If there is one thing we know about lime, it’s that it’s versatile. As the most inexpensive and widely used alkali in the world, lime gets around.
The fastest growing use of lime? Environmental applications.
One sector that would be sunk without this material? Drinking water.
How Lime Benefits Drinking Water
Hard water is water containing dissolved mineral compounds including calcium and magnesium. Calcium hydroxide (aka limewater) is added to hard water, functioning as a coagulant that removes the calcium and magnesium ions, effectively softening it. Although it seems counterintuitive to add calcium in order to remove calcium, this process works by using chemical reactions in a high-pH environment to form calcium compounds that precipitate into solids, which can then be filtered out.
When lime is used in water treatment plants, the taste, smell and color of the water are improved. Because suspended matter such as manganese, fluorides, organic tannins and silica are removed, any cloudiness is also eliminated. The lime reacts with the impurities in the water, causing them to clump together and form larger particles, which are easier to remove. Lime also helps to neutralize any acids or bases that may be present. Water that has been treated with lime is substantially more purified than water that hasn’t been.
Since lime is an alkaline substance, it has the ability to increase the pH of water that is too acidic, and therefore corrosive to pipes and plumbing systems. The typical pH of untreated drinking water is 6.5 to 8.5, whereas the pH of water that has been treated with lime is closer to the 8.5 to 10.5 range. This uptick in the water’s pH also lends to it tasting better. Water treatment professionals use a variety of methods to optimize lime dosage and treatment effectiveness, and pH monitoring is one of the most common and surefire.
Pure and simple, treating drinking water with lime is the natural and cost-effective solution for the better H2O all of us Texans desire.
Want to talk to our team about the most effective ways to use lime? Contact us today.