Everyone deserves to have a safe, healthy water supply in their homes. While there are some water supplies that can be contaminated, there are also steps that we can take to purify the water that we drink and use every day.
In some cases, our water can be contaminated by minerals, metals, and other particles that could be filtered out with a few simple steps. But first, you need to know what the problem is. That is where the TDS metric comes in.
TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids, and it could reflect the level of contamination in your water supply. What do you need to know about this measurement, and why is it so important?
What Are Total Dissolved Solids?
TDS, or total dissolved solids, represents the mineral content in the water. Water is a powerful solvent, and it can pick up just about anything and dissolve it relatively easily. This means that as your water goes through your plumbing supply, it can pick up some contaminants along the way.
When we talk about “dissolved solids,” we are talking about salts, metals, minerals, and anything else dissolved in water. A few examples of commonly dissolved solids in the drinking water include:
Common Dissolved Solids
- Organic matter
These are just a few examples of the contaminants that could be present in your water supply. But, how do they end up in your plumbing system?
Where Do The Dissolved Solids Come From?
They can come from natural sources, such as:
- Mineral springs
- Salt deposits
- Carbonate deposits
- Mixing with seawater
On the other hand, man-made activities can also lead to drinking water contamination. A few examples include:
- Salt run-off from the salt used to de-ice roads
- Chemicals placed in the water to treat it
- Run-off from other agricultural sources
- Wastewater discharges
The TDS measurement can give us some measure of the degree of contamination, but it cannot tell us what the contamination is. It is more of a quantitative measure of how many dissolved ions and other particles might be present, but doesn’t reveal their identity; however, the result could indicate that you need to do more to purify your water, or that you need to run further tests to identify where the contamination is coming from.
Why You Need To Reduce TDS in Your Drinking Water
If the water doesn’t have any dissolved salts in it at all, it can be acidic and doesn’t contain any minerals that our bodies need to survive. On the other hand, if the TDS level is too high, it can cause the water to taste hard and salty. It can also be bad for your health.
If your water has a high TDS level, it could also indicate that there are contaminants or toxic chemicals present, and they could have a negative impact on your overall health.
As a result, we need to understand how to interpret the results of our TDS meters. Some of the most important points to keep in mind include:
TDS Levels by Taste
- TDS Less Than 300: It should taste fine
- TDS 300 to 600: The water should taste okay
- TDS 600 to 900: The water may taste salty
- TDS Over 900: The water will taste bad
These numbers will indicate what you detect with your tongue when you drink the water, but they do not necessarily mean that the water is healthy.
TDS Levels by Health
- TDS Less Than 50: This is too low because the water does not have enough nutrients and minerals.
- TDS 50 to 150: The water is safe to drink with some nutritional value
- TDS 150 to 250: This is the optimal goal.
- TDS 250 to 500: The water is safe to drink
- TDS Over 500: A water filter is needed to reduce the TDS reading.
With a basic understanding of how to interpret TDS levels, how can you measure your TDS level, and how should you perceive it?
Myths About Total Dissolved Solids
There are several common myths that people believe about total dissolved solids in the water supply. They include:
Myth 1: The Perfect TDS Reading Is 0
Some people believe that the perfect TDS reading is 0. In reality, that is not the case. The water is not safe to drink if the reading is zero. The water is usually too acidic, and that means that the water does not have any minerals or nutrients at all. You should not drink water that has a TDS reading of 0.
Myth 2: TDS Contaminants Come From Pollution
Another common myth is that all total dissolved solids come from pollution. It is true that pollution can cause your drinking water to become contaminated, driving up your TDS reading.
On the other hand, natural environmental factors can also increase your TDS reading. Storms, seawater, and spring water all have higher TDS readings, and all of them can play a role in the TDS reading of your water supply.
Myth 3: TDS Is the Same as Water Hardness
It is true that there is some relationship between TDS and water hardness; however, they are not the same. Both of them measure the mineral content of your water, but TDS provides you with a comprehensive reading of all potential particles in your water. In contrast, water hardness only looks at calcium and magnesium, and it can be addressed using a water softener. A water softener can remove excess calcium and magnesium from your water supply.
Therefore, water hardness only looks at a small fraction of the mineral content of your water supply when compared to TDS.
How To Reduce TDS in Your Water Supply
So, if you have used a TDS meter to measure the TDS of your water supply, and you have found that it is too high, how can you lower it? There are a few options available:
1. Distill Your Water
This option can help you reduce your TDS level without relying on a water purifier. Essentially, you will take your water, boil it, and then run the water vapor through a cool surface. Then, when the water vapor turns back into its liquid form, it will be free from any of the dissolved salts or minerals. Therefore, what you have at the bottom of the container is distilled water.
The only problem is that boiling water might not be the most efficient method of reducing the entire water supply of your house.
2. Deionize Your Water
Another option is to deionize your water. In this process, your water will pass through a membrane that contains both positive and negative electrodes. The membrane pulls ions out of the water, meaning that the water is free from ions that have charges. It can remove a lot of the contaminants contributing to a high TDS level.
You may need to couple this option with another option to fully reduce your TDS level. It is commonly used to treat hard water that comes out of geysers and other natural sources.
3. Use RO Water Purifiers
One of the best ways to reduce the TDS of your drinking water is to use Reverse Osmosis water purifiers (RO). An RO filter can reduce your TDS levels by forcing the water through a membrane that has microscopic pores. These pores should be small enough to eliminate even the smallest of particles.
The smaller the holes are, the better the filter will be. This type of water filter will help you quickly and effectively reduce your TDS levels, and it can protect your plumbing supply and your health in the process.
Use a TDS Meter To Help You Track Your Water Supply
Clearly, it can be important to track the TDS level of your home’s water supply. You should find a reliable TDS meter to help you keep an eye on the purity of your water, and getting your water tested is the number one priority if you suspect anything harmful in your water.
If you notice that your TDS level is going up, you should consider investing in a solid water filter. That way, you can protect the taste of your water, your overall health, and your plumbing system.