Water is the most necessary element of human life, and it should be pure, safe and hygienic.
A decent percentage of water is needed for the body organs to function efficiently.
Most of us overlook the various factors which determine the quality of water.
Among all those factors, TDS is highly essential to ensure the purity and excellent quality of water.
Generally, we think that the water which seems clear and tastes normal is safe to drink. It is true to some extent.
The water looks clear because there are no visible impurities present in it.
But, it does not guarantee that the water is free from invisible impurities also.
Today, TDS and Heavy Metal Impurities are abundant in the drinking water.
TDS is an essential factor which checks the number of dissolved salts in water.
It indicates whether the water contains the minerals needed by the body or not.
TDS can also be used as an indicator of the level of Groundwater Pollution, which generally goes unnoticed.
What Is TDS?
TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids. It represents the total concentration of dissolved substances in water.
This term is used to describe the inorganic salts (calcium, magnesium, sodium like carbonates, sulphates, chlorides, etc.) and a small amount of organic matter present in water.
It is expressed in the units of ppm or mg/litre.
From Where Does the Water Get TDS?
TDS in drinking water comes from natural sources, sewage system, industrial wastes, chemicals used in water treatment, nature of pipelines used to supply water (plumbing), agricultural runoff, etc.
Why Should We Keep a Check on TDS Level in Drinking Water?
TDS are the dissolved natural salts and impurities in water.
We measure the TDS of water to check its quality.
We should keep a check on the TDS level of water due to the following reasons:
It is essential to drink water with an ideal TDS value, which is neither very high nor very low.
If we drink water with high TDS value (>500mg/litre), the excess salts get into our body.
It is a dangerous health hazard in the long run.
On the other hand, if the TDS value of water is low (<30mg/litre), it means that water has fewer minerals than our body needs.
If the body fails to get the necessary minerals from water, it starts taking those minerals from the bones and cells.
It causes a deficiency of minerals in the body.
High level of TDS in water makes it bitter, salty or metallic. It may have an unpleasant odour.
Water with high TDS value does not settle down the thirst.
High TDS water may interfere in the taste of foods and beverages.
High TDS makes water hard. It leads to the build-up of scales in the pipes and spots on the vessels.
High TDS Lowers the Ph of the Drinking Water
Water is said to be extremely pure if it has a ph value of 7.
If the ph goes below 7, it means that water is acidic and if the ph goes above 7, the water becomes basic.
The ideal ph Value of Drinking Water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.
An increase in the TDS value of water decreases the ph of the water.
If water has a high TDS or a low ph, it indicates that there are other harmful contaminants in water.
Hence, it is necessary to monitor the TDS level of water.
What Is an Ideal TDS Level in Drinking Water?
Water with TDS value between 200mg/litre-400mg/litre is best for drinking.
TDS level up to 500mg/litre is also acceptable. But, if the TDS level of water exceeds 500, it becomes hazardous.
Similarly, water with TDS level lower than 50mg/litre is not suitable for consumption. This water lacks the minerals necessary for our health.
According to WHO, the ideal standards of TDS for drinking water are as under:
|Less than 300mg/Litre||Excellent|
|Between 300mg/Litre to 600mg/Litre||Good|
|Between 600mg/Litre to 900mg/Litre||Fair|
|Between 900mg/Litre to 1200mg/Litre||Poor|
|Above 1200mg/Litre||Not Acceptable|
Health Issues From Drinking High or Low TDS Water
High or low TDS can be harmful to the body.
Some of the reasons which make the water with high TDS value unfit for drinking are as under:
- It may cause stiffness of joints, kidney stones, gallstones and blockage of arteries.
- Mineral salts such as sulphates, Fluorides, etc. may cause a variety of health hazards.
Some of the health issues from drinking water with low TDS are as under:
- Low TDS means ‘demineralised water’. The body tissues require minerals and Low TDS water causes loss of minerals from the body tissues.
- Low TDS in water can cause tiredness, weakness and headache.
- Water with low TDS lacks potassium and sodium. These two minerals are vital for the body. They help maintain the blood and fluid movement in the body.
- Drinking low TDS water can also cause water intoxication.
How Can We Regulate the TDS Level in Water?
By Reverse Osmosis Water Purifiers
It is one of the best methods used in reducing the TDS level of water. Many purification systems work on the principle of RO technology, for example, RO water purifiers.
RO removes all dissolved solids present in water. Sometimes, it may also remove essential minerals from water. Before installing a water purifier, make sure to check whether it has a TDS controller.
An RO purifier with TDS controller retains the essential minerals present in water.
It involves boiling the water to produce water vapours. The water vapours rise to a cold surface and condense back into the liquid form whereas, the dissolved salts are unable to vaporise and remain in the solution.
By using a Herbal mixture
Herbal plants are very effective in reducing the TDS level of water. This method is used to remove dissolved solids in wastewater.
Neem leaves, Tulsi leaves, and Lemon peel are washed with an acid-alkaline wash and distilled water. After that, the leaves are dried and powdered.
This herbal mixture is capable of reducing the number of dissolved and suspended substances. Though the water does not get purified completely, yet it reduces the TDS level to a remarkable extent.