Water Water Everywhere... What’s Your Water?

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Rickpatbrown
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Thu May 07, 2020 12:27 pm

I've been playing around with CaCO3 and NaHCO3. I used the Leone Spring water (19ppm) that I described above. Most methods use Epsom salts and baking soda (MgSO4 and NaHCO3) but real water is mostly CaCO3 from stone. The solubility of CaCO3 at neutral pH is very low, though. Adding most acids would also introduce Cl- or NO3- or some other unwanted counter ion (conjugate base). It occured to me that carbonated water would produce acidic water to dissolve CaCO3, which could be neutralized by NaHCO3.

Following is some very rudimentary procedure. I need more time to get things dialed in.

I took 1gram of CaCO3 and added 850g water in a soda stream bottle. I carbonated the heck out of it and let it sit overnight.

I also took 0.5g baking soda (NaHCO3) and dissolved it in 425g water to give same mass concentration as the CaCO3 solution.

Mixing 25grams of the NaHCO3 solution with 35grams of CaCO3 solution and filling to 1500grams gave me 55ppm TDS on my meter.

In a side by side comparison with Poland spring (40ppm TDS), the engineered spring water was noticeably better. There was more body and dimension. The aroma on the lid was stronger/better also.

I admit that these measurements are pretty half-hazard. I have been trying to figure out water quality units for the last month and cant for the life of me figure out what they are talking about. I'm a chemist, so I think in terms of molarity. I can even get with mass based concentration like mg/L or ppm. The units used in water quality are the silliest, nonsensical thing I've ever seen. They seem to relate everything in terms of CaCO3 ppm (I'm guessing there is some historical reason they do this). They basically pretend that other substances have the same mass as CaCO3... or something like that. I haven't read a practical explanation of this that was clear enough to give me confidence in converting recommended hardness or alkalinity ppm concentrations to molarity.

I wish they would just publish the molarity of Ca2+, Na2+, Mg2+ and HCO3-
Last edited by Rickpatbrown on Thu May 07, 2020 3:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
.m.
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Thu May 07, 2020 12:54 pm

@Rickpatbrown
I really like your approach. It sounds promising.
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Baisao
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Thu May 07, 2020 1:33 pm

Rickpatbrown wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 12:27 pm
The units used in water quality are the silliest, nonsensical thing I've ever seen.
This! I only have a middle school understanding of chemistry and yet their units are worthless to me for measuring. It's been a while so I don't recall specifics but I remember it left me scratching my head. Looking at water filter analyses comparatively was equally baffling, and I suspect it is intentionally so.
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Victoria
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Thu May 07, 2020 1:43 pm

Yes, @Rickpatbrown really interesting that you are doing this, and that you are a chemist. Maybe speak to one of the chemical engineers at your local water treatment plant, to go back and forth with ideas.
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Rickpatbrown
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Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Thu May 07, 2020 4:13 pm

I do want to point out something though. I'm a little concerned about contamination of these roadside springs. I came across this article from Penn State extension https://extension.psu.edu/roadside-springs

Basically, they said that 94% of the springs they tested failed at least one criterion for water safety. Most were for total coliform bacteria. Vuanguyen brought up the https://findaspring.com/ site discussed earlier. If you dig into the comments sections, you'll see that most springs (at least around Maryland) have comments on occasion about making people sick.

They did mention that no heavy metal contamination was found. If you're ok rolling the dice on some bacteria or parasite... you may just end up on the toilet for a few days or develope a life threatening case of e.coli.

People should be careful about drinking untreated ground water. If there is an exposed portion of the water flow, animal pathogens can get in.

Of course, we boil our water, but it may not be for long enough.
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Baisao
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Thu May 07, 2020 5:53 pm

I use the findaspring.com site to show me where to dump my car batteries.
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Baisao
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Thu May 07, 2020 5:55 pm

Joking aside, that’s a great point, @Rickpatbrown. Though it only purifies a liter at a time, I had good luck using a Steripen when our city water went bad last year for a week. I’ve used it camping two without issues.

Back home I could drink from seeps and stumps without a problem. It would probably kill me today because I am no longer adjusted to it.

The water here has been so fouled by pet feces that I don’t think anyone could adjust to it.
twno1
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Sun May 24, 2020 10:26 am

Don't know if this is the right place to post this but it's water related so I guess it's close enough?

I'm by no means an expert but I can definitely taste a difference between:
  • water boiled in a tetsubin
  • (hot) water sitting in a tokoname honshudei yuzamashi
  • water boiled in stainless steel kettle
The first two give the water a slightly sweet taste but it is honestly a pain in the ass to use my tetsubin every time I want to drink tea.
I was thinking about dumping water into my honshudei yuzamashi before putting it into my stainless kettle. Would the water immediately react with the minerals in the honshudei or would I need to let the water rest for a while before there is any "benefit"?
I basically want to reap the benefits of a testubin without actually using one...
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debunix
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Sun May 24, 2020 12:14 pm

I've been pondering how to add a bit of iron to my kettles for the same reason. Haven't figured it out yet. Steel wool sold for cleaning uses is not necessarily 'food safe' for perpetual boiling. Broken bit of cast iron cookware?
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Baisao
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Sun May 24, 2020 2:34 pm

@twno1 To answer your question, at least partially, I notice a difference in texture immediately after transferring water from one vessel to the next. For example, water boiled in an Ichikawa kettle will taste different after being poured into and out of a shudei yuzamashi compared to being poured into and out of porcelain. HTH
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joelbct
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Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:36 am

I just use PUR filter pitchers. Consistent, at least.

They had one that attaches to a faucet and adds back minerals, that was better, but doesn't fit my current faucet. It was called MineralClear or something.
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Victoria
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Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:25 pm

Away from west coast home and back on east coast, I finally found gallon jugs of Crystal Geyser, CG Roxane Adirondack, Johnstown, NY. At $.90¢ a gallon it’s a lot cheaper than Iceland Pure Spring ($5.64 gallon) and works really well with most teas I enjoy. TDS is high (210ppm) as is Calcium (58ppm) and Alkalinity (140ppm) high, but low Magnesium (10ppm) and Sodium (9.6ppm) levels. I now reserve Iceland Pure Spring for teas like gyokuro that prefer lower TDS levels.
faj
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Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:50 pm

Victoria wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:25 pm
Alkalinity (140ppm)
I have seen alkalinity mentioned a couple of times. How to you determiner water alkalinity from information found on the bottle?
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Victoria
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Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:24 pm

faj wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:50 pm
Victoria wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:25 pm
Alkalinity (140ppm)
I have seen alkalinity mentioned a couple of times. How to you determiner water alkalinity from information found on the bottle?
Hi @faj, I look for each waters Water Report and am compiling a spread sheet to share here. So for CG Adirondack water I reference this report.
faj
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Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:36 pm

Victoria wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:24 pm
Hi faj, I look for each waters Water Report and am compiling a spread sheet to share here. So for CG Adirondack water I reference this report.
Ok, thanks for the information. What is the impact of alkalinity on tea? Do you have a minimum/maximum/range you target?
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