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Culligan Water

What does “TDS” mean to you?

November 16, 2010 by james

TDS (Total Dissolved Solids)

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is a term used to define the amount of all the dissolved minerals in the water. Dissolved solids come from rock dissolved by water. High dissolved solids may have the following effects:

  • Bad Taste – This could be really any variety of tastes, but more common would be salty, bitter, or astringent
  • Scaling – High hardness in conjunction with high alkalinity or sulfates causes scale
  • Spotting – Even with soft water, a residue can be left behind on a surface after the water has evaporated
  • Mineral Fur – Mineral Fur is found around water spigots/faucets due to the accumulation of solids upon evaporation
  • Laxative Effect – caused by high sulfate

The Federal Drinking Water Standard on TDS is 500 ppm.

The best way to treat high TDS is through reverse osmosis.  It is important to know your TDS levels ahead of time before you purchase any equipment.  Reverse osmosis (RO) will have certain limits as to how much TDS it can reduce depending on make and model.  Other important factors in reverse osmosis is feed pressure and temperature.  It may be necessary to add booster pumps either before or after an RO depending on those factors.  More information on RO can be found here: