What Does Alkaline Mean?

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What Does Alkaline Mean?

This term is used to describe the water’s pH. When the pH is high, the water is said to be alkaline, when it’s low, it’s said to be acidic. So saying your water is alkaline is basically saying you have a high pH which, in truth, isn’t a terribly helpful thing to say (or read!) since you have no idea how alkaline something is without the pH to back it up. It’s also worth noting that you should be careful not to confuse this with alkalinity – the first referring to the pH, while the latter refers to the carbonate hardness.

As a quick refresher; pH is the measurement of ion ratios. It’s comprised of two ion groups – acidic and base. More acid than base means it’s acidic, an equal amount of acid and base is neutral, and a low number of acid to a high number of base is alkaline. The higher number of base ions free in the water, the higher the pH, the lower the number, the lower the pH. 

It’s also used to describe the ion ratio of other liquids (and solids) as well. Coffee, vinegar, baking soda, and lye, for example, can be called acidic or alkaline. When a substance has a pH around 7.0, it’s said to be neutral. 

Examples of Alkalinity

Lake Natron in Tanzania is so alkaline it’s capable of calcifying animals (shown in the image above.) Only one fish is known to live in this incredibly hostile environment, Alcolapia alcalica, AKA the Soda Cichlid. Who are amazing fish in their own evolution-defying way.

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