In this article, we’ll take a look at pH buffering.
Maintaining clean and safe swimming pools requires controlling the pH levels through pH buffering. pH refers to the level of acidity or alkalinity of a solution and is measured on a scale of 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral, below 7 acidic, and above 7 alkaline.
Maintaining stable pH levels is challenging, as chemical reactions occurring in pool water can cause significant fluctuations. These fluctuations can affect water clarity, chlorine efficacy, swimmer comfort, and other aspects of pool water quality. pH buffering involves the use of total alkalinity, which stabilises pH and prevents significant changes.
Total alkalinity is a combination of three chemicals – bicarbonate, carbonate, and carbonic acid. Testing the levels of total alkalinity weekly is essential, with recommended levels between 80 and 200 ppm.
Low total alkalinity levels cause “pH bounce,” where pH levels fluctuate uncontrollably, making it challenging to control pH levels. To address pH bounce, we can use sodium bicarbonate is to increase total alkalinity levels. On the other hand, high total alkalinity levels cause “pH lock,” where pH levels become unresponsive to efforts to increase or decrease them. Diluting pool water with fresh water reduces total alkalinity levels, resolving pH lock.
To summarise, pH buffering is essential for maintaining the quality of pool water, ensuring that it remains safe and enjoyable for swimmers. Regular testing of total alkalinity levels and appropriate adjustments prevent fluctuations in pH levels, helping to maintain stable and suitable pH levels for swimming pools.