Does a Sediment Filter Reduce TDS in Water? Find Out Here!

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Sediment filters are best known for removing floating particles from water.

But have you ever wondered if they remove TDS? This article has all the answers!

Key Takeaways

  • Sediment filters do not reduce Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in water.
  • Sediment filters eliminate nothing but suspended particles like dirt, sand, and rust.

What Is TDS in Water?

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) are inorganic salts like magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium, and tiny amounts of organic materials that are dissolved in water.

TDS gets into water from natural deposits in the ground, but also sewage, industrial wastewater, urban runoff, and plumbing materials. Although TDS is not linked to poor health effects, it can be used to measure the overall quality of drinking water, and track changes in water quality over time.

young woman drinking water

Does a Sediment Filter Reduce TDS?

So, does a sediment filter reduce TDS in water?

No, sediment filters do not reduce TDS. They can only remove undissolved particles like dirt, sand, silt, asbestos, bacteria, and rust.

The Best Ways to Reduce TDS in Water

Having extremely high amounts of TDS in your water could be an indication of poor water quality. Here are three ways you can reduce TDS:

Reverse Osmosis Water Purification

Reverse osmosis purification is probably the best way to lower TDS in drinking water. RO systems remove contaminants from water by squeezing it through a semipermeable membrane with minuscule pores. Contaminants and impurities are rejected by the membrane, and only clean water passes to the other side.

RO systems are very effective; they eliminate over 90% of TDS.

Water Distillation

Water distillation is a purification method that involves vaporizing water and condensing it to eliminate contaminants. During the distillation process, water is heated until it evaporates from the boiling chamber. Contaminants are left behind as the water evaporates, and only clean water condenses in the next chamber.

Distillation eliminates most impurities from water, including TDS. The dissolved salts in the boiling water can’t be vaporized, so that’s where they remain.

Water Deionization

Water deionization is another purification technique that lowers TDS levels.

In water deionization, water travels over hydrogen-cation and hydroxide-anion exchange resins. The positive ions flow away toward the negative resin. The same goes for the negative ions and the positive resin. And as a result, the water is stripped of all ions and becomes deionized.

Reverse osmosis is often used in conjunction with deionization so that the non-ionic particles are removed before the deionization procedure.

How to Measure TDS

You can measure TDS using a TDS meter. TDS meters are portable devices that are used to measure the level of total dissolved solids in water. Dissolved solids carry an electrical charge. A TDS meter measures the electrical charge in water and gives you a reading.

To test your water with a TDS meter, first prepare the water to be tested at room temperature. Next, remove the meter’s cap and turn it on. Briefly submerge the metal probes in water before recording your findings. Once finished, dry the metal probes and put the top back on.

You can get a basic TDS meter for as little as $10, but advanced TDS meters can cost up to $1,000, depending on their accuracy and extra features.

tds meter in glass of water

TDS Water Levels

Here’s how to interpret the results from your TDS meter:

  • <50-300 ppm (low TDS): This level of TDS is safe to drink, but it lacks essential minerals.
  • 300-500 ppm (excellent TDS): This is the best TDS level to have in water.
  • 500-1000 ppm (fair TDS): These levels are high, and you’ll need to filter your water before use.
  • 1000-2000 ppm (poor TDS): Drinking water with this level of TDS is not recommended. You’ll need to filter your water before use.
  • >2000ppm (unacceptable TDS): This level of TDS is unsafe, and you must avoid it.

Misconceptions About TDS

The most common TDS misconception is that TDS in water is always bad. Many people believe healthy drinking water must always have low or zero TDS, but this isn’t entirely accurate.

It all depends on the types of solids dissolved in your water. For instance, high calcium and magnesium content in TDS isn’t harmful – quite the opposite – but TDS with pesticides and herbicides are harmful.

So, when it comes to TDS, your water’s safety isn’t solely dependent on the results from your TDS meter. It also depends on the exact types of solids that you are facing.

If you have any thoughts about the question, does a sediment filter reduce TDS, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

About the Author Gene Fitzgerald

Gene Fitzgerald is one of the founders of BOS and currently head of content creation. She has 8+ years of experience as a water treatment specialist under her belt making her our senior scientist. Outside of BOS, Gene loves reading books on philosophy & social issues, making music, and hiking.
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Leave a Comment:

joe says August 18, 2023

i’m sorry, but if this info is correct [<50-300 ppm (low TDS): This level of TDS is safe to drink, but it lacks essential minerals. 300-500 ppm (excellent TDS): This is the best TDS level to have in water.] why would i want a RO system in my home?

    Gene says August 21, 2023

    There is a difference between TDS levels in drinking water and contamination. There are plenty of healthy impurities like calcium and magnesium in water that contribute to higher TDS levels. In other words, a TDS of 200 can be perfectly fine if it’s made up of healthy impurities. If you drinking water TDS is 200, however, and it’s due to lead and chromium 6 (just a hypothetical example), that’s obviously a bad thing. Reverse osmosis removes both good and bad stuff.

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