What Is TDS in Water? How Safe Is Your Drinking Water at Home?

TDS, also known as total dissolved solids, is one of the most significant operational water quality measures. Careful attention to TDS control is essential to avoid the corrosivity and contamination of water, and will ultimately ensure satisfactory water quality for drinking, washing, and other purposes. A very high concentration of TDS produces hard water that does not only compromises the taste but also leaves films and deposits on the plumbing, fixtures, and household appliances. The same goes with having a low concentration of TDS, as it has been found to give water a very flat taste.

If you are concerned about the quality of the water you and your loved ones are consuming, it is crucial to determine the TDS of the water being supplied to your home. Nowadays, the water we receive is flushed with numerous hazardous chemicals, whether it is from treatment plants or the environment itself. The process may also deprive us of natural mineral content and, in some cases, contamination cannot be avoided. This makes it unhealthy for consumption.

That is why it is important to have a reliable purification system at home to ensure that the water you are drinking is safe. With that in mind, we have created this article to give light on several frequently asked questions such as – what is TDS in water purifier? Or what should be the TDS for drinking water? We’ll cover all relevant aspects to help you come up with the right solution for your family.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

TDS Meaning in Water

treatment facility

So, what is TDS in water? The Total Dissolved Solvents (water TDS’ full form) are organic and inorganic materials that are found in your water supply. When the water is chemically processed in treatment plants and passes through different channels, it absorbs certain particles. Simply put, total dissolved solids (TDS) can come from different sources, such as fertilizers or pesticides from farms, runoff from road salts, and minerals in chemicals used for treatment. Thus, it becomes imperative that you measure the total dissolved solids in your water, not only for healthy consumption but for several reasons as well.

Here are the factors to be considered why you need to check the total dissolved solids (TDS):

1. Health

High amounts of dissolved minerals in the water, such as copper and lead, can cause health hazards.

2. Taste

Low or high level of total dissolved solids can compromise the taste of your drinking water. High levels of TDS can cause it to be acidic, sulfuric, salty, or bitter. On the other hand, if the concentration is low, it can taste flat. The level of TDS has to be well-balanced for your water to taste better.

3. Cooking

Your food may taste different if you use water with a high level of TDS because of the solids present in it.

4. Maintenance of Filters

Your home filtration system may fail if your water supply has a high level of total dissolved solids. If you live in a region with a significant concentration of dissolved solvents, you need to replace the filters once every six months or as recommended by the service provider. This is important to ensure that your family is using clean and safe water. So, test the filters regularly to ascertain that these are working properly.

5. Cleaning

If you are using water with high levels of solids for cleaning purposes, you will eventually notice that your utensils, floors, and even clothes are collecting unsightly spots on them. Aside from stains, this type of water can cause buildup in your tubs, sinks, and pipes.

Moreover, a high concentration of total dissolved solids in your water can lead to several health issues. The presence of chlorides, sodium, potassium, and toxic ions like arsenic, cadmium, nitrate, and lead may increase the risk of developing serious illnesses. Hence, measuring the concentration levels is vital, particularly for children since they are much more sensitive to contaminants. You and your family can be assured of good health if you are drinking purified water with managed TDS levels.  Thus, we recommend that you invest in a purifier that comes with a TDS controller.

How Much TDS in Water Is Good for Health?

a young lady drinkingIn water, TDS is measured as mg/L (milligrams per litre) or ppm (parts per million). While there is no single amount of acceptable TDS concentration for consumption, a level of up to 500 parts per million is the approved range of water TDS for human body.

If the level of total dissolved solids (TDS) surpasses the 500 parts per million mark, deposits or stains will start to develop. Corrosiveness, elevated hardness, and salty water taste will also become noticeable.

A level that reaches over 1000 mg/L is considered hazardous. Also, such an amount of concentration could be too much for your filtration system to handle and may cause it to fail.

To help you understand the drinking water TDS range, we have created a simple reference below.

TDS Level in PPM or mg/L Palatability Quotient
50 – 150 ppm Excellent
150 – 250 ppm Good
250 – 300 ppm Fair
300 – 500 ppm Acceptable
500 – 1000 ppm Poor
Above 1000 ppm Least acceptable

Is Low TDS Water Harmful?

Water carries essential nutrients and minerals that we need for good health. If our water supply goes through intense treatment for removing dissolved solvents, the process will likewise eliminate the essential minerals. While a low TDS level will not provide any health benefits, a high TDS concentration will alter the taste and odour of the water.

Considering this issue, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has regulated a recommended level of 50 ppm to 500 ppm for health benefits. Therefore, make sure that the water you are receiving at home has a TDS that falls within this range. You will have to conduct a TDS test to determine the total amount of dissolved solids in your water. However, a simple TDS test will not provide details regarding the individual components present in the water. It will require certain additional procedures to obtain such information.

What Is the Recommended TDS for Drinking Water?

laboratory assistant holding a plastic bottleAs we’ve discussed earlier, water TDS level of up to 500 ppm is acceptable for consumption as well as other home use such as washing, cleaning, or cooking. However, if you’d ask for the best TDS level for drinking water, experts suggest that it should be 100 ppm. It’s not only safe for drinking, but water with this dissolved solids level contains the necessary amount of minerals needed by our bodies.

To further understand how certain amounts of dissolved solids affect our health, we are presenting a simple TDS guide. The following details will assist you in determining what should be the TDS of drinking water for your family.

Water TDS Level Notes
Less than 50 ppm This water TDS level lacks essential minerals required by the body. Hence, it is not recommended.
50 – 150 ppm This is the ideal level for consumption. If you live in an area where the water is polluted by industrial or sewage waste, this should be your home water TDS level.
150 – 250 ppm According to experts, this range is advised for individuals suffering from heart problems.
250 – 350 ppm This level is also considered good.
350 – 500 ppm This is fairly acceptable.
500 – 900 ppm This level is poor.
900 – 1200 ppm The least acceptable since it is quite hard for both consumption and daily use.
1200 – 2000 ppm Not acceptable for consumption.
2000 ppm and above Unacceptable.

How to Check TDS of Water?

There are a number of ways which you can easily measure the dissolved solids concentration in the water – on your own. One of the most common methods is using a TDS meter. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn the device ON.
  2. Immerse the device into a bowl of water (with a maximum level of 2 inches).
  3. Stir the meter and wait until the reading stabilizes (10 seconds at most).
  4. While pressing the HOLD button, take the meter out of the water.
  5. View the reading.

How to Reduce TDS in Water?

Thankfully, manufacturers have come up with a myriad of water purification systems for minimising or eliminating TDS. Listed below are the most prominent solutions:

1. Distillation

Distillation is the process of boiling water and collecting the vapours. Since the dissolved solids and contaminants are incapable of vaporizing, these materials can then be removed. Hence, you can now have clean drinking water.

2. Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Reverse Osmosis is the process of forcing the water through a synthetic membrane, under extreme pressure. The microscopic pores present in the membrane don’t allow molecules larger than 0.0001 microns to pass the membrane. As a result, it leaves salts and metals behind. This is basically how your home filtration system works.

Most people ask, “what should be the TDS of RO water?” For water supplies with TDS of more than 500 mg/L and hardness level (calcium + magnesium) beyond 200 mg/L, using purifiers with Reverse Osmosis technology is highly necessary. This is to meet the acceptable TDS range set by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

3. Deionization (DI)

Deionization is the process of passing water through negative and positive electrodes. The ion-selective membrane separates positive ions from the water and sends it to the negative electrode. This produces de-ionized water with high purity.

Final Words

We hope that this article has settled more questions in your mind other than ‘what is TDS in water?’. It is our aim to help you make an informed decision about the level of TDS and find the right solution for your home. If you have any queries or concerns regarding the topics discussed, feel free to ask. We are happy to help.

Additional Resources

One Response

  1. Dear how can I get my home borring water tds 100/200mg/lt. Can you help me ?at present my borring water tds is@545mg/lt. Is there any simple solution to solve the problem you can help me as kind as you.Thank,s a lot.

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