TDS Level in Drinking Water – Acceptable Levels | Explained!

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Have you ever checked the TDS level in drinking water? TDS is a ubiquitous word when you are buying a water purifier.

But often, you may not know what does it stand for? What are the detailed descriptions of the TDS and so on?

TDS is not a very small and negligible topic.

Therefore, here, we have a detailed discussion about TDS, which you can follow.

What is TDS?

The acronym stands for Total Dissolved Solids. TDS is all the organic and inorganic substances that are dissolved in the water. 

When we talk about pure water, more or less, we all know that each of the molecules of pure water contains one Hydrogen atom and two oxygen atoms.

TDS level in drinking water

But when there are organic and inorganic components added to the water, it is called TDS.

There can be salts like calcium, potassium, fluorides, carbonates, sulfates, sodium, and so on,  which are fatal for your health. And when you consume such chemicals with water, they cause you severe water-borne diseases. 

If you think that the TDS list is ended here, then let me tell you that there are more lethal TDS available that can be dissolved in the water.

Massive metal impurities like arsenic, mercury, antimony, and lead are also found in the water. And guess what, they are the most malignant.

Therefore, it is essential to check the TDS level in the drinking water before consuming it.

And if the TDS level is higher than the acceptable level, then the only way out is a water purifier.

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TDS Caused Diseases

The diseases that TDS overconsumption can cause are nausea, dizziness, lung irritation, vomiting, rashes, etc.

If there is the regular consumption of TDS with water, then the consequences may also be quite severe. For example, you can have diseases like kidney and liver failures, cancer, nervous system disorders, and so on. 

Weaken immunity may also cause. If we talk about the worst effect, then you can have congenital disabilities in the newborn as well.

Is It Necessary To Check TDS Level In Drinking Water?

If you do not use a water purifier, it is severely necessary to check the TDS level.

Because a certain amount of TDS is significant for the drinking water, and if the level gets higher or lower, it may affect your health.

man and woman drinking water

A lower TDS may impact the pH level of the water. And the higher level is already known to us. 

Therefore it is vital to check the TDS level.

Is TDS Necessary For Health?

There is an exact TDS level that is important to maintain in water.

Now you may get confused that shortly we discussed how TDS is harmful to health, and now we are saying that it is necessary for a good temperament.

The reality is that pure water is devoid of taste, smell, and any salt. But salts like magnesium, sodium, calcium, or potassium enhance the taste of the water, and at the same time, they also help our body grow.

Therefore, there is a certain amount of TDS, which makes the water healthier for you.

However, if the level exceeds, it takes no time to harm you.

Is It True That A High TDS Level is Equal To Bad Water?

No, it is not always true that a high TDS will make the water harmful; however the taste may vary. But the good or bad always depends on the TDS level and the TDS molecules.

There is an acceptable level of TDS. The drinking water must retain a TDS level of 300mg/liter and not go above 500mg/liter. 

Also, lower than 100mg/liter is also not that good for both health and taste.

Therefore, the levels often decide everything.

What Is The Acceptable TDS Level In Drinking Water?

The Bureau of Indian Standards or BIS has set the standard TDS level to 500 mg/L. 

Water purification of RO water purifier

However, it is not always possible to maintain this TDS level in every water source. Thereby, the TDS level can be extended to 2,000 mg/L. 

If the water TDS level exceeds 2,000 mg/L, it may affect the taste or palatability of the water.

Chart of TDS Acceptability 

TDS level Acceptability/ non-acceptability Reasons
Less than 50 Not acceptable This level of TDS does not consist of any minerals that are useful for our body.
50-150 Acceptable The TDS level of 80-150 is regarded as the ideal TDS level
150-250 Acceptable Suitable for cardiovascular fitness
250-350 Acceptable As below 500 mg/L is acceptable
350-550 Acceptable Below 500 mg/L is acceptable
500-900 Non-Acceptable Above 500 mg/L cannot be consumed without purification
900-1200 Non-Acceptable Not suitable for having without a purification. Therefore use a purifier with TDS control.
1200-2000 Non-Acceptable A higher TDS level is dangerous. Therefore, use a purifier that can purify up to the level of 2000 mg/L.
2000 and above Non-Acceptable This much level is not purifiable with a water purifier

Chart of TDS Palatability 

Palatability is the taste of the water. The TDS level decides the taste of the water, and the palatability levels should be noticed.

TDS level Palatability
Less than 300 Outstanding,
300-600 Decent
600-900 Acceptable
900-1200 Poor
1200 and above Unacceptable

How To Measure The TDS Level In Drinking Water?

TDS-level in drinking water

There are a few methods that can help you to check the TDS level in the water that you drink. Firstly we will discuss the usage of the digital TDS meter.

Digital TDS Meter

This is an easily attainable way of checking the TDS level. It would help if you took a digital TDS meter, and you are ready to go.

Step One, 

Check the water temperature, and to do that, you have to press the tempt button after turning the TDS meter on.

After checking the temperature, return to the TDS mode by pressing the tempt button again.

Step Two, 

Now when the temperature checking is done, you have to open the protective cap and immerse the TDS meter into the water.

Dip the meter to the indicated extent of two inches, not more than that.

Step Three, 

Now when you have to stir the meter into the water to ensure no bubble in it. After that, wait for a few seconds to get a stabilized reading.

Step Four,

Now long-press the hold button and take out the meter to check the reading. If you see a symbol like X10, multiply the reading with 10 to get the exact reading.

Electrical Conductivity Meter

This is another easy way to know the TDS level of your water.

Step One, 

You need a sterilized glass beaker to do this test. So, put the fixed glass beaker on a flat surface.

Step Two, 

Then switch on the conductivity meter and dip the measuring lead into the water. 

Step Three, 

Now it will take some time to give you the reading. Wait for some moments and get ready for the final and a little more pathetic step.

Step Four, 

Now you have got all the values. What you have to do is to put those values into the below-given formula.

TDS (in mg/litre) = KE (Co-relation factor) X EC (Conductivity).

After you solve the formula, you will get the exact TDS level.

TDS Checking Using The Paper Filter

This is another method that you can use if you want to.

Step One,

In this process, you need an evaporating dish, a sterilized beaker, a pipette that can hold at least 50ml water. Along with that, you need filter paper and an evaporating dish.

Step Two,

You have to weigh the evaporating dish so that it does not possess any particles. Note down the measurements for later calculations.

Step Three,

Now you have to take water in the beaker and stir the water vigorously. Pick up 50ml of water using the pipette while continuing the stir.

Step Four, 

Now put the water on the filter paper three times. You will see some particles on the filter paper.

Step Five,

Now transfer the particles to the evaporating dish, and let it dry. Measure the dish along with the particles and note down the measurements.

Step Six, 

Now you have two measurements. One that you have got in the first step and the second that you have got at the sixth step.

Now you have to put both the readings on a formula, which is TDS = [(A-B)*1000]/ml. To get the exact TDS level, you have to solve this equation.


How To Reduce The TDS Level In Drinking Water?

There are several ways of reducing the TDS level in the drinking water. You can use one of them.

However, the most prominent one is to use an RO water purifier. 

You can check our best RO water purifier article to know more. 

Other than that, you have the distillation process in which you boil the water and cool it down, making it drinkable.

You can also avail of the deionization process that purifies the water by passing it through two electrodes.

However, the best process is always using the RO water purifiers.


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