How Does Acid Rain Affect My Water Supply
Abundant rainfall can be great for your flowerbeds and vegetable garden by saving you time and money on watering. But did you know that rainwater is sometimes acidic? Your hydrangeas may flourish in these conditions but what about your well? The water inside your well is affected by many outside factors, including the rainwater that soaks into the ground. If the well is gathering acidic water, then you should start looking for signs that these conditions may be strong enough to eat away at your home.
Where Does Acidic Rain Come From?
Acid rain forms when the moisture in clouds condenses to form water droplets that come into contact with pollutants in the air, like sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxide. Although sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide occur naturally, burning fossil fuels adds more of these chemicals to the air. When these pollutants are released, they mix and react with water, oxygen, and other chemicals to form acid rain. Acid rain then falls to the Earth and seeps into the groundwater that feeds homes with a well.
Because there are many factors that come into play both naturally and by man-made sources, the acidic level of rain can vary geographically.
How to Measure Acidity
The acidity level of water is measured by the pH scale. Pure water has a pH of 7, which is neutral. However, natural rainwater actually has a pH of 5.6 because it gets exposed to the gases in the atmosphere, making it a bit acidic. True acid rain will have a pH level measuring from 5.0-5.5 and can even get down around 4 in the northeast region of the U.S.
After the rain falls, it continues down into the groundwater. If you live in an area where limestone is abundant, the rainwater can be neutralized naturally. As the acidic water flows through the limestone it will dissolve magnesium and calcium, making it less acidic. If you’re in an area that contains granite, sand, or some other mineral it will not affect the pH level at all and you will have acidic water traveling through your plumbing and appliances.
Effect of Acidic Water on Your Home
Acidic groundwater that enters your well water is considered to be corrosive and will eat away at your plumbing, fixtures, and appliances. It can be a direct problem in your home, causing your water to taste sour or bitter, and stain laundry and sinks with a blue/green tint. These colors being left behind are actually from the metal being stripped away from your pipes and faucets oxidizing in the air after the water dries. Over time, this accelerated erosion of your plumbing will make the walls of your pipes weak, or even cause holes that leak water throughout your home. A simple water test performed by a water treatment expert can help you determine if your water is acidic and causing damage to your home.
How to Correct pH levels
To increase the pH of acidic water and protect your plumbing, you can neutralize it by adding the correct minerals that it is looking for, just like the rain that passes through limestone before reaching the groundwater supply. This can be done using our CareClear Pro Acid Neutralizer whole home filter. The Acid Neutralizer uses calcite, a naturally occurring calcium carbonate media, that dissolves in the acidic water to raise the pH level. Because this media sacrifices itself to adjust the water’s pH level, it will be essential for your system to get replenished on a regular basis to make sure there is always enough calcite inside to treat the water. Finding the appropriate level of correction needed for your water can be tricky, so it is important to talk to your local water treatment expert to have the equipment properly customized for your exact water’s needs. They will also be able to let you know how frequently new media will need to be added and can set up a maintenance schedule to help remind you.
The CareClear Pro Acid Neutralizer is environmentally safe, and doesn’t use chemicals to correct your water. The advanced technology monitors and self-adjusts its regeneration cycles based on your household water consumption trends, increasing the overall efficiency of the system. This simple solution can prevent some of the biggest household nightmares of burst pipes and flooded basements. Call your local authorized WaterCare dealer today to learn more.