Starting in early June 2021, Metro Vancouver Regional District will be increasing the pH and alkalinity of the region’s drinking water supply.
This increase is being made to reduce the release of copper from pipes caused by low PH in the region’s water, which would help reduce leaks in pipes caused by copper corrosion.
Furthermore, it will help preserve the lifespan of pipes and hot water tanks, and reduce green stains on tubs, sinks, and grout.
Through the use of “natural materials,” the alkalinity of Metro Vancouver’s water will be doubled to about 20 mg/L, expressed as calcium carbonate. The region’s water pH will increase from the existing target of 7.7 to a new target range of 8.3 to 8.5.
Health Canada’s guidelines for safe drinking water quality stipulates a pH range from 7.0 to 10.5.
During the water treatment process, the regional district already adjusts the pH as the untreated source water is naturally slightly acidic.
“Alkalinity is a measure of the buffering capacity of the water to neutralize acids and bases to help maintain a stable pH level,” reads a bulletin.
“These changes might prompt some water users such as health care facilities and breweries to adjust and calibrate their operations to the change in pH and alkalinity.”
The regional district emphasizes the taste and smell of the water will remain the same, and the quality will remain high. However, healthcare facilities, breweries, bakeries, swimming pool operators, and aquarium owners are advised to adjust and calibrate their operations to account for the change in pH and alkalinity.