When drinking water just doesn’t taste or look right, the culprits are often minerals and salts that have dissolved in the water. These are commonly known as total dissolved solids (TDS).

What Are Total Dissolved Solids?

TDS or Total Dissolved Solids is a terminology that many are seemingly unaware of. We know this for a fact that the drinking water we consume today is ridden with harmful chemicals coming from treatment facilities across the country.

What happens is we successfully eradicate any and all kinds of useful minerals present in the water, which can be really bad in the long run. The main factor which is the root of all this is the Total Dissolved Solids or TDS that remain left out in the water post a simple filtration process.

If we have to go in terms of technicalities, the impurities which are greater than 2 microns would come under this category. Generally, a filtration process removes the contaminants that are about 0.45 microns coming from multiple sources.

The remainder of these contaminants is left out in the water harming its aesthetics characteristics completely.

If there are a copious amount of TDS present in the drinking water, it might prove fatal giving rise to multiple health problems. Therefore, it is important that the TDS amounts be taken care of especially when it comes to drinking water bodies.

Why do you Need to Measure TDS?

The primary reason to measure the TDS in water is to discern the overall quality of water. High TDS levels in water indicate the presence of chemicals & contaminants, which may be harmful to health. Thus, regular checking of the TDS level in water is vital. Other reasons include:

  • Altered Taste: Water with high TDS level can have a salty, bitter or sulfuric taste.
  • Health Hazards: High levels of dissolved substances like copper, fluorides, arsenic and lead in water can also affect your health over the long term.
  • Plumbing and Appliances: High levels of dissolved calcium and magnesium salts can form scale and build-up in pipes and reduce the lifespan of appliances.
  • Cooking: While TDS levels below 500 ppm is not harmful, high TDS level in water can alter the taste of the food or beverage.
  • Cleaning: From fading of colours from clothes to water spots on utensils to build-up in sinks & faucets, high TDS level in water can cause a series of problems.
  • Water Purifier Maintenance: A high level of TDS can affect the water purification systems, so regular checking is needed to ensure that it is working optimally.

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Ways to Reduce or Remove TDS in Water

1. Reverse Osmosis (R.O.)

Reverse Osmosis removes TDS by forcing the water, under pressure, through a synthetic membrane. The membrane contains microscopic pores which will allow only molecules smaller than 0.0001 microns to pass through. As the molecules of dissolved metals and salts are large compared to the water molecules, water squeezes through the membrane leaving the metals and salts behind.

2. Distillation

The process involves boiling water to produce water vapor. The water vapor rises to a cool surface where it is condensed back into the liquid form. The dissolved salts are unable to vaporize and remain in the boiling solution.

3. Deionisation (DI)

In this process, water is passed through a positive and negative electrode. The ion-selective membranes enable the positive ions to separate from the water and move towards the negative electrode. The end result is de-ionized water with high purity. However, the water is first passed through a reverse osmosis unit first in order to remove the non-ionic organic contaminants.

So, which Water Purifier is best?

One of the important factors that you need to consider when looking for a water purifier is the TDS level. Depending on the TDS level, you need to decide whether you need an RO, UF or UV water purifier. To make your work easy, here’s a table that will help you understand which water purifier is ideal for a particular TDS level.

TDS LevelType of Purifier
0-200UV Water Purifier
200-300RO+UV water purifier
300-500RO+UV+UF

Areas that receive water with a very high TDS level are recommended to use water purifiers that use a combination of RO+UV/UF with TDS Controller. The combination of various water purification technologies removes chemical, dissolved as well as physical impurities from water to make it suitable for consumption.

How do I reduce the TDS of water

Why Should You Keep a Check on the TDS Level?

There are a number of reasons why you need to check the TDS level in the water. Some of the reasons are:

Taste and health

High TDS level alters the taste of water and makes it salty, bitter, or metallic. High TDS levels also indicate the presence of toxic minerals which is hazardous for health.

Hardness

High TDS makes water hard, leading to scale build-up in pipes, dry hair, spots on utensils and also make the kitchen appliances ineffective. Checking the TDS level of water helps you avoid these problems beforehand.

Pools and Spas

Pools, as well as spas, need to monitor the TDS level in water constantly to prevent any maintenance problem.