Alkalinity is one of the primary things measured in water chemistry. But what is it? Total Alkalinity (TA) often gets confused with pH and words like alkali, alkaline, etc. I think this topic is one of the least understood in pool management. Many pool service pros know how to test for TA, but may not even know what it actually is, what it does, and why it's important.
The LSI calls for the carbonate alkalinity of pool water...but this is a confusing term. Pool chemistry test kits only measure total alkalinity. So what is carbonate alkalinity? And how is it different than total alkalinity? As we have learned, semantics really do matter for this topic.
Have you ever asked "what's the difference between pH and alkalinity? Many of us in aquatics confuse total alkalinity and pH. It’s understandable, given how blurred the line is between words like “alkaline” and “alkalinity.” Indeed, alkalinity and pH in water chemistry are closely related, but they are not the same. This article will distinguish between them.