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Old 06-05-2020, 07:56 PM
 
301 posts, read 234,511 times
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Some informed advice appreciated. Austin water tastes fine,with 180ppm mineral content, but the pH is high. City of Austin says that at the sources (Lakes Travis and Austin) it is 8.1, but after treatment is about 9.4. That's pretty alkaline. My soil pH is 7.9, so it makes some sense that lake water is about that. But how and why does treatment make the water lots more alkaline? Inquiring minds want to know.

Last edited by Dwayne Lassiter; 06-05-2020 at 08:33 PM..
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Old 06-05-2020, 08:33 PM
 
301 posts, read 234,511 times
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OK, *maybe* I have the answer. The 180 ppm is actually the hardness of lake water. Once treated, it's a lot softer -- about 90 ppm. How do they soften it? I think they might add LIME. That would account for the alkalinity. That is, in order to make the water softer, they make it more alkaline. Is this correct?
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Old 06-08-2020, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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I always tell people here that no need to buy bottled alkaline water, just drink the tap, lol.
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Old 06-08-2020, 08:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwayne Lassiter View Post
OK, *maybe* I have the answer. The 180 ppm is actually the hardness of lake water. Once treated, it's a lot softer -- about 90 ppm. How do they soften it? I think they might add LIME. That would account for the alkalinity. That is, in order to make the water softer, they make it more alkaline. Is this correct?

Water softeners typically use salt or potassium chloride to soften hard water.

Salt (sodium chloride) is a bit cheaper than potassium chloride (KCl). Both are readily available at HEB, Lowe's etc.
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Old 06-08-2020, 11:22 AM
 
301 posts, read 234,511 times
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No, salt softens water only in ion-exchange systems. The city doesn't have a massive ion-exchange system. If you just add salt to water, you get ... salty water.

Adding lime to water is a common commercial technique for softening water. The way it works is *precisely* by making the water more alkaline. As the alkalinity increases, the carbonates precipitate out. I'm now convinced that this is what's going on.

Very true that to the extent Austin people think that alkaline water is healthy, just go to the tap. Of course, there are people who think that bottled water in general is healthier than tap water. I have to assume that creating large quantities of plastic waste is, in some sense, considered by them to be healthy. Bottled water is by far the most vastly overpriced substance on earth. A real rip-off. It is understood that a lot of bottled water just comes from the tap, anyway. But they add plastic! You know, vitamin Pl.
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Old 06-08-2020, 04:10 PM
 
554 posts, read 1,020,142 times
Reputation: 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwayne Lassiter View Post
No, salt softens water only in ion-exchange systems. The city doesn't have a massive ion-exchange system. If you just add salt to water, you get ... salty water.

Adding lime to water is a common commercial technique for softening water. The way it works is *precisely* by making the water more alkaline. As the alkalinity increases, the carbonates precipitate out. I'm now convinced that this is what's going on.

Very true that to the extent Austin people think that alkaline water is healthy, just go to the tap. Of course, there are people who think that bottled water in general is healthier than tap water. I have to assume that creating large quantities of plastic waste is, in some sense, considered by them to be healthy. Bottled water is by far the most vastly overpriced substance on earth. A real rip-off. It is understood that a lot of bottled water just comes from the tap, anyway. But they add plastic! You know, vitamin Pl.

That may be true; I was only speaking to common practices among Austin households that use water softeners, which is what I thought you were asking about.

I'm not a scientist, so I'll bow out now.
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