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Sunday, 26 November 2017

Is Alkaline Water Good?

These days we have heard many claims about the alkaline water and its health benefits. Many companies market their product saying it can help in maintaining your body pH level, have anti-aging properties and prevent chronic disease like cancer.   But is alkaline water is good for your health?  Lets find out.

What is Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water is referred to water having pH value greater than 7. Alkaline water typically has a pH between 8-9. pH value is a measure of acidity or basicity of the substance. Pure water free from any kind of impurities have pH value of 7. Many promoters believe that alkalinity in water can help in neutralizing the excess amount of acid in the body and increase the metabolism rate.

What is Body pH and How it is Regulated?
The normal range for pH in your body is between 7.35-7.45 so, very slightly alkaline. At times, this balance can be disrupted by our diet and lifestyle.

pH can go up or down and this is caused by many factors however, when this does occur, the body has mechanisms in which it can attempt to restore balance. Our lungs and kidneys work together  to regulates body pH when the value falls above or below the normal range. It is generally regulated by two processes:

1) Respiratory Compensation: When body experience low pH, lungs start blowing of CO2 by hyperventilation process and when body experience high pH, breathing is slowed down to increase body CO2 level.

2) Renal Compensation: When your body pH is low, kidney will try to excrete H+ and retain HCO3- and when body pH is high kidney will try to retain H+ and excrete HCO3-.

Is alkaline water good?
Now the the next question comes what if we drink slightly alkaline water which can help in neutralizing excess acidity in the body.

The answer is, human body is very complicated. It's not simple as acid and base neutralization reaction. Many health professionals argue against use of alkaline water, saying there isn’t enough research to support the many health claims made by users and sellers. There is no scientific evidence that fully verifies the claims made by supporters of alkaline water.

However on other hand some studies has suggested some health benefits of alkaline water for people who have high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Therefore more research is needed beyond these small studies, specifically into some of the other claims made by alkaline water supporters.

Possible Side Effects 
Drinking alkaline water may have some side effects like lowering stomach acidity, which helps kill bacteria and expel other undesirable pathogens from entering your bloodstream. Too much alkalinity may lead to alkalosis which can affect bone health.

Drinking natural water free from any harmful impurities is always considered safe. Water found in nature is itself alkaline in nature as it passes over rocks and picks up minerals. But health effect of drinking chemically generated alkaline water is still topic of research. Therefore drinking alkaline water for health benefits is not a great idea unless some strong scientific evidence is presented. The best suggestion to maintain your body pH  naturally is by having healthy diet and regular exercise!

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Water for Construction

Water is an important element for life. It is required in almost every process and operation. In construction quality of water plays  an important role, either it is used in concrete or cement mortar or curing. Many times we have seen that in spite of using best material in cement, required results are not achieved. Most of us think that there is something wrong in cement, but we do not consider quality of water being used.

Using bad quality water in construction  may result to:

a) Loosening of  wall
b) Reduction in compressive strength 
c) Dampness persistently
d) Surface efflorescence
e) Corrosion in steel bars

As per IS:456-2000 standards there are listed some checks/tests which one should perform before using the water for construction purposes:

1) pH: The pH values of water shall generally be not less than 6 and not more than 8.

2) Acidity Limit: It should not require more than 5ml of 0.02 normal NaOH to neutralize 100ml sample of water, using phenolphthalein as an indicator.

3) Alkalinity limit: It should not require more than 25ml of 0.02 normal H2SO4 to neutralize 100ml sample of water, using mixed indicator.

4) Permissible limit for solids: The maximum permissible limits for solids are given below: 

Types of solids
Organic solids
200 mg/liter
Inorganic solids
3000 mg/liter
400 mg/liter
2000 mg/liter for concrete not containing embedded steel, and
500 mg/liter for reinforced concrete work
Suspended matter
2000 mg/liter

5) Water should not contain any organic material.

The water that do not conform IS:456-2000 standards is not recommended to be used in construction. Therefore it is recommended to test your water quality before building your dream house.