Total Alkalinity

Alkalinity is a measure of the buffering capacity of water. Higher alkalinity in a body of water provides a “buffer” against changes in pH, making it more stable for aquatic life. Limestone is a natural source of alkalinity. The chemical name of limestone is calcium carbonate (CaCO3) or magnesium carbonate (MgCO3). When limestone dissolves in water, carbonates and bicarbonates are produced, and alkalinity rises. If a waterbody has low alkalinity, it is susceptible to rapid changes in pH if acids or bases enter the water. Water with higher alkalinity usually has a higher pH. Brackish water or seawater typically has alkalinity of 100 to 125 mg/L.