TDS (Total Dissolved Solids)

Dissolved Solids cannot be seen with the human eye, but they can be measured. Safe Home offers several kits that provide drinking water testing for total dissolved solids (TDS) in city water and well water supplies.

Parameter Type: Drinking Water Testing for Volatiles

Parameter Name: TDS (Total Dissolved Solids)

What it is and Where it Comes From:

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is a measure of the dissolved combined content of all inorganic and organic substances present in a liquid in molecular, ionized, or micro-granular (colloidal sol) suspended form. TDS concentrations are often reported in parts per million (ppm). Water TDS concentrations can be determined using a digital meter. The operational definition is that the solids must be small enough to survive filtration through a filter with 2-micrometer (nominal size, or smaller) pores. Total dissolved solids are normally discussed only for freshwater systems, as salinity includes some of the ions constituting the definition of TDS. The principal application of TDS is in the study of water quality for streams, rivers, and lakes. Although TDS is not generally considered a primary pollutant, it is used as an indication of aesthetic characteristics of drinking water and as an aggregate indicator of the presence of a broad array of chemical contaminants. Drinking water testing gives you several benefits like peace of mind, identifying contaminants in your water, and insight into health concerns. Safe Home offers two platforms of drinking water testing for total dissolved solids (TDS). The first platform in drinking water testing for total dissolved solids is Do-It-Yourself, this allows you to perform testing in the comfort of your own home. The second platform is a Laboratory drinking water testing kits for total dissolved solids, allowing you to collect your water sample and ship it directly to our EPA-Certified Laboratory. This platform of drinking water testing for total dissolved solids will give you an accurate level based on the lowest level of a parameter our instruments can detect (Method Detection Level). Safe Home drinking water testing for physical properties can be used for city and well water supplies. Drinking water testing should be done any time you notice a significant change in your water quality.

Health Effects:

An elevated level of TDS, by itself, does not indicate that the water presents a health risk. However, elevated levels of specific ions included in the TDS measurement, such as nitrate, arsenic, aluminum, copper, or lead, could present health risks. If an indicator test shows elevated TDS, specific analysis is then required for each contaminant to determine potential health effects.

Solutions to Contaminant Levels:

Reverse osmosis is a process that removes foreign contaminants, solid substances, large molecules, and minerals from water by using pressure to push it through specialized membranes. Here’s how reverse osmosis works. Unlike osmosis, which is a passive process, reverse osmosis requires external force (pressure) to work. Pressure is applied to a highly concentrated solute solution, such as salt water, to pass through a membrane to a lower concentrate solution. The membrane allows water to flow through but blocks out larger molecules, like contaminants. The reverse osmosis process leaves higher concentrations of solute on one side and only the solvent, or freshwater, on the other. Distillation is the process involves boiling water to produce water vapor. The water vapor rises to a cool surface where it is condensed back into the liquid form. The dissolved salts are unable to vaporize and remain in the boiling solution. Deionization (DI) is the process, water is passed through a positive and negative electrode. The ion-selective membranes enable the positive ions to separate from the water and move towards the negative electrode. The result is de-ionized water with high purity. However, the water is first passed through a reverse osmosis unit first to remove the non-ionic organic contaminants. Who do I need to contact to find out more information about water quality in my area? Every community water supplier must provide an annual report to its customers, known as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). The report provides information on your local drinking water quality, including the water’s source, contaminants found in the water, and how consumers can get involved in protecting drinking water. How often does the local public water system preform drinking water testing? Frequency of drinking water testing depends on the number of people served, the type of water source, and types of contaminants. Certain contaminants are tested more frequently than others, as established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. You can find out about levels of regulated contaminants in your treated water for the previous calendar year in your annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).


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