The drinking water available today is not as pure as we expect it to be. It is filled with all sorts of impurities like chemicals and other contaminants. If not purified, even a glass of water can destroy our health.

TDS for safe drinking water 

An attempt at understanding water components should begin with TDS. TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) indicates the number of substances dissolved in drinking water. This includes certain inorganic compounds and small amounts of organic substances. The inorganic substances include the cations that have a positive charge. Calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium belong to this category. Inorganic substances are in the form of anions with a negative charge. Bicarbonates, nitrates, sulfates and chlorides fall in this group. TDS level is an indication of the number of such substances contained in water.

Significance of TDS in water 

TDS may end up in water naturally or due to human involvement. The water available from mineral springs may have a high TDS level. This happens naturally in regions located in close proximity to rocks. Rocks contain salts in higher amounts. Human involvement happens in the form of agriculture, discharge of wastewater and dumping of industrial waste into sources of water. 

TDS alone does not make drinking water unhealthy. In fact, the mineral water people buy a high TDS level. According to experts, TDS mostly plays an aesthetic role. The US Environment Protection Agency has only guidelines when it comes to TDS for safe drinking water. All other substances they consider harmful have stringent regulatory controls. 

For some, too low a level of TDS gives water a plain taste. And they don't appreciate it. Higher levels of TDS, however, can have undesirable technical consequences. They make water hard, and this may result in deposits of substances in hot-water pipes, fixtures and similar other facilities.

Checking TDS level 

High TDS levels may also indicate the presence of harmful substances like manganese in the water. Thus you have to make sure that it remains at a recommended level to avoid unwanted health effects. The maximum level of TDS for safe drinking water is 500MG/l. And you need to measure it out to ensure that the water you consume is free from impurities. When buying a water filtration system, see to it that it maintains the recommended level of TDS in the water it purifies. 

You can also measure TDS on your own using the following methods: 

  • Use a digital TDS Meter: This is a device you can use TDS level for safe drinking water. All you need to do is to turn on the device, dip it in water and cause a gentle bubble. Watch the readings as they appear on the device.
  • Using a filter paper and a scale: People use a traditional method to measure the TDS level in their drinking water. Do as per the following guide:
  1. Take an evaporating dish. Weigh and see to it that it is completely empty. You should write down the measurement in millimetres.
  2. Take a sterilized water container. Take some water as a sample and stir it.
  3. Take 50ML of water into a pipette. Don’t stop stirring.
  4. Pour the water in the pipette onto the filter paper. There will appear certain sediments on the paper.
  5. Transfer these sediments into an evaporating dish. Wait for all the sediments to dry out.
  6. Weigh the dish and record the measurement.

The level of TDS in your drinking water is the amount that you get when subtracting this number from the number you recorded earlier.

The smart option is to go for a water purifier that maintains recommended level of TDS for safe drinking water.