The city of Olympia sent notices to residents this week letting them know the pH of the city’s drinking water will soon increase to between 7.0 to 7.6, up from 6.5 to 6.8.
Why should you care?
PH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution on a scale of 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral, and acidic being 0. Water that is too acidic can cause corrosion in plumbing that can release lead and copper into the water, said Cheri Reimers, the city’s water quality specialist.
This month the city started using aeration towers to reduce the acidity of water from the McAllister Wellfield in the Nisqually Valley, which is where most of the city’s water comes from, according to Reimers. Previously the city did not adjust the pH in the water collected there.
But once the city’s water system started reaching 50,000 people, the state’s Department of Health said it had to start adjusting the pH to get to 7 or higher, out of the acidic range.
Reimers said most people won’t notice the slight change in pH. However, customers with fish tanks, home brewing systems and those with medical conditions whose treatment requires water with a certain pH should be aware of the change.