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TDS in Tap Water: Its Potential Health Risks and How to Reduce It

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What do you know about TDS? TDS is an abbreviation for Total Dissolved Solids, and it is used to portray the different inorganic matters, organic salts, and other substances that are dissolved in water. These other substances include chloride, calcium, nitrate anions, sodium, hydrogen carbonate, sulfate, potassium cations, and potassium carbonate.

If there are present dissolved solids in water, the taste of the water is directly affected. Although people claim that water does not have a taste, this is not true at all. Professional water tasters say that water that does not have total dissolved solids is not good; the water tastes dull, bland, and flat which is not what people are looking for in the water.

Water is a very vital part of living. Every human being cannot survive without having water every single day. Moreover, water is part of almost everything that a human being does such as cooking, taking a bath, brushing your teeth, washing dishes and clothes, and many more. Therefore, the water that human beings use on an everyday basis should be as healthy and as safe as possible.

The drinking water that is bought by people to consume has a high concentration of Total Dissolved Solids when tested. There are so many things that can contaminate and ruin the water that people drink.
It encouraged the government to make a strict legal policy about making sure that there are no harmful substances in the water. This regulation is a great activity to make sure that the water is kept safe, but unfortunately, TDS or total dissolved solids are not included in this policy.

There is only one guideline made about the TDS content of any drinking water but is very unreliable. It is because it does not prevent companies from putting a dangerous amount of TDS in the water. The sole reason why it is added to water is to achieve the flavorful and more attractive taste of water for consumers.

Furthermore, the more total dissolved solids content you have in your water at home, the more effects it could have in other areas of your home and not just your health. The pipes in your home would not be too happy with water that is highly-concentrated with dissolved solids. It is because it can cause these pipes to corrode. After all, these substances can build up on pipes or fixtures as time passes, which causes a metallic taste to the water.

The real question here is what the effects of total dissolved solids are. Fortunately, this article is devoted to educating you more about the effects of total dissolved solids or TDS in water.

Effects of Consuming Water With TDS

Currently, there are still no specific health hazards that TDS causes to human beings. If you read researches and studies all over the globe, they are not proving anything about the effects of the human body. But experts and scientists studying TDS over the years have found some relationships between illnesses, and the TDS content of water.

Diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, coronary heart disease, and arteriosclerotic heart disease have been studied by professionals and have traced an inverse relationship with TDS.
In a community in Australia, the number of patients suffering from acute myocardial infarction and other heart diseases rose to a significant number.

Later on, experts found out that the increasing number of the death toll on these patients is correlated with the high traces of calcium, chloride, pH, fluoride, magnesium, total hardness, soluble solids, and alkalinity. But, even if there are cases as mentioned above, there is still no known study that strongly proves the claim of other studies.

According to the Water Quality Association, regardless of there are no health hazards observed in healthy individuals ingesting TDS at varying levels. It is because of the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis, which controls the absorption and excretion of minerals.

Where Does TDS Come From?

Water is a very easy target for TDS because it easily absorbs contamination or pollution from both natural and man-made contaminants. Therefore, any sources may be man-made or natural and can be a source of dissolved solids in water.

Below are the natural sources of TDS in the water that you drink:
· Carbonate deposit
· Mineral Spring
· Sea Water Intrusion
· Salt Deposit

Here are the man-made sources of TDS in the water that you drink:
· Waste from Small and Big Industries
· Runoff from Agriculture
· Chemicals used to treat water
· Anti-skid materials
· Sewage
· Hardware that helps distribute water

Is There A Test To Determine TDS Content?

The water tests are essential to maintain a high quality of drinking water for consumers. If there are any unwanted chemicals or substances present in the water, then the water should be treated, and should not be consumed by people.

There are so many other indicators of high TDS presence. Here are some of the examples on TDS indicators:
1. Bitterness in taste
2. Hardness
3. Potassium Chloride
4. White mineral build up in faucets
5. Magnesium Carbonate Presence
6. Scale Formation
7. Sodium Chloride Presence
8. Water spots on dishes

The EPA or the United States Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for testing the water in the water supply for any traces of TDS and other harmful substances. There are two categories of EPA tests, one is the Primary and the next is the Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level Standards.

As for TDS, it is tested in the Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level Standard Test. The standard is 500 milligrams per liter. As has been said above, this secondary test that includes testing for TDS is not created as a policy that should be strictly followed, but it only acts as a regulation. Therefore, there is no strong imposition of the standard of TDS content in the water.

But, if you are living in a home where the source of the water is private, then the water that you are drinking every single day is not tested according to EPA standards. It is because private supplies are not the responsibility of the government. Therefore, the homeowners have the responsibility of having their water supply or source tested and checked for any presence of harmful contaminants or TDS.

Is It Necessary To Measure TDS Levels In Water

The answer to this question is an absolute yes. You need to test your water because the tests will determine if the water is safe to drink or if it’s potable. Water tests are vital to ensure that the water you are drinking is potable and free from the presence of any contaminants.

Total Dissolved Solids can affect the taste of the water that you are using. It can make your water bitter or sulfuric in taste depending on how much TDS is present in the water.

Secondly, water that has any contaminants or the presence of TDS should not be consumed by people because it could have some serious health hazards and concerns to human being’s health.

Moreover, the presence of contaminants and TDS can affect the water filters, and it can also ruin different utensils that you wash with the contaminated water.

How To Reduce TDS Levels In Water

According to the World Health Organization, there have been no studies proving that the presence of TDS and other harmful substances on the water is not safe for everyone. But it is necessary to know how to reduce the presence of TDS in our water in different ways, including the use of water filters.

1. Distillation is the process that needs water filters or water purifiers. It is the easiest way to make sure that the TDS content in water is reduced. The setup of the distillation process needs some special equipment found in a chemical laboratory.
In distillation, you will need to boil the water so that the steam rises to the colder surface and transforms back into liquid form. In this process, the salt content in the water will stay at the bottom because it is not able to vaporize or steam, leaving you with cleaner water afterward.

2. Reverse Osmosis forces the water into a fine membrane that gets rid of the smallest particles present in the water. It is the most effective way to purify your water in the best way possible. This type of water filtering method is the best solution to keep your water potable and safe.
The world today is full of different substances that can harm and contaminate the water, so the best thing we have left to do is to educate ourselves and learn new ways to help filter the water that we consume every day.

Water tests can be quite expensive in the long run. This is why it’s better to invest in something with a long-term goal in mind. Whole house water filters can not only filter out TDS but also a number of other water contaminants. See more here

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