Thursday, March 18, 2021

Metro Vancouver increasing water pH to reduce pipe corrosion starting May

If you live in a house, townhouse, or apartment built before the 1990s or manage commercial or industrial buildings, you are likely aware that Metro Vancouver has naturally low alkaline water with a pH of 7.7. This pH level means that the water slowly corrodes copper pipes over time, leading to water leaks at joints. This slow corrosion is why some building owners choose to re-pipe their buildings which is a costly endeavour.

The pH scale including changes to Metro Vancouver water, and everyday items. Select graphic to enlarge. Source: Metro Vancouver

With recent upgrades completed at Metro Vancouver Regional District water treatment plants, the regional district will be changing the pH to between 8.3 and 8.5 with 20mg/L of calcium carbonate for alkalinity.

This pH change will have no impact on water quality, taste, smell, or safety, but it will deliver the following benefits:

  • Reduce the release of copper from pipes in buildings caused by low pH in the region’s water
  • Reduce leaks in pipes caused by copper corrosion
  • Help preserve the lifespan of pipes and hot water tanks
  • Reduce green stains on tubs, sinks, and grout

The regional district will be adjusting water pH starting in May of this year. The regional district will be reaching out to specific industrial and commercial users who need to adapt their operations beforehand. Some examples include health care units, research centres, aquariums, breweries, and bakeries.

No comments: