Total dissolved solids (TDS) are everything that can be dissolved in water. Sources of TDS include industrial discharge, sewage, fertilizers, road run-off, soil erosion and organic sources such as leaves, silt and plankton. TDS can give a murky appearance and affect the quality and taste of the water. In drinking water, a limit of 500 parts per million (ppm) is a secondary standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). West Des Moines, Iowa water has TDS levels of 500-900 ppm.
Minerals that make water “hard” also contribute to TDS. Hard water received its name because it requires more soap to get a good lather and makes it “hard” to work with. In addition to making washing more difficult, hard water can cause scaling on sinks and fixtures. Hard water leaves deposits in hot water heaters, clogs pipes and causes buildup in pumps and other water using appliances. This shortens appliance life, reducing performance and increasing maintenance costs. The best way to treat hard water is with a water softener.
High TDS makes water have a very prominent ‘mouthfeel’, affecting the taste of foods and beverages, making them less desirable to consume. The higher the TDS, the less water we absorb, leaving sediments behind. Wine drinkers do not typically like high TDS water because it affects the taste of wine and makes it difficult to have a “clean pallet” between samples. If the water we drink is not totally pure, the sediments will stay in our bodies causing joint stiffness, hardening of the arteries, kidney stones, gall stones, artery and capillary blockage. TDS can also cause gastrointestinal irritation in some people.
Low TDS has a good ‘mouthfeel’, low TDS water can be achieved by drinking water that is purified or by means of reverse osmosis or de-ionization. Benefits of low TDS water are a greater absorption of good, clean water in the body.
This concludes the contaminant water blogging section of our blog. If there is a contaminant you would like to know about, please reply to this blog & I will find out all you need to know. If you live in the Des Moines, Iowa area, please stop by with a water sample and we can test your water, for free, and let you know what the TDS amounts are in your water and how you can have good water for your drinking and home needs.
Until next time at ‘The Water Blog’!!!