A TDS water test is one of the most common water quality measurements taken by homeowners and water treatment professionals. This measures the total amount of dissolved organic and inorganic solids present in the water. This can be dissolved salts, industrial waste, chemicals, and more. There are water treatment systems that can remove TDS, but it’s important to test the water first to understand the makeup of your water supply.

What is TDS?

TDS is an acronym for Total Dissolved Solids, it’s a measurement for the organic and inorganic material that is found in a given sample of water. This includes a wide variety of dissolved materials, including organic compounds, inorganic compounds, salts, minerals, and various ions. The TDS levels can be measured with a TDS meter which measures the water conductivity and expresses the TDS in parts per million (ppm). This can be considered to be equivalent to contaminants found in a liter of water which would be mg/L (milligrams per liter). This measurement is nonselective, there is no differentiation between different types of contaminants which can be established with other water tests. If the TDS levels are higher than 600 this indicates that there are a lot of dissolved minerals in the water supply which can cause problems in your home. A TDS level of 300.500 is more acceptable, but it would be hard to evaluate the potential harm of those materials without further water testing.

Is TDS Harmful?

TDS is considered to be a secondary contaminant by the EPA which poses no immediate health risk to users. But, there are aesthetic and technical considerations that can have a major effect on your home. Generally speaking, it’s useful to note that higher TDS levels indicate the presence of more contaminants and some of those could be harmful.

How Do I Deal with TDS?

A simple carbon filter will not lower the TDS levels of your drinking water. To remove TDS you will need a water treatment system that can remove smaller particulates. A good option is a reverse osmosis (RO) filtration system that uses a semi-permeable membrane with very tiny pores. Most particles are prevented from passing through the filter and this includes dissolved material. The water is cleaned to an exceptionally high standard and a wide variety of contaminants are removed. This process takes time, the cleaned water is stored in a tank for later use. The typical configuration is a point-of-use system installed at the kitchen sink with a dedicated tap. The surface of the filter membrane is gradually coated with contaminants and periodic flushing to maintain efficiency is necessary.

In Conclusion

Testing your water with a TDS meter is useful, but it won’t give you an accurate snapshot of the true makeup of your water supply. Laboratory water testing is the best way to understand your water quality and this is essential if you want to make informed decisions. If you want to learn more about improving your water quality, contact your local water treatment specialist today.

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