Understanding Corrosion in Water Pipelines: A Guide for Pipeline Designers


Total Alkalinity (TA)

Last updated: May 22, 2014

What Does Total Alkalinity (TA) Mean?

Total alkalinity (TA) is the measure of water’s ability to neutralize acids. Alkaline compounds that are present in water, like hydroxides and carbonates, eliminate H+ ions from the water, which lowers the acidity of the water and results in a higher pH.

Total alkalinity is gauged by measuring the levels of acid required to bring a certain sample’s pH level to 4.2. At this level, all alkaline compounds are completely used up. Measuring alkalinity is vital in identifying the capacity of water to neutralize the acidic and corrosive effects from waste water and other sources, such as rainfall.


Corrosionpedia Explains Total Alkalinity (TA)

Total alkalinity is the measure of the alkalinity of substances present in water. When the TA level is within appropriate levels, fast pH changes are prevented, which in turn balances the pH levels.

If the total alkalinity is too high, it can be hard to regulate the pH. With this, the water turns cloudy and the water may continuously need acid, depending on the results of testing. When this happens, the chlorine in the water becomes less efficient in disinfecting.

It is highly suggested to test for total alkalinity levels on a regular basis to maintain the safety and quality of water, pipelines and distribution systems.

The levels of TA can be raised when necessary with the use of compounds like sodium carbonate. When lowering the TA, acid in dry or liquid form can be added, such as dry acid and hydrochloric acid. Both can be time-consuming processes, but are guaranteed to provide appropriate solutions.


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