The best ways to reduce TDS in drinking water

Published on : July 16, 2019

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 combines organic substances from natural sources and inorganic substances 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 water source, supply, and use. Water found at the source, i.e., glaciers have a lower TDS than 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 the water.

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

When TDS is high, it is of utmost importance 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-ionized. Deionisation is coupled with a reverse osmosis process that first gets rid of the non-ionic particles before going through 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 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 a 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, eliminating even the smallest 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 gives it a salty, rough taste. Secondly, high TDS indicates the presence of toxic chemicals and contaminants that can instantly affect the human throat. High TDS levels lead to hard water, so pair it up with a water softener that makes drinking water better for consumption if you’re using an RO filter.
Regardless of TDS being bad, there are acceptable levels and palatable TDS levels.
Despite TDS being bad, there are acceptable levels and palatable TDS levels.
The below TDS table indicates the latter:

TDS Levels in mg/litre: Palatability Quotient
1. Less than 300: This is considered excellent to drink
2. 300-500: These levels are good
3. 600-900: These are fair levels
4. 900-1200: This is considered poor palatability

Above 1200: This is an unacceptable range
Though TDS levels less than 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
1. Less than 50: This is unacceptable because such a low TDS denotes the lack of natural nutrients and minerals
2. 50-150: Acceptable level, especially in the range of 80-150
3. 150-250: Healthiest range
4. 250-500: Acceptable range
5. 500-900: Not acceptable. You can use a water filter to reduce the level.

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