Total dissolved solids (TDS) is a combination of total organic and inorganic substances that are contained in a liquid. The solids mainly consist of minerals, salts and organic matter that help in determining the water quality. Some of the dissolved salts are dangerous for consumption even if these are present in small quantities.
Many of us are, however, not aware of the fact that TDS is directly related to the purity and quality of water and the purification systems. TDS has an impact on everything that consumes, lives or uses water for survival. The blog provides detailed information on TDS level and how it affects the quality of water that you use. Read on.
Sources of TDS
The dissolved solids in water come from both organic and inorganic sources. Some of the dissolved salts come from organic sources such as leaves, industrial waste, sewage, silt or plankton and, fertilizers and pesticides used on lawns and farms. Some of the inorganic sources of TDS are rocks, air that contain calcium bicarbonate, nitrogen, sulphur and other minerals. Many of these materials form salts and contain both metallic and non-metallic compounds. In addition to these sources, water may also absorb metals such as lead or copper from the pipes that are used to supply water to consumers.
Standards of TDS Level in Water
The United States offers strict guidelines regarding water quality. The EPA has a ton of information, which can be found here on their website. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is constantly updated and should be bookmarked.
India follows the BIS 10500-1991 standard when it comes to measuring the TDS Level in water. According to this standard, water becomes tasteless when the TDS level reaches above 500 mg/l. Though at this level the water also becomes tasteless, many people use this water for consumption as they don’t have any better source to improve the taste.
The BIS standard also helps in measuring the purity level of water. According to the standards specified in 2016 by WHO, water containing TDS concentrations below 1000 mg/l is fit for drinking. The acceptability, however, may vary according to different circumstances. The level of TDS present in water can be measured using a portable conductivity meter also known as a TDS meter.
Reasons to Measure the TDS Level
Even the best water purification systems available in the market need to monitor the TDS level to ensure that the filters or the membranes remove unwanted particles from water effectively. Some of the reasons you need to measure TDS level in water are:
• Health/Taste: High level of TDS makes water unfit for drinking as it may make the water metallic, salty or bitter. This also indicates that the water has toxic minerals.
• Hardness: High level of TDS indicates that the water is hard, which results in scale build-up in the pipes and valves.
• Pools and Spas: The TDS level needs to be monitored to prevent the maintenance problems related to pools and spas.
• Impact on Filter: Check the water to make sure that the purification process used by the water filters has a high rejection rate. In addition, ensure that the filter cartridges are changed regularly for optimum performance.
Ways to Reduce TDS Level in Water
UV, UF and conventional water filtration methods are not suitable for mitigating the TDS level in the water. The only filtration process that works effectively to reduce the TDS level is Reverse Osmosis. A commonly used domestic filtration system, RO water purifiers remove TDS by forcing the water through a synthetic membrane. The microscopic pores in the membrane allow only molecules that are smaller than 0.0001 microns to pass through it. As the size of the dissolved salts & metals are actually quite large as compared to the water molecules, the water squeezes through the membrane. This means the process leaves behind the metals and salts.
RO water purifiers from renowned brands such as Waterdrop not only removes the dissolved impurities but also convert hard water to sweet. Read more about the Waterdrop RO Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System, TDS Reduction in our review which can be found via this link.
TDS Measurement In Water Summary
The air that we breathe and the food that we consume has toxic chemicals. Water plays a vital role in flushing these toxins so it is necessary to ensure that you drink water that is free of contaminants. Drinking pure and safe water that is free of contaminants is especially important for children as they are more sensitive to contaminants as their defense mechanism is not fully developed. The purer the water you drink the better will be the ability to purify and cleanse the body.
We have already looked at how effective TDS meters are, on our page here. For the price, these are cheaper than a coffee and donut but could potentially save your life.