Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) refers to the measurement of soluble salts, minerals, and dissolved metals in water. It plays a significant role in determining water quality and its impact on our health. TDS represent the concentration of dissolved substances in water, including minerals, salts, and metals. These substances can enter water through various sources, such as natural mineral deposits, runoff from soil and rocks, and even water treatment processes.
The impact of TDS on water quality
Excessive TDS in water can affect its taste, clarity, and even health implications. For instance, water with high chlorine levels, which may taste good, can generate excessive froth that is harmful when consumed over the long term, potentially leading to health issues like cancer. It is worth noting that most bodies of water naturally contain it, which can affect the taste, odor, and appearance of water. Higher levels can make water taste salty or bitter, while low TDS levels can make water taste flat or insipid. TDS can also affect the color of water, giving it a yellow or brown tint.
However, the impact of TDS on water quality goes beyond taste and appearance. High TDS levels can also affect the health of those who consume the water. Water with high TDS levels may contain harmful contaminants such as lead, arsenic, and fluoride. These contaminants can cause a range of health problems, from gastrointestinal issues to neurological damage.
On the other hand, water with low TDS levels may not contain enough essential minerals, such as calcium and magnesium that are necessary for good health. This can lead to a deficiency of these minerals and cause health problems such as weak bones, muscle cramps, and fatigue.in some dissolved solids, but their levels can vary.
Measuring TDS level in water
To determine the TDS level of water, a TDS meter or tester can be used. By dipping the probes of the tester into a glass of tap water, one can measure the TDS of the raw feed water. Similarly, measuring the TDS of water obtained from a reverse osmosis (RO) system can help evaluate its effectiveness.
The ideal TDS level for drinking water depends on several factors, such as your age, health, and lifestyle. Generally, the World Health Organization recommends a TDS level of less than 300 mg/L for drinking water. If the TDS level in your water is between 50 and 150 ppm, it is considered the most appropriate and acceptable range for drinking water. This range provides the right balance of minerals and other substances that are essential for good health. Level below 50 mg/L are considered unfit for drinking.
Effects of TDS o Health
Water with low TDS levels may lack essential minerals, resulting in a bland taste. However, it is still considered healthy for consumption. On the other hand, high TDS water is not necessarily harmful, but it can alter the taste. If concerns about the presence of contaminants arise, home water test kits are available to identify any potential dangers.
Low TDS level in water
Water with low TDS (> 50 ppm) is typically free of impurities and harmful substances. However, it may also lack essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium that are required for optimal health. These minerals not only improve the taste of the water but also provide various health benefits. Calcium, for example, is essential for strong bones and teeth, while magnesium helps regulate muscle and nerve function.
Moderate TDS level in water
Water with moderate TDS levels (50 to 150 ppm) is generally considered safe for consumption and may even provide some health benefits. This level of TDS is usually associated with better taste and can be a good source of essential minerals. Drinking water with moderate TDS levels can also help prevent dehydration, especially in hot and humid weather.
High TDS level in water
Water with high TDS levels (above 500 ppm) may not be harmful to health, but it can cause various problems. High TDS levels can affect the taste of the water and make it unpalatable. The water may have a salty, bitter, or metallic taste, which can discourage people from drinking it. Consuming water with high TDS levels can also lead to mineral build-up in the body, which can cause various health problems, including kidney stones and high blood pressure.
What is acceptable level of TDS in drinking water
According to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the acceptable limit of TDS in drinking water in India is 500 mg/L. This level is considered acceptable for human consumption. However, if no other source of drinking water is available, the BIS allows a maximum limit of 2,000 mg/L. TDS levels above 500 mg/L may affect the taste, smell, and appearance of water.
Determining the appropriate TDS level for drinking water is essential for maintaining optimal health. While low TDS water is generally safe to drink, it may lack essential minerals. High TDS water, while not inherently harmful, can affect taste. Understanding TDS and its impact on water quality enables us to make informed decisions regarding water purification methods to ensure clean, healthy, and refreshing drinking water for ourselves and our families.