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What Is pH, And How Is It Measured?

Source: Hach Company

By Frederick J. Kohlmann

Almost all processes containing water have a need for pH measurement. Most living things depend on a proper pH level to sustain life. All human beings and animals rely on internal mechanisms to maintain the pH level of their blood. The blood flowing through our veins must have a pH between 7.35 and 7.45. Exceeding this range by as little as one-tenth of a pH unit could prove fatal.

The pH of wastewater leaving manufacturing plants and wastewater purification plants, as well as potable water from municipal drinking water plants, must be within a specific pH "window" as set forth by local, state, or federal regulatory agencies. This value is typically between 5 and 9 pH, but can vary from area to area.

Whether adjusting the pH for a proper reaction or making sure wastewater is at the proper pH value before sending it to the community sewer system, accurate pH measurement is required. Put simply, pH is an integral part of our everyday life.