should be reduced when water temperatures are less than 45F.
The most important chemical characteristics of water are its acidity, alkalinity, hardness, and corrosiveness. Chemical impurities can be either natural, man-made (industrial), or be deployed in raw water sources by enemy forces.
Some chemical impurities cause water to behave as either an acid or a base. Since either condition has an important bearing on the water treatment process, the pH value must be determined. Generally the pH influences the corrosiveness of the water, chemical dosages necessary for proper disinfection, and the ability to detect contaminants.
Hardness is caused by the soluble salts of calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, sodium, sulfates, chlorides, and nitrates. The degree of hardness depends on the type and amount of impurities present in the water. Hardness also depends on the amount of carbon dioxide in solution. Carbon dioxide influences the volubility of the impurities that cause hardness.
Alkalinity is usually equivalent to the carbonate hardness. Sodium, however, also causes alkalinity. In natural waters, sodium is not normally present in appreciable amounts.
Therefore, in natural waters, the alkalinity is equal to the carbonate hardness. After water has been softened, a large amount of sodium remains in the treated water. In softened water, the total alkalinity is the sum of the carbonate alkalinity plus the sodium alkalinity. Hardness is undesirable in that it consumes soap, makes water less satisfactory for cooking, and produces scale in boilers and distillation units.
The following minerals cause hardness in ground and surface waters:
Calcium carbonate. Alkaline and only lightly soluble; causes carbonate hardness and alkalinity in water.
Calcium bicarbonate. Contributes to the alkalinity and carbonate hardness of water. Calcium bicarbonate when heated produces carbon dioxide and calcium carbonate. This calcium carbonate precipitates as scale ib boilers and distillation units.
Calcium sulfate or gypsum. Causes noncarbonated hardness in water. Being more soluble in cold water than in hot, it separates from the water in boilers and forms scale on the boiler tubes.
Calcium cloride. Causes noncarbonated hardness in water. In steam boilers and distillation units, the presence of calcium chloride causes chemical reactions that can pit metallic tubing.Continue Reading