How can you know how effective your water filter is if you don’t know the levels of Total Dissolved Solids in your tap water? TDS, which stands for Total Dissolved Solids, is a water quality measurement that shows the levels of total dissolved organic and inorganic compounds present in the water. Yet while TDS measurements may be useful for pinpointing high levels of dissolved industrial chemicals and salts, it is not necessarily a good indicator of all contaminants that may be present in drinking water. There are hundreds of drinking water contaminants that will not be represented in TDS test results. Let’s look at the benefits and uses of the TDS measurement, and whether it is suitable for determining how effective your drinking water filter is at removing contaminants.
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is the total measurement of all the organic and inorganic compounds that occur in a water sample, including minerals, salts, and ions. The measurement is recorded by a TDS meter that measures water conductivity in parts per million (ppm). A TDS measurement of 300-500 is considered normal as it will indicate the presence of naturally occurring dissolved compounds as well as potentially harmful ones. However, TDS measurements of 600 or higher are more likely to indicate that the levels of dissolved compounds could be a cause for concern.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists TDS as a secondary drinking water contaminant, meaning that while they are not likely to pose a significant health risk, there are still recommended acceptable levels for these contaminants, which are not enforced. Secondary drinking water contaminants are typically contaminants that are aesthetically unpleasant in drinking water or cause cosmetic or technical issues that are not harmful. For example, if your household water has a high iron content, the water may come out of the taps with a distinct rust color, which although off-putting, won’t make you ill.
Not all water is alike. TDS is a measure of Total Dissolved Solids but it does not measure many contaminants like lead, arsenic, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and VOCs that may be present in your water. Nor does a TDS measurement reflect the presence of pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and cysts which can be harmful to human health. The PUR Faucet Mount Drinking Water Filter System removes over 99% of these contaminants with exceptional filtration.
A total dissolved solids meter measures the total amount of non-particulate material dissolved in water. TDS is one of the most common ways to measure the purity of drinking water, and it’s a very popular water quality tool.
The TDS meter does provide accurate information about the total dissolved solids (TDS) in water and is sometimes used by water filter salespeople to convince the customer that a filter or softener is needed. However, it may not address which specific contaminants are present in your tap water that should be treated, so we do not recommend using this device alone as a basis for making a decision about your drinking water.
TDS = total dissolved solids. The TDS in water purifier indicates the number of dissolved solids in the liquid. Carbon filters remove toxic contaminants from water and are not designed to remove the solid matter (dissolved solids) that is also present in water.
Reverse osmosis and water distillation are two water treatment options that can remove TDS. In the reverse osmosis process, water is forced through a semipermeable membrane that has tiny pores that are able to prevent dissolved particles from passing through.