The Causes and Effects of Different pH Levels

We have all heard of pH, but what is it?

pH is the abbreviation for ‘potential of Hydrogen’. It measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is and is plotted against a scale from 0 to 14, with 7 being classed as neutral. Levels below 7 indicate acidity, whilst those above 7 signify a basic (commonly known as alkaline) solution.

Maintaining balanced pH levels is crucial in ensuring the environment remains healthy and safe. This is where we come in!


What causes pH imbalances in water?

There are plenty of factors that can contribute to differing pH levels. Here are some of the biggest contributors:


Industrial processes:

Many industries, like the pharmaceutical sector, produce large amounts of wastewater as a byproduct of their process every single day. They use chemicals that will alter the water’s pH, especially if incorrectly disposed of. 


Natural processes:

Even something as simple as rainwater can cause imbalances in pH levels. Rain can have acidic properties (some people call it acid rain) due to dissolved carbon dioxide, which in turn decreases a water’s pH. Increased dissolved carbon dioxide levels are a byproduct of higher amounts of pollution. 


Agricultural processes:

Fertilisers and pesticides are renowned for being used in farming, but the runoff from these products is severely polluting our water sources. Depending on the type of products used, the runoff can either increase or decrease water pH.


What are the effects of pH imbalances?

We’ve discussed some of the causes of differing pH levels – now let’s get into the effects that negatively impact the environment.


Harm to living organisms:

Aquatic animals and plants thrive within a specific pH range. When the water deviates from this, it can disrupt their natural biological processes and lead to them dying. Unfortunately, they will decompose and further cause the pH levels to change.


Infrastructure corrosion:

Whether the pH level of the water is too acidic or basic, it can cause pipes and equipment in water sources to corrode. This leads to costly damages and repairs, which haven’t been prepared for.

So, what pH levels are considered as corrosive?

When the pH is less than or equal to 2, and greater than or equal to 12.5.


Treatment efficiency:

Wastewater treatment plants rely on specific pH levels to effectively treat the bacteria levels. Imbalanced pH levels hinder these processes, which in turn negatively affects the water released into local waterways. The water here is meant to be used again as drinking water.


How can IETG help prevent pH imbalances?

At IETG, we have played a leading role in the ongoing development of data collection for Urban Pollution management and Water Framework Directive studies.

We have the service ‘Water Quality Monitoring & Sampling’( which collects data about wastewater networks. We have one of the largest fleet of industry-leading YSI multi-parameter Water Quality Sondes.

The sondes take pH measurements and auto-samplers can be triggered remotely. Samplers are refrigerated to preserve any samples collected. All monitored data is thoroughly examined daily to ensure any changes are picked up promptly to prevent problems from arising.

Get in touch today to see how we can help you monitor water pH levels.


IETG Ltd (A Socotec Company) is pleased to announce that Northumbrian Water (NWL) has awarded IETG Lot 1 of their water quality management framework.

The work is linked to NWLs commitment to implement water quality monitoring at storm overflow locations.

“We are really excited to be involved with this project,” commented James Teale, IETG’s Commercial Manager “IETG has been developing its own Water Quality monitoring kiosk over the last 12 months and we can’t wait to get these devices installed and support NWL with this work. We will deploying our own ‘AquaHawk’ pumped kiosk and suitcase solution along with the latest sonde technology.”

Matthew Edwards, IETG’s Water Quality Project Manager said “We’ve already started to make good progress on this project. I’m looking forward to getting this project up and running and delivering valuable data for NWL.”

The framework will involve inspecting, installing and maintain river water quality pumped kiosks/suitcases containing multi-parameter sondes. IETG have many years experience in this area having previously carried out similar work for Yorkshire Water, United utilities, Severn Trent Water, Southern Water and Thames Water. 

IETG Ltd (A Socotec Company) is delighted to announce that Wessex Water has awarded them a 5-year framework contract with a further 3-year extension to support them with their AMP 8 workloads. The framework is for the ‘Provision of Short Term Flow Surveys’ and covers the entire Wessex Water region.

“We are delighted to be awarded this contract” commented James Teale, IETG’s Commercial Manager IETG has worked with Wessex Water for a number of years as a framework supplier and its great news that our relationship will continue and grow. We have already started supporting Wessex with some of their early start AMP 8 projects.”

Katie Harrison, IETG’s Wessex Water Project Manager said “We are really looking forward to working in collaboration with Wessex to provide a first class service to help them deliver their projects on time with good quality data.”

The framework will involve inspecting, installing and maintain flow monitors and raingauges throughout the Wessex catchment to update hydraulic models, investigate infiltration and review CSO performance. IETG will be deploying its advanced telemetered ADS flow monitoring equipment which will be hosted online for quick data access.

 The Importance of Water Quality Monitoring

Water is essential for everyday life, yet the quality of this resource is not constant. Water quality needs to be continuously monitored to ensure safe usage of it within society. At IETG, we understand the necessity of safeguarding our water sources for safe consumption and use. 

Why Should We Monitor Water?

Water quality monitoring is a legal requirement in some industries. Here are some of the reasons why it is imperative that the quality of water is measured consistently.

1. Public Health – Clean Bathing and Consumption of Water 

The World Health Organisation specifies that ‘water safety and quality are fundamental to human development and wellbeing’. Unsafe water can have a significant, detrimental impact on human health if consumed, through bacterial contamination, pollutants and waterborne diseases.

There are designated bathing waters across the UK, which have certain water quality targets to meet. Water monitoring tests for bacteria, which may have come from a range of sources, such as sewage and road drainage. 

2.Protecting the Environment

As well as ensuring the safety of water for humans, water quality monitoring helps us to preserve biodiversity for the health of animals and their habitats. By detecting pollutants, we can take action to prevent further damage.

3.Data-Driven Decision Making

The data obtained from water monitoring is used to identify and rectify any problems efficiently. At IETG, our Data Analysts undergo a unique training programme on the characteristics of water quality data, enabling them to identify trends and faults in both river flow and in-line sensor data. 

What Affects Water Quality? 

Water monitoring takes into account several parameters to determine quality. These include:

  • Salt levels; high levels can pollute drinking water and harm aquatic life 
  • Bacteria levels; this determines whether the water is safe for consumption and recreational activities 
  • Dissolved Oxygen levels; if levels are too high or too low, this will affect the survival of aquatic organisms 
  • Ammonia; high levels usually indicate polluted waters 
  • Conductivity; high levels can harm invertebrates and fish 
  • pH levels; this can affect many factors, including whether the water is harmful to living things and how many nutrients are available
  • Temperature; this influences the types of aquatic life within the water, and the dissolved oxygen levels 
  • Turbidity; a measurement of water clarity which can be reduced by suspended particles, which may impact human health and aquatic life.

How Does IETG Measure Water Quality? 

IETG has played a leading role in the ongoing development of data collection for Urban Pollution Management and Water Framework Directive Studies. Our team of dedicated Water Quality Surveyors provide our clients with an essential range of water quality services for wastewater networks.

Here are some of the water quality analysis services we offer:

  • Water Quality Monitoring: This involves continuous observation and measurement of water quality, using automated sensors and sampling techniques to collect data over time. The objective is to track changes in water, detect trends and identify pollution sources 
  • Water Quality Sampling: This is a specific component of water quality monitoring, involving collecting physical water samples using specialised equipment. Samples are then analysed in a laboratory, providing detailed information about the composition of water at specific points in time and space, allowing for accurate assessment of compliance with regulations.
  • Water Quality Surveys: These are comprehensive assessments of the health of a water body or water system. Surveys typically involve a one-time or periodic assessment of aspects of water quality. 

If you require any Water Quality Monitoring services, our specialised team at IETG are here to help. Find out more about the different services we offer:

SOCOTEC UK, a market leader in testing, inspection, and certification (TIC) services for the construction and infrastructure sectors, is pleased to announce the acquisition of IETG, specialists in flow level, temperature, and water quality monitoring, and 40SEVEN, renowned for their industry leading expertise in land and utility surveying services. 

This strategic acquisition, with a combined workforce of 160 professionals and a revenue of £13m, significantly enhances SOCOTEC UK’s service portfolio and extends its geographic reach. The total turnover of SOCOTEC UK now stands at £200m. 

With a strong commitment to helping customers reduce their environmental impact and adapt their built assets to address climate change challenges, SOCOTEC continues to lead the way in environmental stewardship. In 2023, the UK Government issued the first revision of its 25 Year Environment Plan, placing a critical focus on mitigating impacts on the water environment. Water companies are now tasked with meeting stringent targets and commitments through enhanced transparency and monitoring mechanisms outlined in the Environment Act. 

IETG, experts in planning, monitoring, and measuring, are uniquely positioned to support water companies and wider stakeholders across the UK in achieving regulatory compliance. Their services, including flow surveys, water quality monitoring and sampling, pollution alarms, level monitoring, temperature and hydrogen sulphide monitoring, are instrumental in ensuring adherence to environmental regulations. 

Furthermore, 40SEVEN’s specialist surveying services, encompassing topographical and measured building surveys, as well as underground utility and gas hazard surveying, aligns seamlessly with SOCOTEC’s existing surveying and monitoring capabilities. This acquisition further bolsters SOCOTEC’s extensive portfolio, providing clients with comprehensive in-house solutions throughout the asset lifecycle. 

Commenting on the acquisition, Nicolas Detchepare, CEO of SOCOTEC UK, said: “The acquisitions of IETG and 40SEVEN reinforce and diversify our existing environmental division. With the addition of remote monitoring capabilities, we are now the leading provider in the UK, supporting our clients in complying with the rigorous legislation established by the Environmental Act. This acquisition solidifies SOCOTEC’s position as a leader in remote monitoring and advanced geospatial solutions within Infrastructure, Utilities, Environment, and Construction. The acquisition supports our ambition to become the leading integrated player in the UK, helping businesses mitigate environmental impacts and build a more resilient, sustainable future” 

Ian Edwards, managing director, IETG and 40SEVEN said: “We can see fantastic opportunities ahead for IETG and 40Seven and after 7 years of investment support from Bentley O-S, at this crucial time, we needed strategic investment and size, matched by a similar culture and drive to achieve our goals and continued growth strategy. SOCOTEC provides the ideal platform and seamless transition, whilst bringing a strategic mindset, strong covenant, credibility, financial strength, and support, and providing future opportunities for our staff to thrive and develop. We are excited and looking forward to the next stage of our journey within the SOCOTEC Group.” 

Herve Montjotin, CEO, SOCOTEC Group continued: “There is a perfect operational and cultural fit between IETG / 40SEVEN and SOCOTEC UK. With this seasoned and cohesive team joining SOCOTEC, we will enlarge our service offering especially in the environmental field and confirm our leadership in the UK” 

For further information on the acquisition, please follow:


We are also extremely happy and proud to announce that we have moved office – leaving Cross Green Industrial Estate after over 25yrs and moving into a modern new facility in Swillington, Leeds. As IETG continues to grow our new offices provide an ideal modern working space with office, warehouse and workshop space.

Our new office in on the Astley Way Industrial Estate – full address as follows;

IETG Ltd, Unit 17B Astley Way Industrial Estate, Astley Way, Swillington, Leeds, LS26 8XT.




IETG is excited to announce that it has been awarded a place on the Anglian Water flow monitoring framework.

The work will involve supporting Anglian Water with all their sewer flow, depth and rainfall monitoring – the work will involve flow survey pre-inspections, installation, maintenance and data analysis of sewer flow data. IETG will be using the latest ADS flow monitoring technology for work on this project.

With Anglian bordering Yorkshire Water and Severn Trent Water this framework really compliments our existing flow monitoring frameworks and we are really looking forward to getting started and working alongside Anglian Water.

Katie Harrison. IETG’s  Project Manager, will manage the projects for Anglian Water.

We are pleased to announce that we have recently undergone our 2022 Achilles Verify Audit and received 100% scores across the board for the 2nd year running.

Achilles Verify scores are used by many Blue-Chip companies, including several of our clients, to pre-select Companies for participation in their framework contracts: the audit scores are used to carry as part of their initial assessment of our suitability as a supplier. Excellent results help to reassure our clients that we are committed to the very highest standards of performance (as these are independently verified by Achilles).

Achilles Verify involves a rigorous three-day audit, where Companies performance is assessed in, Health and Safety, Quality Assurance, Environmental Management and Corporate Social Responsibility. It involves scrutiny of both our Management System and Site Operations.

It is not easy to get 100% scores in every category, so this success is testament to the hard work and performance of the whole team and the effort they put in every day. Well done, everyone!

IETG is pleased to announce that it has been awarded an AMP7 framework with South West Water.

IETG have been successful in Lot 5 – Short Term Sewer Data Collection for an initial 3-year term.

Lot 5 will include supporting South West Water with all their sewer flow, depth and rainfall monitoring – the work will involve flow survey pre-inspections, installation, maintenance and data analysis of sewer flow data. IETG will be using the latest ADS Triton+ flow monitoring technology for work on this project.

IETG successfully completed several flow monitoring projects for South West Water in AMP6 which included the famous holiday destination Newquay and several catchments on the edge of Dartmoor which included Newton Abbot and Teignmouth.

Head of Operations James Teale from IETG commented: “We are really pleased about winning this contract with South West Water and it further establishes IETG in the Southern regions of England. With our AMP7 wins with Southern Water and Wessex Water this contract was the final piece of the jigshaw for complete coverage in the South of England. We are really looking forward to getting started with South West and providing them with quality data that we know our teams and equipment delivery consistently”.

Katie Harrison is IETG’s Southern based Project Manager who manages contracts for Southern Water, Wessex Water, Thames Water and now South West Water. If you have any project requirements in these regions please get in touch with Katie via email

Yorkshire Water has confirmed IETG as their Flow Monitoring Service partner for AMP 7.

IETG has worked with Yorkshire Water and their modelling consultants for three decades delivering quality data and supporting their Urban Drainage Modelling, River Flow and Water Quality Modelling across the Yorkshire Water network.

The initial contract term is five years, with options to extend for three further years into AMP 8. James Teale (IETG’s Head of Operations) commented ‘We are delighted to continue our excellent collaborative working relationship with the Yorkshire Water team and the key stakeholders. As a locally based contractor with our Head Office in Leeds, using locally based in-house resources, we are ideally placed to provide local knowledge, experience and innovative solutions utilising our industry leading technology.’   

IETG will be the sole suppliers on this framework using the latest flow monitoring technology. IETG will support Yorkshire Water with the following activities;

  • sewer depth and velocity monitoring (flow monitoring)
  • depth loggers
  • pump run time meters
  • rain gauges
  • water quality sondes
  • water quality sampling

Commenting on the impact of the award, Ian Edwards (Managing Director) said ‘ We are delighted to continue our successful relationship throughout the AMP cycles and further develop the collaborative working and innovative approach with the whole stakeholder team whilst also providing opportunities for locally based staff to develop skill in the water industry.’

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