Water pH & Pollution

Water pH & Pollution
••• Foto Para Ti/iStock/GettyImages

One of the most devastating side effects of pollution is increased acidity in rain and groundwater. This affects animals and plants, and has long-term implications for our environment.

The pH Scale

The pH scale measures the acidity or alkalinity of a liquid, from 0 to 14—7 is neutral, anything below 7 is acidic and anything higher is alkaline.

Natural Water

Rain and groundwater tend to be naturally slightly acidic, usually no lower than 6 on the pH scale. Most plants and animals tolerate this level of acidity without any problems.

Pollution

Byproducts of air and water pollution are acidic. While natural alkaline substances in the soil can reduce their impact, the result of such pollution is often a much more acidic environment than normal.

Acid Rain

When low-pH water spreads via precipitation, it is called acid rain. As it soaks into the ground and collects in streams, it can drastically change the ecosystem.

Consequences

As pH drops, more fragile plants and animals may become sick and die. In addition, a pH change in a body of water can affect the microorganisms living within, with domino effects that can destroy the entire aquatic food chain.

Related Articles

The Effects of Soil Pollution on Plants & Flora
How Does Eutrophication Affect pH?
Factors That Affect the pH of Water in Wetlands
PH Level of Rain Water
Examples of Secondary Pollutants
Why Is Rain Naturally Acidic?
What Is the Effect of PH on Living Organisms?
The Effect of PH in River Water
What Variables Affect pH Levels?
The Effects of NaOH Concentration with H2O
The Effects on Cells Because of Changes in pH of Body...
How Does Sediment Affect Ecosystems?
What Color Would a Tester PH Paper Turn if Is Dipped...
Definition of Acidic Solution
How to Calculate the K Value on a Titration Graph
What Is pH of Sodium Carbonate in Water?
Negative Health Effects of Acid Rain on Humans
The Effects of Water Pollution on Plants & Animals
Alkaline Vs. Basic
How Does Water Pollution Affect Fish?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!