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Significance and Use
4.1 Acidity and alkalinity measurements are used to assist in establishing levels of chemical treatment to control scale, corrosion, and other adverse chemical equilibria.
4.2 Levels of acidity or alkalinity are critical in establishing solubilities of some metals, toxicity of some metals, and the buffering capacity of some waters.
1.1 These test methods cover the determination of acidity or alkalinity of all types of water. Three test methods are given as follows:
Test Method A (Electrometric Titration)
Test Method B (Electrometric or Color-Change Titration)
Test Method C (Color-Change Titration After Hydrogen
1.2 In all of these test methods the hydrogen or hydroxyl ions present in water by virtue of the dissociation or hydrolysis of its solutes, or both, are neutralized by titration with standard alkali (acidity) or acid (alkalinity). Of the three procedures, Test Method A is the most precise and accurate. It is used to develop an electrometric titration curve (sometimes referred to as a pH curve), which defines the acidity or alkalinity of the sample and indicates inflection points and buffering capacity, if any. In addition, the acidity or alkalinity can be determined with respect to any pH of particular interest. The other two methods are used to determine acidity or alkalinity relative to a predesignated end point based on the change in color of an internal indicator or the equivalent end point measured by a pH meter. They are suitable for routine control purposes.
1.3 When titrating to a specific end point, the choice of end point will require a careful analysis of the titration curve, the effects of any anticipated changes in composition on the titration curve, knowledge of the intended uses or disposition of the water, and a knowledge of the characteristics of the process controls involved. While inflection points (rapid changes in pH) are usually preferred for accurate analysis of sample composition and obtaining the best precision, the use of an inflection point for process control may result in significant errors in chemical treatment or process control in some applications. When titrating to a selected end point dictated by practical considerations, (1) only a part of the actual neutralizing capacity of the water may be measured, or (2) this capacity may actually be exceeded in arriving at optimum acidity or alkalinity conditions.
1.4 A scope section is provided in each test method as a guide. It is the responsibility of the analyst to determine the acceptability of these test methods for each matrix.
1.5 Former Test Methods C (Color-Comparison Titration) and D (Color-Change Titration After Boiling) were discontinued. Refer to for historical information.
1.6 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.
1.7 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
D596 Guide for Reporting Results of Analysis of Water
D1066 Practice for Sampling Steam
D1129 Terminology Relating to Water
D1193 Specification for Reagent Water
D1293 Test Methods for pH of Water
D2777 Practice for Determination of Precision and Bias of Applicable Test Methods of Committee D19 on Water
D3370 Practices for Sampling Water from Closed Conduits
D5847 Practice for Writing Quality Control Specifications for Standard Test Methods for Water Analysis
E200 Practice for Preparation, Standardization, and Storage of Standard and Reagent Solutions for Chemical Analysis
ICS Number Code 13.060.50 (Examination of water for chemical substances)
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ASTM D1067-16, Standard Test Methods for Acidity or Alkalinity of Water, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2016, www.astm.orgBack to Top