What are pH levels?
Before getting into a description about pH balance, begin a discussion with your students to see how many of them have pools or helped clean pools over the summer. This is a great way to give your students an opportunity to talk about their summer, which they are probably just itching to do! Some of the topics to touch on concerning pool water are listed below.
- Did they help clean the pool?
- What was the most common problem with the pool?
- Did they find that some methods worked better than others?
- Did they regularly check the pH levels of the pool?
Follow this discussion up by offering the following description of pH levels.
pH levels are also known as potential hydrogen levels because the measuring of the pH level is actually the measuring of the concentration of hydrogen atoms. The pH scale goes from 0-14 with 7 being the neutral zone. Anything below 7 is said to be acidic while anything measuring over 7 is said to be basic.
When it comes to pools, the recommended levels usually range between 7.2-7.6 on the pH scale. Pools should be tested roughly about twice a week. So, what happens when the pH levels are not where they should be? The effects of a high or low pH level can actually be similar to each other, which is why it's important to take a measurement rather than just looking at the water. Pools with pH levels that are not right will cause eye and skin irritation, possible hair loss, corrosion of pool equipment and cloudy water. There are chemicals available that can change the pH level, as will be seen on this pH indicator experiment.
When you have reviewed the above information to your students, continue on with the activity listed in the next section.