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Water Parameters

> A personal anecdote: Our tapwater comes out with a pH of 9.8.....yes,
> that's 9.8. Sounds horrible for plants and anything living. The pH is 
> that high because the water department uses a treatment process that
> drives all CO2 out of solution. If you let the very same water sit in a
> container for a while it will draw CO2 out of the atmosphere and will
> shortly reach a stabilized pH of 7.6. From 9.8 to 7.6 all by itself. A
> bubble per second of CO2 into the filter on a 60 gallon easily gets it
> down to 6.8, even with  moderately high KH and GH readings.

St. Louis?  It sounds like they are dealkalizing the water by treating
it with lime; maybe for a big brewery in town.  It it counterintuitive,
but the lime drives the pH high enough to precipitate out all the
anions (or is it cations?) as insoluble carbonates.  You are left with
a very high pH due to excess OH- ions, but the water has almost no zero
buffering capacity.  Almost like RO water.