Why do we keep drinking water so salty?
The answers lie in how we treat it.
CBC News asked experts to shed some light on what happens when water gets salty.
“What we are really looking at is water that has been treated in the last 50 years or so, that’s a product that’s not going to cause problems in the long run, but that’s going to have problems with pH and other things,” said Dr. Jennifer Egan of the University of Victoria.
When water gets to that point, its not just about what happens to the organisms in the system.
The pH in a water system is affected by several things, and not all of them can be changed with a simple soap and water change.
For instance, the salt concentration of water is directly linked to the amount of salt in the water that’s being treated.
Water is made up of ions, molecules that carry charge, and a large amount of ions is concentrated in the upper layers of water.
As the water moves through the system, it reacts with other molecules in the environment to create ions that move up into the lower layers.
Salt in the air, for example, reacts with the water molecules to form sodium ions.
Water with higher salt concentrations, or a low salt concentration, will have a higher pH.
But as water moves along the surface of a lake, it’s also changing its pH, which changes how it reacts to certain elements in the lake.
This is where a salt brine is created.
Salt brines are salts that form in the brine layer of water, where the salt concentrations are higher.
What this means is that the brines have more salt in them, which can increase the saltiness of the water.
The brines also react with other elements in water to create a saltier water, which in turn affects the pH of the system further.
How salty is too salty?
There are a lot of different variables that go into determining how salty a water is.
There are three main factors that are thought to affect how salty water is: water temperature, pH and water quality.
Temperature is an important variable, because the higher the temperature of a water, the more the salts will be in it.
Water that’s hotter than 70 degrees Celsius will have higher levels of the salt ions, while water with a lower temperature will have less.
PH is another important factor.
Higher water temperatures make the brining process more difficult, and therefore the saltier the water, leading to higher levels in the salt solution.
Quality of the briny water is another variable.
As a rule of thumb, if it’s not pure water, you won’t get as much salt from it as if you had pure water in it, but if it has salt in it it will still have some of the salts, and some of those salts will also be more salty than pure water.
“That’s one of the ways that water reacts to each other.
You know what we’ve all seen with salt, that when you put salt in water it actually reacts to other elements of the air to create salt,” said Egan.
She says salt water can also have high levels of nitrates and other compounds that affect the body, like lead.
“And that’s really good for us because it reduces inflammation and oxidative stress,” she said.
And while the amount or quality of the minerals in water is important, Egan says the most important factor is the pH.
Water pH is also influenced by the amount and type of bacteria in the ocean.
That is, if there are a high number of bacteria, that may have higher salt levels in it because that’s where the ions are.
If there are low numbers of bacteria there may not be as much salts in the solution, which means the salt levels are less.
How salty are we getting?
“When it comes to the bacteria, what we are seeing in terms of bacteria levels, they’re actually lower in saltier waters,” said Andrew Waggoner, a professor of environmental health at the University at Albany.
Waggoner says a high pH, high salt concentration water, like the one you’re drinking today, will not produce enough of those bacteria in it to cause an issue.
Even though the water might taste salty to you, its really the minerals that are causing the problem.
“[The] reason that there’s so much salt in this water is because of the fact that it is being treated with chemicals that are highly reactive to certain chemicals in the human body,” said Waggoni.
These chemicals are used in a variety of things, like pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and even disinfectants, Waggonis says.
While there’s no doubt that people are drinking more water that is contaminated with toxins,