Alkalinity is used to stabilize pH and reduce pH fluctuations. It increases the effectiveness of chlorine and can also be used in chlorine-free treatments.
Due to the use of water heating and disinfectants, alkalinity in water may decrease, leading to pH fluctuations. The recommended alkalinity of pool water is 80 - 175 g/m3 CaCO3.
It represents a collection of basic substances dissolved in water that prevent sudden pH changes. The optimal value of total alkalinity ranges from 80 to 120 mg/l. It affects the effectiveness of disinfection, pH adjustment, formation of precipitates from water, and corrosion of metal components.
If the total alkalinity (CA) is too high, the pH tends to be high and exhibits high stability - it has high buffering capacity. If CA is too low, pH is not stable and experiences frequent fluctuations.
But the most interesting is the bicarbonate anion, which can either donate a hydrogen ion (acting as an acid) or accept a hydrogen ion (acting as a base). The bicarbonate anion can neutralize both acid and base inputs, resulting in no change in pH.
Therefore, high total alkalinity is caused by a high content of bicarbonate anions. Water with high CA has a high neutralization capacity and it is very difficult to change its pH. First, it is necessary to consume and neutralize the bicarbonate anions present in the water, and then the pH starts to change. Water with high CA generally has high pH, which is difficult to adjust. In such cases, the consumption of acid and disinfectant increases because, as mentioned before, the effectiveness of chlorine significantly decreases at higher pH.
Low total alkalinity means that there are few bicarbonate ions in the water. In such cases, even a very small dose of the corresponding preparation is sufficient to dramatically reduce or increase the pH. In our conditions, the optimal value of total alkalinity ranges from 80 to 120 mg/l as CaCO3 (calcium carbonate).
Testers are available to measure total alkalinity, but more accurate measurement can be done using advanced photometers.
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