Water is essential for our survival, and we use it for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and many other purposes. However, the quality of water varies from place to place, and it may contain various contaminants that are harmful to our health. One of the measures used to evaluate the quality of water is Total Dissolved Solids (TDS).
In this article, we will discuss what TDS is, how it affects the quality of water, and how it can be measured.
What is TDS?
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) refers to the total amount of inorganic and organic substances that are dissolved in water. These substances can include minerals, salts, metals, and other chemicals. TDS is measured in parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per liter (mg/L). The higher the TDS level, the more dissolved substances there are in the water.
How does TDS affect the quality of water?
The TDS level of water can affect its taste, odor, and appearance. Water with a high TDS level may taste salty, bitter, or metallic. It may also have a cloudy or hazy appearance. In addition to affecting the taste and appearance of water, high TDS levels can also have negative health effects.
Exposure to high TDS levels can cause gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It can also lead to dehydration, as the body tries to expel the excess salts and minerals through urine. Long-term exposure to high TDS levels can also lead to mineral buildup in the body, which can cause kidney stones and other health problems.
There are several methods for measuring TDS in water. One of the most common methods is to use a TDS meter, which is a small handheld device that measures the electrical conductivity of the water. The more dissolved substances there are in the water, the higher the electrical conductivity will be, and the higher the TDS reading will be.
Another method for measuring TDS is to use a laboratory test. This involves collecting a water sample and sending it to a laboratory for analysis. The laboratory will use specialized equipment to measure the TDS level of the water and provide a detailed report.
What are the sources of TDS in water?
TDS can come from a variety of sources, including natural sources and human activities. Some of the most common sources of TDS in water include:
Minerals: Water can pick up minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium as it flows through rocks and soil.
Salts: Saltwater intrusion can occur when seawater enters freshwater aquifers, or when salt is applied to roads during winter months.
Agricultural and industrial runoff: Fertilizers and other chemicals used in agriculture and industry can leach into groundwater and surface water, increasing the TDS levels.
Domestic wastewater: Household activities such as washing dishes, doing laundry, and flushing toilets can add TDS to the water supply.
Disinfection byproducts: Chlorine and other disinfectants used to treat water can react with organic matter to form disinfection byproducts, which can increase the TDS levels.
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) are an important measure of water quality, as they can affect the taste, appearance, and health effects of water. TDS can come from a variety of sources, including natural sources and human activities. It is important to measure and monitor TDS levels in water to ensure that it is safe for consumption and other uses. If you are concerned about the TDS level of your water, you can have it tested by a laboratory or use a TDS meter to measure it yourself.
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