How to check the TDS level of Water? Two Easy Methods

by posted in Home and Lifestyle

You must have heard a lot about the TDS in water. Why won’t you, the water purifier companies talk about it relentlessly. Problem is, although the advertisements focus on the TDS level of drinking water, none explain what this feature is.

We took it upon ourselves to explain level of TDS in water.

What is TDS in water?

TDS stands for “Total Dissolved Solids,” which is simply the measure of all organic and inorganic substances that are dissolved in water. In its purest form, a molecule of water contains two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen. Interestingly, such pure form is not healthy for human consumption as it lacks the presence of certain inorganic substances like magnesium, potassium and calcium. The presence of these minerals in drinking water to a certain degree is healthy, however, when this level increases too much it becomes a cause of worry.

Is TDS water necessary?

As we mentioned TDS in water is a healthy inclusion, it also adds a certain taste to the drinking water along with the nutritive value. But the level of dissolved organic and inorganic substances must be under permissible levels.

We don’t have to highlight the large-scale pollution of water resources in India. As a result, along with healthy salts and minerals, the groundwater and other water sources are getting polluted with heavy metal impurities like mercury, lead and arsenic. These chemicals are extremely dangerous for human consumption and make TDS check a requirement.

What is the ideal level TDS in Water?

The level of TDS in water is measured in mg/litre. Along with TDS water, there is another metrics that you must be aware of that is known as the palatability of drinking water. The palatability quotient is a measure that tells you how easy or difficult is it to purify water.

According to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the acceptable level of TDS in water is up to 500 mg/litre. A TDS check is mandatory to find how fit the water is for human consumption.

Here is a detailed table on TDS water Acceptability Levels.

TDS Levels mg/litre Acceptable/Non-acceptable?
Less than 50 Such low level of TDS is unacceptable because it indicates that the water lacks required minerals for the healthy growth of the human body.
50 to 150 This is an acceptable level of TDS water as it indicates that there are no industrial or other types of pollutants involved.
150 to 250 The healthiest range of TDS in water which is excellent for cardiovascular health.
250 to 350 Most places in India have the TDS level of groundwater in this range. It is an acceptable level for drinking water.
350 to 500 This is the uppermost range of acceptable TDS in water as recommended by the BIS.
Above 500 and up to 1200 TDS water level over 500 is not fit for human consumption. However, if TDS check indicates level up to 1200, then you can purify this water using good quality RO and other kinds of water purifiers. You have to make sure that you buy a water purifier that can reduce TDS in water up to 1200 mg/litre.
Above 1200 Such a level of TDS in water is not fit for human consumption and must be used for other applications.


TDS Check-Palatability Levels 

Sometimes, you will find that water purifiers have mentioned palatability quotient. As we mentioned acceptability and palatability levels of TDS in water are different, here is what palatability quotient indicates.

TDS Levels mg/litre Palatability Quotient
Any level less than  300 Excellent for drinking
More than 300 and up to 500 Acceptable with caution
500 to 900 If TDS check indicates this level, you can eliminate excess TDS using a quality water purifier
Above 900 to 1200 Although, high-quality water purifiers can reduce TDS levels in this range as well, still, this TDS water level indicates poor palatability
Above 1200 Utterly unacceptable range

TDS Check: How to do it at home? 

You can check the level of TDS in water at home easily. There are several methods to do TDS check, but we will focus on the most convenient methods.

Method 1: Using Digital TDS Meter

Simplest of all methods is to use a state-of-the-art digital TDS meter tester to check the hardness of the water, the performance of your water filter and the quality of filtered water. You can buy a TDS meter online easily.

Step 1:

  • Measure the temperature of water to be tested
  • Switch the meter on and press the TEMP button
  • Temperature will be displayed in Celsius
  • Press TDS mode, press the TEMP button again
  • It is important to note the temperature of water for an accurate reading.

Step 2:

  • Measure the TDS level with these steps:
  • With TDS mode on, immerse the meter into the water to the maximum immersion level
  • Gently stir the meter to dislodge any air bubbles.
  • Wait till the reading on the TDS meter stabilizes
  • Press the HOLD button and take the meter out
  • If the reading is displayed with ‘x10’ symbol, it means that you have to multiply the reading by 10

Here’s a video tutorial Click here

Best TDS meters to buy online

  1. HM Digital Aquapro AP-2 Water Quality Conductivity Temp Tester

HM Digital Aquapro


  1. IONIX Imported Waterproof TDS Meter

IONIX Imported Waterproof TDS Meter


Method 2: Using Filter Paper and a Scale

This is the most conventional method that you can use for TDS check of drinking water. This method does not require any TDS meter and can be done using simple everyday lab apparatus.

All you going to need is:

Sample of water to be tested

A sterilised beaker

Filter paper

Evaporating Dish

A stirring stick

A Pipette

A scale to measure

Here is a detailed video on how to do TDS water check using filter paper and a scale: Click here


You do not have to put your health at risk when you can easily check TDS in water at home. We hope you will learn how to do TDS check at home from this article.