The best ways to reduce TDS in drinking water


Although it is pretty evident that the water we consume directly is most often contaminated with harsh chemicals and particles. These undissolved minerals in water can prove to be health hazards. Apart from the larger substances that get filtered out of a water filter quickly, the finer particles that dissolve in the water are called TDS (Total Dissolved Solids). TDS in water is a combination of both, organic substances from natural sources and inorganic substances that are generated by industries, road salts, pesticides and more.

TDS is a measurable number suggesting the level of severity of the dissolved salt. This number depends on the source, supply and use of the water. Water found at source i.e. glaciers has a lower TDS compared to water provided by the Municipal Corporation. A low level of TDS in water sounds fine, however, drinking water must contain a suitable quantity of dissolved salts. Thus, it becomes very important to ensure an optimum TDS level in water.

Hard water has a high level of TDS which needs reduction before consuming it. There are several hazards of drinking water that has high TDS. The most common is a sore throat with an itchy feeling. Also, hard water is harmful for health and other household equipment’s, so it is essential to reduce TDS in water.

In such cases when TDS is high, it is of utmost important to invest in a high-performance water filter that will reduce TDS levels and provide you with healthy distilled water.

How To Reduce TDS in Water?

There are a couple of methods to reduce TDS in water. However, we shall be conveying information about only those methods which can be tried at home to reduce TDS.


Deionisation is a process in which water passes through a membrane with positive and negative electrodes. The membrane enables the positive ions to detach themselves from the water and move towards the native electrode. In doing so, the final product of distilled water is de-ionised. Make sure this is coupled with a reverse osmosis process that first gets rid of the non-ionic particles, before going through to the de-ionisation process. This process is most common in water heaters and geysers that treat hard water.


This process neither involves a water filter nor a water purifier. Perhaps, this is one of the most convenient methods of reducing TDS, albeit not the most effective. Distillation is simple but requires a setup using apparatus that are usually found in a Chemistry lab.

The process involves boiling water so that the vapour rises to a cool surface and condenses back to form liquid. The dissolved salts cannot vaporise and therefore, settle at the bottom of the boiling solution, providing distilled water.

Reverse Osmosis

Using an RO water purifier can be the best solution to reduce drinking water TDS. RO reduces TDS by forcing water through a fine membrane with microscopic pores which eliminates even the smallest of particles. All that can pass through are atoms smaller than 0.0001 microns. Thus, purifying water to the purest form.

Why it is so important to keep track of TDS Levels

Despite passing through a water purifier, sometimes drinking water might contain high TDS which lends a salty, rough taste to it. Secondly, high TDS indicates the presence of chemicals and contaminants that are toxic and instantly affect human throat. High TDS levels lead to hard water, so if you’re using an RO Filter, make sure to pair it up with a water softener which makes water better for consumption.

Regardless of TDS being bad, there are acceptable levels and palatable levels of TDS.
In spite of TDS being bad, there are acceptable levels and palatable levels of TDS.

The below table indicates the latter:

TDS Levels in mg/litre :Palatability Quotient
Less than 300: This is considered excellent to drink
300-500: These levels are good
600-900: These are fair levels
900-1200: This is considered poor palatability
Above 1200: This is an unacceptable range

Though TDS levels <300 are considered excellent to drink, it isn’t necessarily an acceptable level.  Here’s how you can find out whether the water you’re drinking has acceptable levels of TDS or not.

TDS Levels in mg/litre: Acceptability/ non-acceptability factors
Less than 50: This is unacceptable because such a low TDS denotes the lack of natural nutrients and minerals
50-150: Acceptable level, especially in the range of 80-150
150-250: Healthiest range
250-500: Acceptable range
500-900: Not acceptable. You can use a water filter to reduce the level

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