The Right pH Levels of Drinking Water- Explained!

Last Updated on 13 February, 2024 by Sourav Roy

Various levels of pH in water are going to have a different effect on your body. Sometimes water with a certain pH level may taste odd, while other times that water might end up making you sick. So, here we will talk about which pH levels are safe for drinking water. Besides, we’ll also talk in-depth about the ways pH levels of drinking water can affect your health.

The Right pH Levels of Drinking Water


What pH is and its relation with water

What pH is and its relation with water

pH, in general, is an indicator that shows the acidity and alkalinity of water. Solutions that have a pH value lower than 7 are considered acidic, while the ones with a pH value higher than 7 are alkaline. Pure water has a pH level of exactly 7, which is why it’s the most neutral of all liquids.

Here’s some clarification with real-life examples: most of the things you drink regularly are acidic in nature. For instance, the cold drinks you drink regularly have a pH value around 2.5. That means that they are extremely acidic. Likewise, apple juice has a pH value of 3. Orange juice has 3.5, milk has 6.2 and so on. All these liquids are acidic as well.

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Changes in the taste of water caused by pH levels

Firstly, it’s essential to know that drinking outside a certain pH range can harm your health. The BIS says that water being in the pH range of 6.5 to 8.5 is acceptable for drinking.

Let’s talk about what happens if you drink water outside of this range.


Acidic Water

Acidic Water

Water with a pH level under 7 is acidic. If you drink water with pH levels below 6.5, then it will taste bitter. Another thing about acidic water is that it has the property of corroding metals. So, if your water source is acidic, that means the water you get will come with metal impurities mixed in.

Hence, you have to raise the pH levels of this water by getting rid of all the metal impurities first. To do this, you can get a water purifier. Best RO water purifiers come equipped to deal with this particular situation.

Recommended Reading: Effects of Heavy Metals Contamination in Drinking Water


Alkaline Water

Alkaline Water

Water that has a pH level beyond 8.5 is alkaline. Water with a higher pH level is extremely hard water. If you drink this water, it’s not going to taste very pleasant. Even more, this alkaline water can also cause scaling on utensils and the heating coils of water heaters.

Municipalities generally use chlorine to neutralise the effects of alkaline water. The harder the water is, the more chlorine they use. As such, that may affect your health.

Instead, you can also use RO Water Purifiers or Iodine Exchange ones to neutralise the alkaline water. If you’re looking for another option, then the best alternative next to using water purifiers would be using water softeners. Using these is especially effective when the water doesn’t have high levels of TDS.


Does drinking rainwater affect health?

Does drinking rainwater affect health

It really depends on how and when the water gets drunk. For the most part, rainwater can be extremely acidic. That’s because the water accumulates Carbon Dioxide, Sulphates and Nitrates in the air as it comes down towards the ground.

The pH of the rainwater can be as much as 5.5, but it goes down more towards 4 and gets more acidic in areas that have more industrial and vehicular pollution. Still, you can use the rainwater after harvesting it and storing it in a storage tank.

The harvest process increases the pH value of the water and makes it more suitable for consumption. However, it’s best if you get the best water purifier you can find if you want to make sure the water is entirely safe.

Recommended Reading: Safe Drinking Water Guidelines in India


Is it possible to make water drinkable by changing the pH level?

Is it possible to make water drinkable by changing the pH level

Well, the pH level isn’t the only thing that makes the water suitable for drinking. After all, our stomachs can produce hydrochloric acid, which has a pH value of about 1 to 3.5. Hence, our body is still capable of digesting acidic substances. The concern is more about all the other substances the water brings with it.

Although, as far as the taste is concerned, altering the pH makes a significant change in the taste of the water. A good water purifier can help in acquiring water with around a pH value of 7. Especially the RO Water Purifiers, as they use TDS Controllers or Mineralisers to keep some of the more essential salts and minerals. AS a result, the purifier can raise the pH value of the water to be around somewhere between 7.5 and 8.5.

Recommended Reading: RO (Reverse Osmosis) Water Purifiers – Pros and Cons


Effects of Drinking Alkaline Water

Effects of Drinking Alkaline Water

Alkaline water, also known as hard water, doesn’t have any particularly adverse effects on our body. However, it can hamper the quality of life in general. The water doesn’t taste any good. To clarify, it’s what makes coffee taste bitter. Besides, the hard water can also leave deposits of salt on vessels and bathroom fittings. It also makes it hard to lather soaps and forms insoluble precipitates on clothes.

Recommended Reading: Arsenic Poisoning in Water – Sources, Effects & Prevention


Effects of drinking Acidic Water

Effects of drinking Acidic Water

Acidic water is more concerning, as it can not only corrode pipes and metals, but it can also have adverse effects on health. That’s because the acidic water contains heavy metal impurities that accumulate inside the body, causing harm to it. So, it’s a good idea to keep the consumption to a minimum, and not to drink soft drinks often.

Recommended Reading: Fluoride in Drinking Water – Sources, Effects & Prevention


Testing the pH levels of water

Testing the pH levels of water

If you get your water through a reliable water source, then generally you don’t need to go through your own tests. Most municipal water suppliers usually provide good enough water, with a normal pH value around 7.

However, if you notice that your pipes and faucets are starting to change colour, then you might need to take things into your own hands. Any discolouration on any of these places or in the water itself is a sign of corrosion caused by acidic water. Also, before you move onto testing, make sure you get the corroded pipe looked at by a plumber, and see if it needs a replacement.

Testing the pH of the drinking water at home is fairly easy and inexpensive. You just need to use a home test kit. There are several forms with different prices. For instance, there is a popular pH testing product which is referred to as a water quality tester pen. To use it, just dip the pen into a sample of the water you drink, and you’ll get an accurate reading of the pH level. If your water’s pH level falls somewhere near 7.5 to 8.5, then there isn’t much of a cause for concern.

If you’re not going to take a test, here’s an additional pH table to help you determine if you need to fix the pH or not.

Water TypepH level
Tap WaterDepends on the place but is usually around 7.5
Distilled RO Water5 to 7
Bottled Water from Grocery Stores6.5 to 7.5
Bottled Water with an Alkaline label8 to 9
Ocean WaterAbout 8
RainwaterDepends, usually 5 to 5.5



If you get unusual readings from your drinking water despite getting it from a local drinking water company, be sure to let them know of your findings. They might come over to check the pH themselves, and run further tests to check for contamination.

Either way, if you suspect issues with your water, be it from a supply company or raw source like a lake, you can install a water purifier to balance the pH levels of drinking water. Additionally, you get the benefit of your water being free from different other harmful substances.

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