Total Dissolved Solids: what’s the big deal?

The Impact of total dissolved solids on water quality blog header

So what’s the big deal with TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) in my water?

Generally, TDS cannot be recognized with the naked eye, but you may notice some of its effects in your home. High TDS can cause corrosion of plumbing fixtures and shorten the life of appliances. A high level of TDS can also make your water taste metallic or bitter.

What is TDS and What Does it Affect?

Total dissolved solids are organic and inorganic substances that are dissolved in your water. The lower the level of TDS, the more pure your water is.

TDS can include all dissolved minerals, salts, metals, and plant material in your water.  Specifically, the most common constituents in water that is high in TDS are phosphates, nitrates, potassium, calcium and chloride, which are found in general storm water runoff.

These constituents often enter the water from agriculture and residential runoff. Yes, lawn fertilizer and winter de-icing salts can end up in our rivers or aquifers –and eventually be found in our tap water.

Is high TDS the same as hard water?

High TDS may indicate hard water, but not always. Soft water may still have a high TDS level.

If you have high TDS before your water is softened by a whole-house water softener or conditioner, you will still have high levels of TDS after water goes through the softener. Water softeners do no remove TDS.

When water goes through the ion exchange process in a softener, minerals are simply exchanged for other minerals, leaving total TDS levels relatively constant.

How can I lower TDS in my water?

In order to find out your level of TDS, the first step is to have your water tested by a local water treatment professional. Once your TDS level has been determined, the professional can help you understand your treatment options.

WaterTech’s RO PureMAX II can provide you with the ultimate clean water by removing chlorine, total dissolved solids (TDS) and other impurities as small as an atom to leave your water pure and tasting great.

If it turns out that you have a high level of hardness AND high TDS level, one of the best solutions is to install a whole-house water conditioner such as the Reionator, as well as a whole-house reverse osmosis unit.  In this unique scenario, the two are great companions to each other as they mutually provide protection from damage, and provide the consumer with outstanding water quality in the home or business.

Ask a WaterTech dealer for more information on these systems. Also, WaterTech is currently giving away an RO PureMAX II drinking water system. Enter to win!

Find out Your TDS Level

If you think you may have TDS in your water, talk to a water treatment professional in your area to discuss the best treatment options.

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6 comments

  • We have had our water tested by a professional lab. Outstanding listed below
    Copper .031
    Lithium .006
    Magnesium .10
    silica 16.2
    sodium 332
    zinc .005
    alkalinity 350
    TDS 810
    Turbidity .1
    Chloride 200
    Nitrate as N 1.3
    Sulfate 49.0
    We have had dry itchy skin, scalp, hair loss, both my husband and I have orange streaks in our hair (he has dark hair and I have light hair. In the sun, or light in bathroom you see orange) Last year we had our resin tanks replaced and hot water heater replaced.
    Two softener companies have both suggested a carbon filter tank. Said it won’t get rid of TDS but COULD polish and eliminate some of the issues. THey said they have seen it help in the past. We have had IRON tested. Its normal. No hardness is detected.
    We are looking for answers. Hoping you can shed some light.

    THanks in advance for any info.

    • Isaac Linton, CWS I

      Hi Eileen: first thing I’d do is find a local WaterTech dealer near you. Because they’ll be local to your area, they will have a better understanding of what’s going on with the water in your area. http://www.watertech.com/find-a-dealer/

      • There is no one in our area. Zip code 4116

        • Isaac Linton, CWS I

          I’m sorry. Hopefully we’ll have a WaterTech authorized dealer in your area soon. Were you able to find another water treatment professional in your area who is familiar with your unique scenario?

  • We had a very high level of TDs, our land had been stripped for coal and the coal co. Had to install a total osmosis system for us. But us there any way to take the TDs out of appliances and a hot tub?

    • Isaac Linton, CWS I

      Generally, a reverse osmosis system will take the TDS down significantly. Can you explain what you mean about taking the TDS out of appliances and hot tubs?