For Water Hardness?

Water hardness can be measured in several different ways – grains/gallon, milligrams/liter, or parts per million. See the figures below for details on water hardness based on these values.

water hardness defined by measurement numbers

What Is The Unit of Water Hardness?

Water hardness can be measured in grains/gallon, milligrams/liter, or parts per million. In the US the unit used is grains/gallon (grains/gal), while in Europe milligrams/liter (mg/l) is the preferred unit of measurement.

What Is The Main Cause Of Hard Water?

Water hardness occurs naturally as water passes through rock formations in the earth. It collects calcium and magnesium mineral deposits as it comes into contact with rocks. And, it is the presence of these dissolved minerals in the water that causes hardness.

At What Hardness Do You Need To Use A Water Softener?

Most people do not treat water to remove hardness. Water hardness is not detrimental to your health. In fact, the presence of high levels of minerals might be good for you.

If you feel hard water is causing you problems you can choose to treat it at any stage. The most common way to treat a home water supply is to use an ion exchange water softener device.

How Do I Know If I’m In A Hard Water Area?

If you live in the United States you can check online to see if you live in a hard water area. There are several free tools you can use to check the city you live in or use your zip code. A quick google search will take you to one of these sites.


CHECK OUT:

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• ALKALINE WATER GOOD FOR COFFEE?click here
• THE HEAVY METALS IN YOUR DRINKING WATERclick here
PROS & CONS OF REVERSE OSMOSIS WATERclick here
• MINERALS IN TAP WATERclick here


 

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