ARE THERE MINERALS 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.


WHAT MINERALS ARE 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 an important mineral 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

woman drinking alkaline 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.

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 can be 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 often 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. Minerals present at the right concentrations contribute to your overall health and well-being.


HOW DO MINERALS GET INTO WATER?

lady in gym drinking alkaline 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.

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?

water pouring from a bottle

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.

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 before it reaches 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.


READ NEXT

HEAVY METALS IN DRINKING WATER

ALKALINE WATER vs FILTERED WATER

HOW TO TEST THE PH OF YOUR WATER

WHAT IS TDS IN WATER


DOES FILTERED WATER HAVE MINERALS?

reverse osmosis filtered water in a glass

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.

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.


RELATED

IONIZED vs DE-IONIZED WATER – click here

BEST ALKALINE WATER MACHINE – click here

HOW TO TEST WATER HARDNESS – click here

WATER SOFTENER vs WATER FILTER – click here

COFFEE & ALKALINE WATER – click here

PROS & CONS OF REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER – click here

 

company logo banner

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

HOW TO USE PH TEST STRIP

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.


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.

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

ph test kit

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.

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 need 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 TEST YOUR DRINKING WATER WITH A PH TEST STRIP

glass of ionized alkaline water

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.

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.


HOW TO READ PH TEST STRIPS

using ph test strip colors

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.

Just allow 15 seconds for the color change to take effect and then compare it against the color chart provided. 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.


CHECK OUT:

BEST ALKALINE WATER MACHINE


PH TEST STRIP COLOR CHART

deionized water

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.

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 used to test a 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.

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.


CHECK OUT


 

 

 

company logo banner

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

lasy drinking a glass of water

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.

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?

tds 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.

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 reading above 2,000 should be 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?

woman testing water in a lab

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.

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

TEST WATER HARDNESS AT HOME – click here

HEAVY METALS IN DRINKING WATER – click here

COFFEE & ALKALINE WATER – click here

HOW TO USE PH TEST STRIPS – click here

MINERALS IN TAP WATER – click here

WHAT IS ALKALINE WATER? – click here


WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS IN WATER?

water testing in lab

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

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

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, automobiles, and mining 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 2022.

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.


READ NEXT

BEST ALKALINE WATER MACHINE 2022 – click here

PROS & CONS OF ALKALINE WATER – click here

HOW TO MAKE ALKALINE WATER – click here

PROS & CONS ALKALINE WATER PITCHER – click here

PROS & CONS OF REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER – click here

 

 

company logo banner

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALKALINE WATER AND FILTERED WATER?

lasy drinking a glass of water

What’s the difference between alkaline water and filtered water? Alkaline water has an elevated pH value of between 7-14. Filtered water is water that has been passed through a water filtration device to remove contaminants. They are two different types of water.


WHICH IS BETTER ALKALINE WATER OR FILTERED WATER?

water ionization

Which type of water is better – alkaline water or filtered water? Alkaline water and filtered water are two completely different types of water.

Alkaline water has an elevated pH. This means it is the opposite of acidic water. Alkaline water is better if you want to increase the pH of your water and neutralize excess acidity levels.

Filtered water has been treated to remove contaminants and toxins. It is a way of cleaning water. It purifies water by passing it through a water filter and removing particles and chemicals.

If your drinking water is contaminated and needs to be purified – filtered water is better. By filtering contaminated water you can make it safe to drink.


WHAT IS ALKALINE WATER?

glass of reverse osmosis filtered water in the forest

Alkaline water is any water that has a pH above 7. The pH scale is used to measure how acidic or alkaline a substance is. It runs from 0-14. 

Anything below 7 is acidic, anything above 7 is alkaline, and 7 is neutral. The higher the value the more alkaline a substance is. Similarly, the lower the value, the more acidic a substance is.

Alkaline water has recently seen a surge in popularity. People claim that drinking alkaline water neutralizes excess acidity in the body and boosts health. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.  For more information on alkaline water – see here.


HOW TO MAKE ALKALINE WATER

woman drinking alkaline water

How is alkaline water made? The best way to make alkaline water is to use an alkaline water ionizer machine. These home appliances use your regular tap water supply and convert it to alkaline water.

Other methods for making alkaline water at home include using pH drops, baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, coconut, and cucumber. For more information on how to make alkaline water at home – click here


ADVANTAGES OF ALKALINE WATER

What are the advantages of alkaline water? Proponents of alkaline water say that drinking it comes with a whole range of health benefits. But, none of these claims are backed up by scientific evidence.

The potential benefits of alkaline water are better skin health, system detoxification, easing acid reflux, and reducing blood pressure. Although, medical professionals point out that there is no evidence to back up these claims.


CHECK OUT

• BEST ALKALINE WATER MACHINE – click here


WHAT IS FILTERED WATER?

reverse osmosis filtered water in a glass

Filtered water is water that has been treated by passing it through a water filtration device to remove contaminants. 

Bottled mineral water and most tap water supplies are filtered to remove harmful contaminants to make the water safe to drink and taste better. 

To find out if you’re home water supply has been filtered and is safe to drink you should contact your local water provider.


TYPES OF FILTERED WATER

lady drinking ionized water

When discussing – what’s the difference between alkaline water and filtered water – we need to take a look at the different types of filtered water.  There are many types of water filtration technologies but the aim of every one of them is the same – to remove contaminants from the water.

Water filtration is used to make water taste better, look better, and safe to drink. Without water filtration, we would all be drinking dirty water. 

The four main types of water filters used in the domestic setting are activated carbon filter, ion exchange, reverse osmosis, and distillation.

Activated Carbon Filter

This is the most common type of water filter. It is regularly used in domestic water filtration devices. It uses an ‘activated-carbon’ medium to bind contaminants as the water passes through the filter. 

The contaminants are trapped inside the carbon medium while the water is free to pass through. Carbon filters are effective in removing the taste of chlorine, other chemicals, and a wide range of contaminants in your drinking water.

Ion Exchange

An ion-exchange water filter removes contaminants from water in the form of undesirable dissolved ions by replacing them with harmless ions of the same electrical charge from using an ion-exchange resin.

An ion exchange filter is inexpensive and effective for the removal of dissolved inorganics contaminants such as arsenic, fluoride, nitrates, uranium, and sulfates. They are also regenerable for continuous usage.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is an incredibly effective way of filtering water. The process removes up to 99% of all water contaminants to produce high-quality clean water.

Reverse osmosis filtration passes water through a semi-permeable membrane with a pore size so small – it allows water molecules to pass but blocks microscopic contaminants.

The pore size of a reverse osmosis filter membrane can be as small as 0.0001 microns. They are used to greatly reduce the presence of harmful metals, lead, mercury, and microbes.

Distillation

A distillation filtration system boils source water into steam before condensing it back into water. As water is transformed to steam it leaves behind its contaminants.

It then travels through the distillation apparatus in its gaseous form before being cooled to condense back into water. The filtered cooled water is then collected in a reservoir.


READ NEXT

COFFEE & ALKALINE WATER – click here

HOW TO TEST WATER HARDNESS AT HOME – click here

WHAT IS TDS IN WATER? – click here

HOW TO USE A PH TEST STRIP – click here


CONTAMINANTS IN DRINKING WATER

woman testing water in a lab

What are the most common contaminants found in drinking water? According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency there are five types of contaminants in our drinking water: physical, chemical, biological, and radiological.

Physical – sediment suspended in the water of rivers, lakes, and streams. Often caused by soil erosion.

Chemical – nitrogen, bleach, pesticides, metals, and toxins produced by bacteria, human or animal drugs.

Biological – organisms such as microbes and viruses. Often referred to as microbiological contaminants they include bacteria, viruses, parasites, and protozoa.

Radiological – radiological contaminants are hazardous unstable atoms that emit ionizing radiation. Cesium, uranium, and plutonium are examples of radiological contaminants. You definitely don’t want these in your drinking water.


frequently asked questions

IS ALKALINE WATER BETTER THAN FILTERED WATER?

Alkaline water and filtered water are two completely different types of water. Alkaline water is better if you want high pH water with higher than normal alkalinity.

Filtered water is better if you want clean, purified water.  It has been passed through a water filtration system to remove contaminants. Water filtration purifies water to remove harmful substances and make it safe for drinking.

IS ALKALINE WATER JUST FILTERED WATER?

No, alkaline water is not just filtered water. Alkaline water is a special type of water that has an increased level of alkalinity. It is the opposite of acidic water.

Alkaline water has a pH above 7. Some people drink it for its potential health benefits – but there is no evidence to back up these health claims.


RELATED

HEAVY METALS IN DRINKING WATER – click here

WATER SOFTENER vs WATER FILTER – click here

ARE THERE MINERALS IN WATER? – click here

PROS & CONS OF REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER – click here


company logo banner

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

WHAT HEAVY METALS ARE IN DRINKING 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.

It 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 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 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 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 rocks, soil, 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.


CHECK OUT

BEST ALKALINE WATER MACHINE 2022


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

CHECK OUT:
Best Water Ionizing Filters

Best Alkaline Water Pitchers

Countertop Reverse Osmosis Filters

Test Water Using a PH Test Strip

What Is Total Dissolved Solids in Water?

Are There Minerals in Water?

Difference Alkaline Water vs Filtered Water


 

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

CHECK OUT:

Pros & Cons of Alkaline Water
How To Test Water Hardness
Is Alkaline Water Good For Coffee?
Pros & Cons of Reverse Osmosis Water


 

company logo banner

 

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?

water pouring into a pool of water

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.

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?

coffee cup on a table

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.

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 the taste buds.  Discover more about the Benefits of Alkaline Waterover here.


WHAT ACIDS ARE IN COFFEE?

glass of alkaline water in the forest

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.

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

This is the most prominent acid 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 adds 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.


READ NEXT

Top Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Water Filters

Counter Top Reverse Osmosis Filters

How To Use a pH Test Strip

What Is TDS In Water?

Difference Between Alkaline & Filtered Water


frequently asked questions

COFFEE & ALKALINE WATER FAQ

Does Alkaline Water Make Coffee Taste Better?

Yes, using alkaline water to brew your coffee makes it 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.


RELATED

CHECK OUT

How To Test Water Hardness

Ionized Water vs Deionized Water

Water Softener vs. Water Filter?

Pros & Cons of Reverse Osmosis Water

Are There Minerals in Tap Water?

Pros & Cons of an Alkaline Water Pitcher


 

company logo banner

 

WATER SOFTENER vs. WATER FILTER – WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

ionized water in a glass

What’s the difference between a water filter and a water softener?  A water softener and a water filter are two very different devices.

A water softener reduces the hardness of water by removing dissolved calcium and magnesium. While a water filter purifies water by removing contaminants such as microbes and heavy metals.


IS A WATER SOFTENER THE SAME AS A WATER FILTER?

lady drinking ionized water

No, a water softener and water filter are two different devices that perform two different roles. A water softener is used to soften hard water – and a water filter is used to purify water by removing contaminants.

So, what’s the Difference Between a Water Softener & a Water Filter?


WHAT IS A WATER SOFTENER?

water ionization

A water softener is a device that reduces the hardness of water. Water hardness is caused by the presence of dissolved calcium and magnesium in your water source.

A water softener removes these dissolved minerals as the water passes through it and ‘softens’ the hard water.

Water becomes hard naturally as it passes through the earth and comes into contact with rocks. As it brushes against the rocks it absorbs calcium and magnesium. It is the accumulation of these materials that makes water hard.

Hard water has no negative impact on your health. Drinking it is not bad for you. In fact, it may be healthier than soft water due to its high mineral content.

However, it causes difficulty around the house – negatively affecting plumbing, kitchen appliances, and even laundry.

This is why some people choose to use a water softener to reduce the hardness of their water source.


HOW DOES A WATER SOFTENER WORK?

A water softener uses a mechanical process called ‘ion exchange’ to soften hard water. Hard water is funneled through an ion exchange chamber and emerges the other end as softened water.

So, what exactly is an ‘ion exchange’ and how does it work?

An ion exchange is simply a chamber that has been tightly packed with specially designed resin beads that hold an electrical charge.

When hard water flows through the chamber it brushes up against these beads making physical contact. The electrical charge of the beads attracts dissolved calcium and magnesium towards them and then locks them in place.

The water then emerges from the softener with a reduced level of calcium and magnesium. By reducing the level of calcium and magnesium minerals the water is softened.

The process uses sodium to create the electrical charge and remove the dissolved minerals. So, the downside to using a water softener is increased levels of sodium in your water.


WHAT IS A WATER FILTER?

glass of ionized water sitting on a rock

A water filter is a device that improves the purity of water by removing contaminants such as particles, microbes, heavy metals, pesticides, and other chemicals.

Water filters are used to provide clean water for many uses, including – agriculture, commercial industry, and public drinking water.

They can use any combination of four methods to remove contaminants from a water source – sieving, adsorption, ion exchanges, and biofilms.

In the home setting, there are four main types of filters to choose from – mechanical filters, absorption filters, reverse osmosis filters, and sequestration filters.

The most popular type is an absorption filter called an activated carbon filter. Activated carbon filters are great for removing chemical pollutants, particulates, and microbes.

The best water ionizing machines and alkaline water pitchers come with an activated carbon filter installed.  Check out the best ionized water filters of 2022 – click here.


HOW DOES A WATER FILTER WORK?

young family enjoying fresh filtered water

Each of the five domestic water filter types work in a different way.

MECHANICAL FILTERS

Mechanical water filters are the simplest of all. They use a physical barrier to remove sediment and suspended particles. They take the form of a mesh or a ceramic structure that physically blocks objects as the water passes through.

ABSORPTION FILTERS

Absorption filters work differently. They usually use activated carbon – a substance that has an enormous surface area. As water passes through the absorption filter it moves through a maze of contact areas.

Contaminants bind to the carbon and are held in place as the water moves through. Most domestic absorption water filters use granular activated carbon, ‘GAC’. It is an excellent filter choice for removing unwanted tastes and odors.

REVERSE OSMOSIS FILTERS

Reverse osmosis filters are used to remove dissolved inorganic solids from a water source. It uses a semipermeable membrane to remove contaminants.

Reverse osmosis is a highly efficient method of filtering water and achieves great results. It is often used in combination with other filter types to achieve the highest level of water purity.

SEQUESTRATION FILTERS

These filters work by chemically isolating a substance. They are not as popular as absorption filters and rarely seen in domestic appliances. They use polyphosphate to sequester calcium and magnesium minerals to reduce limescale and corrosion.

However, they do not reduce the ‘hardness of the water. To reduce water hardness a water softening device should be used.


CHECK OUT:

• BEST ALKALINE WATER MACHINE 2022More Here
• WHAT IS ALKALINE WATERMore Here
• HOW TO TEST WATER HARDNESSMore Here
• IONIZED WATER vs. DEIONIZED WATERMore Here
• WHAT IS TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS?More Here
• COFFEE & ALKALINE WATERMore Here
HOW TO USE A PH TEST STRIPMore Here
• ALKALINE WATER & FILTERED WATERMore Here


frequently asked questions

Which Is Better – A Water Softener Or A Water Filter?

It depends on what you are trying to do. If you have hard water and want to soften it – use a water softener. If you are concerned about the purity of your water source and want to purify it to remove contaminants – use a water filter.

Does a Water Softener Filter Water?

No, a water softener does not filter water. It is used to soften water, that is – to reduce the hardness of water. To achieve this it removes dissolved calcium and magnesium but it does not filter out harmful contaminants such as microbes, chemicals, or suspended particles.

Does A Water Filter Soften Hard Water?

No, a water filter does not soften hard water. A water filter cleanses water by removing harmful pollutants such as microbes, chemicals, and suspended particles. Water filters are used to create clean safe water for industry, agriculture, and public use.

CHECK OUT:

• HEAVY METALS IN YOUR DRINKING WATERmore here

• TOP UNDER SINK RO WATER FILTERSmore here

• COUNTERTOP REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER FILTERSmore here

• ARE THERE MINERALS IN WATER?more here

BENEFITS & DISADVANTAGES OF REVERSE OSMOSIS WATERmore here

 

 

company logo banner

 

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

water in a glass with ice

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.

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

woman testing water in a lab

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.

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?

glass of alkaline water sitting on a table

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.

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. It 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 2022 – 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

a drop of water falling into a pool of water

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.

When hard water is heated it forms 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

a glass of water

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

water pouring from a bottle

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.

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 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 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:

 BEST WATER IONIZING FILTERSclick here
• 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


 

company logo banner

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IONIZED WATER AND DEIONIZED WATER?

water pouring from a bottle

Ionized water has been through an electrochemical process to create alkaline and acidic water. Deionized water is a type of purified water that has had impurities called ions removed. They are two completely different types of water.

Don’t confuse ionized water with deionized water. They are two very different types of water. Ionized water is used to create alkaline and acidic water. While ionized water is a type of purified water that has had electrically charged molecules called ions removed.


WHAT IS IONIZED WATER?

glass of ionized water sitting on a rock

Ionized water is used to create alkaline water and acidic water. It uses a process called water ionization to turn regular water into ionized water.

It is a process used to create alkaline water and acidic water. These are collected separately and used for a range of popular household applications.

ALKALINE & ACIDIC WATER

Alkaline water has a high pH, falling between 7 and 14 on the pH scale. Alkaline water is popular for its potential health benefits which include better skin health, detoxification, and treating acid reflux.

Acidic water has a low pH, falling between 0 and 7 on the pH scale. It is used for household cleaning, sterilization, and skincare.


WHAT IS DEIONIZED WATER?

deionized water

Deionized water is a popular form of purified water. It involves removing impurities in the water called ions. The process is called water deionization.

For processes requiring purified water, these ions are regarded as impurities and need to be removed from the water. This is where ion removal or deionized water comes into play.

Ions are small particles that have an electrical charge. There are two types of ions in water, positive ions and negative ions. Positive ions are called ‘cations’ and negative ions are called ‘anions’.


WHAT IS IONIZED WATER USED FOR?

flow of water

Ionized water can be split into two groups – ionized alkaline water and ionized acidic water. Each of these has a distinct range of applications.

Applications of Alkaline Water

  • Drinking-Water
  • Potential Health Benefits
  • Cooking Vegetables
  • Making Tea & Coffee
  • Dyeing Fabrics

Applications of Acidic Water

  • Household Cleaning
  • Watering Plants
  • Disinfecting Utensils
  • Washing Dishes
  • Skin Care

WHAT IS DEIONIZED WATER USED FOR?

water pouring into a pool of water

Deionized water is a popular form of purified water used in many commercial and household applications. It is used in settings that require a relatively cheap and readily available form of purified water.  See below for a list of its most common applications.

Automotive
Deionized water contains no salts making it a great choice for automotive applications. Salts can damage engines, so deionized water is used in windscreen wash, radiator fluids, and anti-freeze formulas.

Aquariums
It’s clean, fish-friendly, and a great water for aquariums and marine tanks.

Beauty Products
It’s the go-to water base used in the production of shampoos, moisturizers, and skin cleansers.

Hospitals
Deionized water is a popular choice for cleaning jobs in hospital settings where water purity is vital.

Industry
Frequently used in industrial settings as a water rinse due to its high purity and very low salt levels. Salt corrodes and damages metallic equipment and fittings.

Laboratories
Many laboratory procedures require the use of deionized water in bench work and for cleaning utensils.


HOW IS IONIZED WATER MADE?

lasy drinking a glass of alkaline water

The easiest way to make ionized water is using a water ionizer. This a machine that takes regular tap water and converts it to ionized water.

The device used an electrochemical process to ionize the water and convert it into alkaline and acidic water. All you need to do is add water to the machine and let it get to work.

Using high conductivity electroplates it separates water into hydrogen and oxygen molecules. If there are a greater number of H+ ions than OH- ions the water is acidic.

If the number of OH- is greater than the number of H+ then the water is alkaline.  Check out the Best Alkaline Water Ionizers  – see here.


HOW IS DEIONIZED WATER MADE?

ionized water in a glass

Deionized water is made using an ion exchange resin. These resins contain tiny beads that have electrical charges that are used to attract and remove the ion impurities contained in water.

The positively charged beads are used to attract and remove the negative ions in the water. And, the negatively charged beads remove the positive ions in the water.

As the water passes through the filter resin both types of ion are held in place and the water is purified.

Ion exchange filters have a limited lifespan and lose charge as they purify water. They need to be replaced and regenerated when they reach the end of their life cycle.


WHAT ION IMPURITIES ARE REMOVED?

woman testing water in a lab

Regular water is full of ions that it picks up as it moves through rocks and passes through pipes. It collects these minerals naturally as it brushes up against them. Deionization removes these minerals using their positive (cation) or negative (anion) molecular charge.

Cation Impurities Removed

  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • Hydrogen
  • Sodium

Anion Impurities Removed

  • Sulfates
  • Nitrates
  • Chlorides
  • Carbonates
  • Hydroxyl
  • Silica

THE BOTTOM LINE – THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IONIZED WATER AND DEIONIZED WATER?

lady making a hand gesture and smiling

Don’t confuse ionized and deionized water. One is used to create alkaline and acidic water while the other is a form of purified water.

Ionized alkaline water is a popular form of drinking water. While deionized water is used in many settings as a safe and cheap form of purified water with a very low salt content.


RELATED:

The Best Ionizing Water Filters 2022over here
Top Reverse Osmosis Under Sink Water Filtersover here
Pros & Cons of Reverse Osmosis Waterover here
What Minerals Are in Water?over here


 

company logo banner

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR