What are Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)? How to reduce them?

Published on : December 20, 2022

The drinking water that is supplied to our homes may not necessarily be safe for consumption, even though it may look clear. Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in water is an indication of the amount of minerals, metals, organic material, and salts, specifically ions such as magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium. These ions are an indication of the quality of your water. However, organic residue, such as the salts and minerals from rocks or groundwater, as well as inorganic residue from farming activities, can be responsible for invisible particles in the water, which can increase the level of TDS in the water. [1]

What is TDS? – Definition, Explanation  

The water TDS full form is Total Dissolved Solids, which is the total concentration of dissolved substances in water. TDS comprises organic matter and inorganic salts such as potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and others. And all of these find their way into various water bodies through natural causes and also due to human activities. [2]

Why is impure water bad?

Consumption of impure water has been directly linked to diseases such as diarrhoea, typhoid, dysentery, Hepatitis A, and polio, which can be fatal if medical care is not promptly given. The contamination in the water can be due to the natural process or indirect addition due to inadequate management of urban, industrial, and agricultural wastewater. Natural addition of chemicals such as arsenic and fluoride are mainly seen in the case of groundwater (4).

In 2017, more than 220 million people were given preventative treatment for schistosomiasis. This chronic disease occurs through parasitic worms that enter the body through infected water. About 2 billion people worldwide consume drinking water from a source contaminated with feces. This water source contaminated with microbes from fecal waste greatly threatens the safety of drinking water.

TDS cannot be eliminated through basic filtration technology. To date, it is only reverse osmosis that has proved to be efficient enough to remove TDS from water. Minerals found in water are necessary for the body, but at the same time, toxic chemicals and heavy metals can lead to health hazards. It is essential to select a water purifier that works on 100% RO technology rather than mixing the water to attain the desired TDS levels. (5)

How to choose which purifier works best for you? High TDS vs Low TDS

The choice of your water purifier will depend on what type of water supply you receive. In most cities, the municipal corporation supplies water for daily use, which also includes drinking water. This water may contain invisible impurities or, in rare cases, traces of microbiological matter like bacteria or viruses. At times, you may also receive groundwater, which has a higher level of TDS.

Using a TDS meter, you can know the TDS level in the water. If the TDS is more than 200mg/litre, you should opt for a RO water purifier, whereas a drinking water TDS of less than 200mg/litre can be resolved with a UV water purifier.

Water purifiers with advanced purification technology can assure safe and healthy water. Make a healthy choice for your family, and use A. O. Smith India water purifiers!


1. Research on drinking water purification technologies for household use by reducing total dissolved solids (TDS) | PLOS ONE 
3. Total dissolved solids in Drinking-water 
4. WHO Factsheet on Drinking Water 
5. Reverse-osmosis- An overview  

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