How to Test the Acidity of Rain Water


The alarming rate at which the environment is deteriorating has put most of us in a state of shock. The phenomenon that kids read of in Science books have materialized into perils that are eating away the purity of earth, and questioning any form of sustainability we are trying to achieve!

Acid rain is one of those damages that are being done to the environment, which affects everything that comes in its contact – from plants to concrete. However, what is acid rain? Now, it cannot be acid pouring from the clouds after all! As scientists put it, acid rain can be defined as any form of precipitation; snow, fog or rain; that contains high levels of nitric and sulphuric acids.

Acidity of Rain water

Some of the common causes are:

  • Rotting vegetation
  • Erupting volcanoes
  • Burning of fossil fuels and other human activities

Some of the after-effects of Acid rain are:

  • Impact on aquatic environments like streams, lakes, wetlands
  • Impact on species living in these ecosystems
  • Acidic Rain Water causes species to ingest aluminum combined with the water which is toxic to fish, clams, crayfish, and other aquatic animals
  • Acid rain water also affects non-aquatic species, like birds, which feed on aquatic animals
  • Damages forests and robs soils of essential nutrients
  • Reduces the ability of trees and plants to withstand extreme temperatures, disease, and insects

Given the grave danger, acid rain poses to our surroundings, it becomes necessary to determine whether one is residing in a safe area.

Here is a DIY (do it yourself) method to Test the Acidity of Rain Water

  • Chop up some red cabbage.

    Test Acidity of Rain water

  • Heat it in a non-aluminium pan, and bring the water to a boil.

    How to check if the Rain is Acidic or Not?

  • Keep for about ten minutes. Let the water cool, and strain it. Store the strained water, which will act as a neutral agent to test the acidity of the rain water.

    How to check if the Rain is Acidic or Not?

  • In a cup, pour the neutral cabbage water and rain water to it in equal ratios.

  • If the Rainwater is acidic, the color of the solution will turn pink. Darker the pink color is, greater the acidity of the water in your region is.

    How to check if the Rain is Acidic or Not?

To protect our environment of such unnatural phenomenon, we must take necessary steps and control pollution, at our respective levels! It all begins with a simple test.

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