Why Don’t pH Strips Work in Purified Water?


It’s a familiar story here at FreshPure® Waters. A customer happily fills their bottle with FreshPure® High pH Alkaline water, and checks the display to find out its real-time pH. Finding it 9.5 or above, they happily purchase water and bring it home. Just to be sure, they test with a pH strip to confirm the reading. And, find it doesn’t match.

In order to understand why, here’s a little rundown about the pH scale.

Wait, what IS pH?

Ready for a little high school chemistry rehash? Here we go.

What we commonly refer to as pH refers to “potential for hydrogen.” This determines acidity or alkalinity of a substance. A high concentration of hydrogen ions keeps oxygen from reaching your cells. This creates acidity. A low concentration of hydrogen ions means that more oxygen is free to the cell. This is alkalinity. Our cells use oxygen for cellular respiration, which is completely essential for life. Our world is filled with highly acidic substances and influences from red meat, to pollution.

Alkalizing foods and beverages are great ways to help off-set these influences and promote your health.

OK, so why did the Litmus paper give a different reading?

Litmus paper and pH test strips are designed to determine the pH of liquids such as chlorinated pools, saliva, and urine. These liquids all have minerals, salts, electrolytes, and many other substances dissolved into them. These factors affect not only pH but another important level: Total Dissolved Solids (TDS).

Litmus paper and pH strips only report accurately for substances with more than 150 ppm TDS. FreshPure® Waters TDS levels are typically less than 30ppm, keeping it well below the ability of a pH strip to provide an accurate reading.

Essentially, what this means is that FreshPure® Water Reverse Osmosis technology makes it too pure to report accurate testing with pH strips.

So, how do we know the pH is accurate?

What works:

  • Calibrated Digital pH Meter
  • Wide Range pH Test Kit

According to chemists at the Water Quality Association (an industry association which represents all reputable water treatment companies) the most accurate method of measuring pH in water is the Digital pH Meter, which is what we use on our equipment. These meters must be calibrated periodically to ensure accuracy. Our technicians use a Wide Range pH Test Kit to confirm this calibration. A Wide Range pH Test Kit utilizes a reagent and drops to measure pH levels. They are much more reliable and accurate than pH strips, and they are able to measure higher pH levels.


We hope this helps! And, we truly love hearing from our customers. Please feel free to call and ask us any questions that arise about the science behind this testing process at: 1 (800) 471-5200

*ppm refers to parts per million


California Schools: Lead found in Water  


As a safety-conscious company, FreshPure® Waters makes a point to keep you up to date on water news so you can protect your children from harmful contaminants. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan is not an isolated incident. On Monday, August 20, The Los Angeles Daily News reported findings of harmful levels of lead in school water fountains all over California. 

“In the wake of the much-publicized toxic lead contamination of water in Flint, Michigan, a Reuters report revealed dozens of California neighborhoods in which tested children showed elevated levels of lead.

How widespread is the problem? The national Centers for Disease Control found that 5 percent of tested children in Flint had elevated lead levels. In California, the state Department of Public Health has found that 2 percent of tested children have elevated levels.

But there are hot spots of trouble. In Alameda County, eight zip codes showed rates higher than or equal to Flint. Zip codes within Los Angeles, Monterrey and Humboldt counties also showed higher rates of childhood lead exposure. In one Fresno zip code, nearly 14 percent of the children tested had elevated levels of lead.

The district is working to fix or close fountains found with elevated levels, Sharp said, and intends to sample every drinking water source at its schools in the next three to five years. In the meantime, it’s begun a one-minute daily flushing at all of its schools—with staff running water through the pipes to reduce lead levels.” 

Decontaminating water supply is a lengthy process, and drinking bottled water is expensive in large quantities. FreshPure® Waters offers an affordable solution: for $0.49 per gallon. Extensive filtration and UV decontamination removes hundreds of thousands of contaminants (including lead) from city water to ensure you and your family are drinking safe, clean water. 

Live in one of the “hot spots” mentioned in this article? Take a look at the list below to find a local FreshPure® Waters location. If you don’t live in one of these cities, feel free to give us a call and ask where you can find us. We’d be happy to help. 

*For the complete Los Angeles Daily News article, click here: Drinking lead: Why California may force all schools to test their water 

FreshPure® Waters locations in Hot Spot cities 

Los Angeles 

San Diego: 

East Bay/Alameda 



Call us! With nearly 400 locations around the country, we’ll help you find FreshPure® Waters near you! 

(505) 471-5200 



FreshPure®  Waters Removes Lead from New Orleans Tap Water


New Orleans’ Inspector General’s Office released a new report July 19th, calling on the city and Sewage & Water Board to support New Orleans residents. The report “recommends the city take specific steps to help residents protect themselves, like handing out water filters and developing incentive programs to help low-income families remove lead service pipes on their property.

“Lead is a neurotoxin that has been linked to impaired cognitive development and functioning in adults and children. Lead exposure is especially harmful to children and pregnant women.

Up until now, campaigns to curb lead exposure in New Orleans and nationwide have focused on dangerous lead contamination in soil and house paint. Still, the EPA estimates drinking water consumption accounts for up to 20 percent of lead exposure nationally.

How are New Orleans kids faring? The IG report says Orleans Parish in 2015 reported blood lead level test results for 6,963 children aged six and under, or only a quarter of that age group. The tests showed 11.2 percent of kids tested in New Orleans had blood lead levels at or greater than 5ppb, which the CDC has associated with diagnosis of attention-related behavioral problems and decreased cognitive performance.”

Even though water treatment plants are carefully regulated by the EPA, a lot can happen to water as it travels to your faucet. Tap water is dependent upon the condition of city infrastructure and your home’s plumbing. Asbestos, copper, brass, PVC, and lead, like in New Orleans, are all common plumbing materials that have all been linked to health disorders.

To learn more about the situation in New Orleans, take a look at the entire Times-Picayune article here:  Should New Orleanians be concerned about lead in their tap water? New report says yes

New Orleans is the Nation

New Orleans is not alone in trying to solve this major public health issue. Cities around the US including Cincinnati, Denver, and Washington D.C. are all taking measures to ensure that city water is clean and safe. Measures include revamping pipe systems and alerting residents to potential danger. But, it takes time and resources to address complex infrastructure issues, and people need clean water right away.

Safe, Clean, Affordable.

FreshPure® Waters is proud to offer clean, affordable water to New Orleans residents. Municipal water flows through multiple filters removing lead as well as hundreds of thousands of potentially harmful compounds, just as we have been since 1991. Our comprehensive filtration process, backed by constant monitoring, ensures that FreshPure® Waters are always clean and healthy, so you and your family can feel safe.

New Orleans Locactions of FreshPure® Waters:

·Whole Foods Market: 300 N Broad Street, New Orleans LA 70119

· Whole Foods Market: 3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie, LA 70002

· Whole Foods Market: 5600 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115


Water is Life

FreshPure® Waters is proud to share Water is Lifean article written for Santa Fe Spirit Magazine in 1993, by founder Greg Friedman. Health of people and the planet are central to what we do here at FreshPure® Waters. Written in the first few years of the company’s inception, Water is Life captures the spirit, vision, and mission of FreshPure® Waters.



Water is Life

Santa Fe Spirit Magazine 

By Greg Friedman 


Greg Friedman is President of FreshPure® Waters in Santa Fe. He has been studying water purification and designing customized systems since 1991. 


Water is as ancient as the world itself. It is part of our earliest memories as a species, as a world. Water links us to the formation of the Earth. The water that flows within us could be the same water that our earliest ancestors had in their bodies, just as the air we breathe connects us with the breath of all life. With its ancient rhythms, the water that flows within us connects us to all the species of the world and reflects the flow of life itself. 

Like the water that covers the Earth, the water in our bodies carries nourishment to our cells and transports waste away from them. This link with the ebb and flow of the water that covers most of our planet is part of our cellular heritage. As we cover the land with our footsteps, we carry within us the ancient mineral formula of the oceans. Each of us is a drop in this disembodied sea.  

Like the Earth, we are mostly water. As we mature in the womb, we are surrounded by water. Our most complex organ, our brain, floats in water. When we sit in a warm bath in a darkened room, the dry world vanishes as we create a link through which inner and outer realities become one. 

Our sacred link with water was understood by our ancestors and was part of their ceremonial activities. Many of the ceremonies and their meanings have lost their value in the modern world. Water is not as respected as it once was. As a result, it has been so polluted that it has lost much of its ability to cleanse us and our planet.  

Water has the ability to interact with and assimilate almost every substance on Earth, for even a diamond will dissolve in water if given enough time. Water touches everything. It falls through the air, runs along the surface of the planet, and then seeps into the ground. In this process, everything on the Earth becomes part of our water, which in turn becomes part of us. 

Our water may be polluted by many toxins including lead, arsenic, nitrates, aluminum, gasoline, radon and chlorine. Many of these can be best removed by filtering the drinking water. However, certain toxins are best removed at the point of entry into the home. They are contained in the water we use to bathe in and are absorbed through the skin. In fact, taking a 15 minute bath in water that has chlorine or other volatile compounds in it allows as many toxins to enter an adult’s body as drinking two gallons of the same water. The absorption levels are even higher in children.  

Water filtration is only a symptomatic treatment for a problem which need to be addressed out of respect for our planet, and our past and our future. Until our water is again healthy in its natural state, we must make use of filtration to keep the drops of that sacred, disembodied sea pure and clean.