Ideal TDS Level of Drinking Water? How To Reduce Total Dissolved Solids In Water

Ideal TDS Level of Drinking Water? How To Reduce Total Dissolved Solids In Water

Hearing a lot about the TDS level in your drinking water and still wonder about what it means? Well, this article might help you out.

This composition will provide you with details about

  • What is TDS in water?
  • Why is it important to keep the TDS level in check? 
  • Ideal TDS level of drinking water
  • Role of water purifier in reducing the TDS level.

What is TDS in water?

Total dissolved solids or commonly known as TDS refers to the measure of all the organic or inorganic particles dissolved in water such as metals, minerals, salts, and ions. Water being a universal solvent absorbs various impurities in it when it comes in contact with these particles, thereby forming constituents of TDS. Calcium, magnesium, chlorides, phosphates, sulfates, bicarbonates, dust, and dirt form the major components of TDS. To a certain degree, the presence of these minerals in water is advantageous, but when the level rises, it becomes a cause of concern. TDS is often measured in ppm(parts per million) or mg/L. The sources of  TDS in water are both natural as well as anthropogenic. Natural sources, urban runoffs, sewage, industrial wastewater discharge, agricultural runoffs of chemical fertilizers, and pesticides are a few leading contributors to TDS. 

Why is it important to keep the TDS level in check? 

TDS level is indicative of the overall health of your drinking water. A high concentration of Total Dissolved Solids can modify the taste of water, it makes it bitter, salty, or metallic in taste accompanied by an unpleasant smell. Apart from altering the taste of drinking water, high TDS has health hazards too. Although elevated TDS levels are not harmful to human health, the presence of certain toxic substances can have serious health implications. The presence of lead in drinking water can cause brain and nervous system damage and high levels of copper exposure cause nausea. 

Contamination by nitrate, cadmium, and arsenic present in water can also lead to serious health problems, especially in children who are more vulnerable to diseases due to their immature immune systems. High TDS water could even contain microorganisms that may spread various waterborne diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, hepatitis, and typhoid. Moreover, the higher the TDS, the more the hardness of water which leads to scale build-up in appliances which shortens their lives. Thus, higher levels of Total dissolved solids in your drinking water can negatively affect your daily life and it becomes necessary to remove TDS to make it palatable.

Ideal TDS level of drinking water

Although TDS level doesn’t help to identify any particular contaminant in water,  it gives an initial idea about the overall health of your drinking water. Higher TDS levels point toward the higher contamination of water which should be addressed immediately. Both high, as well as low/zero TDS level, is not recommended for consumption. 

The following table shows the permissible range of TDS in drinking water and its palatability:

TDS Level (mg/l) Remarks
Below 50 Unacceptable. It lacks essential minerals
50-150 Acceptable. 
150-250 Acceptable. This is the ideal TDS range.
250-350 Acceptable. 
350-500 is fairly acceptable.
500-900 Less acceptable.
900-1200 Least acceptable. Water purification is needed. 
1200-2000 Unacceptable. Unfit for drinking.
Above 2000 Do not drink. Home water purifiers are unable to purify water of this range.


However, no specific guidelines have been issued for the ideal level of total dissolved solids in drinking water because high TDS in water is due to a range of factors. In areas where the TDS level of water is high, a qualitative analysis of water is required to identify any toxic constituents. Nonetheless, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has set the upper limit of TDS levels in the water as 500mg/L whereas the TDS range recommended by WHO is 300 mg/L. BIS also suggests that if there is no alternative source of drinking water, then this acceptable limit can be relaxed to 2,000 mg/L.

To determine the TDS level of the drinking water at home the simplest way to do so is with the help of a digital TDS meter. These meters are handy, cheap, and widely available in the leading online stores. For further investigation, a lab water analysis is recommended. 

Role of water purifier in reducing the TDS level

If the TDS level of your drinking water is 500 or more then purification of water before consumption is highly advisable. The utilization of water purifiers equipped with Reverse Osmosis (RO) technology is the most efficient way to keep TDS levels in your drinking water in control. Water purifiers achieve the ideal TDS level by removing excess TDS by bringing them under the acceptable limit. To improve the taste and smell of water and remove heavy metals, a reverse osmosis system is suggested. In a RO system, a special membrane is used which restricts the flow of dissolved substances to provide us with purified and consumable water. A good water purifier not only removes unwanted substances but also adds essential minerals to the water. High TDS-level water can be purified by water purifiers that use a combination of RO+UV/UF with a TDS Controller. 

All in all, a high concentration of total dissolved solids in water can be deleterious to your health and well-being, thus, it is imperative to meticulously choose your water purifier according to your requirement. Next time you step out to buy a water purifier, keep into account the TDS level and select the most effective purification system which is equipped with a TDS controller where the water undergoes optimum filtering to deliver you a glass of pure, safe water.

Share this information with your friends and family to acquaint them with much-needed insights about the drinking water tds level.

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