Spring rains may be bringing more than May flowers this season. You may want to watch out during those refreshing showers and be cautious of falling acid rain. Acid rain is caused by the emission of gases into the atmosphere that have both natural man-made sources. Natural sources include gases released during plant decomposition or volcanic eruptions, while unnatural sources include burning coal and vehicle exhaust. Acid rain is identified as precipitation that contains higher levels of acid than the normal rain water, which usually stands at a pH level of 5.3. While pure water sits at a neutral 7, rainwater is naturally slightly more acidic due to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Acid rain can be harmful to both the natural and man-made environment. The acidity can can disrupt the natural growth and composition of plants and soils, leaving them susceptible to pests and disease. Acid rain can also promote corrosion of buildings and machinery that can quickly cause serious damage. Water treatment is important to remove the destructive acid from harming individuals and equipment.
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