If you have recently been searching for a new best water purifier, you must have come across the term TDS being used a lot; What is the TDS of your water? The TDS in your water is high? Is the TDS low? While you wonder – but what exactly is TDS? And how do I measure it? If you are asking yourself this question, worry not that you are at the right place!
This article will help you understand what TDS is, how to measure the TDS of water using three effective methods, and also what are the optimum TDS levels. So let’s dive right into it!
- 1 What is TDS?
- 2 Method One – Using TDS Meter
- 3 Method TWO – Using Filter paper and Scale
- 4 Method Three – Using Electric Conductivity Meter
- 5 FAQs
What is TDS?
TDS or total dissolved solids are the small amount of inorganic matter or salts present dissolved in the water; it will mainly comprise elements like calcium, magnesium, sodium, hydrogen carbonate, chloride, sulfate, nitrate anions, potassium cations, and carbonate.
A specific amount of minerals will not harm you and, in fact, is also healthy and required by your body, but above the optimum amount, it will start getting harmful.
TDS will not harm you quickly; it is a slow poison that gradually affects your health as you consume it.
How Much TDS Can Get Harmful?
According to The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), 500 mg/liter is the acceptable amount of TDS. The table below will help you understand the safe levels of TDS and also help you make sense of the numbers when you measure the TDS levels yourself-
TDS Level (mg/ liter)
|<50||Water lacks essential minerals, unfit for drinking|
|50 – 300||Excellent|
|>1200||Water is not fit for drinking, TDS levels are not permissible.|
Now that we know the acceptable TDS levels, let’s look at the methods to measure them!
Method One – Using TDS Meter
Checking the TDS level using a TDS meter is the simplest and the most widely accepted way. If you do not have a TDS Meter, you can easily buy one online for about 300 rupees. You can follow the steps mentioned below-
- TDS meter
- A glass of water
Steps To Follow-
- Remove the protective covering of the TDS meter.
- Switch it “on” by pressing the power button.
- Dip the TDS meter carefully into the glass of water. Do not dip the meter beyond the maximum immersion level marked on the device ( at about two inches) because it is probably not waterproof, and dipping it beyond the level might harm it.
- Stir the meter in the water to remove any air bubbles.
- Now, wait for 10- 15 seconds with the device still dipped in the water.
- press the “hold” button and slowly remove the device out of the water
- Now look at the reading; it will show the reading in ppm or mg/liter. Both values are the same; if the reading shows x10, just multiply the displayed value by ten to arrive at the TDS level of your water!
- Shake off the excess water, wipe the device dry, switch it off, and place the protective covering back.
Remember: Do not use the TDS meter under direct sunlight as the temperature will mess with the readings.
Method TWO – Using Filter paper and Scale
This is a conventional method of measuring TDS in water, and it requires a few widely available materials, hence making it a very accessible way of checking TDS. The steps are as mentioned below-
- Filter paper
- Sterilized water beaker
- An evaporating dish
- A pipette
- A weighing machine
- An evaporating dish
- Stirring rod
- Paper and pen
Steps To Follow-
- Place the evaporating dish on the weighing machine and note down its weight on a paper (X). Make sure the dish is completely dry and empty.
- Stir the water using the stirring rod so that the matter present in the water will be dispersed equally
- Take the pipette and collect 50 ml from the beaker; make sure to keep stirring even while you collect the sample.
- Extract the water from the pipette and pour it through the filter paper three times. You will now begin to see sediments accumulating on the paper.
- Transfer these sediments onto the evaporating dish and let them dry
- Weigh the evaporating dish on the weighing machine
- Note the value (Y) and use the formula – TDS = [(X-Y)*1000]/ml, Where X will be the value collected at the start of the experiment and the Y will be the value collected at the end. You will measure the final value in mg/liter.
Method Three – Using Electric Conductivity Meter
The electric conductivity meter uses the dissolved salts present in water to measure the TDS. You can follow the following steps to measure TDS using it –
- Sterilized beaker
- Electricity conductivity meter
- A water sample
Steps To Follow-
- Put the water into a beaker and place the beaker on a flat surface.
- Switch on the electric conductivity meter.
- Carefully immerse the measuring lead into the water.
- Wait for the reading to get stabilized, do not panic if it does not happen immediately; give it some time.
- After the device gets stabilized, check the reading, the device will give the reading in the micro siemens unit. Pure, uncontaminated water will have a reading of 0 micro siemens.
- Calculate the TDS using this formula- TDS (in mg/litre) = KE (Co-relation factor) X EC (Conductivity)
- Please switch off the device and store it in a safe place.
Use the above three methods at your convenience to check the level of TDS in your water.
Q. Are TDS and the hardness of water the same thing?
No, while TDS is the presence of total dissolved solids in your water, hardness would represent the presence of high mineral content. Both have different ways of being measured. You can treat the hardness of water by using a water softener, while TDS can be removed by using a water filter.
Q. Why do I need to remove Excess TDS From Water?
TDS is harmful to your health; it gradually attacks your body and can make you sick hence it’s advisable to drink water with under 600 TDS to keep you in excellent health.
Q. How Can I Reduce The Tds In My Water?
We live in an age where pollution has taken over our way of life; it is found everywhere, even in the water we drink; hence to prevent it from affecting our health, checking the TDS levels of the water you consume is essential.
Check the TDS of your water and make sure it is not compromising your health. You can use a TDS meter, filter paper, and a scale or an electrical conductivity meter to check the TDS of water. Out of all three, the TDS meter method will be the easiest, while the filter paper method will be the most accessible.
Comment below which method you found most helpful!
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