Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is an often misunderstood contaminant and its presence or measurement may not be regarded as a gauge of water quality. In this article, we will take a closer look at TDS and how you can remove it from your water supply.

Testing for TDS

Before you make any decision on the removal of TDS, it’s a great idea to find out if you have a problem. The lasted TDS meters are portable, inexpensive, and readily available at big box stores or online. A TDS meter measures the positive or negative charge in the water. Many people believe that higher TDS readings are bad, but this is not necessarily the case. To put this into some perspective, bottled mineral water is regarded as a health hydration choice, but they typically have TDS readings of 250 ppm (parts per million) or higher!

Why Do I Need to Remove TDS?

A great deal of conventional information states that TDS is not linked to adverse health effects. In fact, high TDS does indicate the presence of high concentrations of trace minerals that are beneficial for health. But, the uptake of these minerals may be lower than those sourced from food and supplements. That said, the consumption of water that contains high concentrations of TDS has been linked to health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and the formation of kidney stones. These issues usually arise when the TDS levels exceed 500 ppm.

How Can I Remove TDS?

There are ionic-adsorption micro filtration systems that can remove TDS from water. These are typically made with activated coconut carbon, but some residual amounts can enter the water if they are not properly flushed.

One of the more reliable ways to remove TDS and many other contaminants is a reverse osmosis (RO) filtration system. This is typically a 4-stage system configured as shown below:

  1. A pre-filter to remove sediment that could damage the following filters.
  2. A Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Filter to remove chlorine and chloramine that can damage the next filter stage.
  3. A semipermeable RO membrane filter with tiny pores that capture most contaminants.
  4. A final GAC filter stage to add some character and final polish to the water.

This final RO filtration stage is needed because almost everything is stripped out of the water as it passes through the membrane filter. The purified water is exceptionally clean, but a great deal of the taste does in fact come from the minerals. From a health perspective, this isn’t much of a problem because the uptake of healthy minerals in food is more efficient.

RO Water Remineralization

For these reasons, many RO filtration system users add an additional final stage. Remineralization as the name suggests, is replacing the removed minerals after purification has occurred. This is a great way to get exceptionally clean water that tastes great for drinking, cooking, baking, and it’s better for better food prep too.

If you are concerned about TDS in your water supply, contact your local water treatment specialist.

By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.