Oasis Pool Care

Water Alkalinity

Total Alkalinity: A close cousin of pH, the level of alkalinity in the water is a measurement of all the carbonates, bicarbonates, hydroxides and other alkaline substances found in the pool water. pH is alkaline dependent; that is, alkalinity is defined as the ability of the water to resist changes in pH. Also known as the buffering capacity of the water, alkalinity keeps the pH from "bouncing" all over the place. 

Low alkalinity is raised by the addition of a base (just like pH); sodium bicarbonate is commonly used. High levels of alkalinity are lowered by the addition of an acid (again, just like pH). Experts recommend "pooling" the acid in a small area of low current for a greater effect on alkalinity. That is, adding an acid will lower both pH and alkalinity. Walking the acid around the pool, in a highly distributed manner is said to have a greater effect lowering the pH than the alkalinity. Pooling the acid has the opposite effect. 

A very important component of water balance, alkalinity should be maintained in the 80-120 ppm range. Levels should be tested weekly.

Click on a chemical parameter to learn more: pH | Alkalinity | Calcium Hardness | Saturation Index

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