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The Truth Behind Total Dissolved Solids

If you own a residential or commercial swimming pool and have ever walked into a pool store, you’ve probably heard of the term Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). This is a common term in the industry to determine hardness levels in the water and at Pure Water Industries we feel is not always the best factor to look at. With that said, before we start, what is TDS?

According to Wikipedia, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) can be defined as, “a measure of the combined content of all inorganic and organic substances contained in a liquid in molecular, ionized or micro-granular (colloidal sol) suspended form. The most common chemical constituents are calcium, phosphates, nitrates, sodium, potassium, and chloride, which are found in nutrient runoff, general stormwater runoff, and runoff from snowy climates where road de-icing salts are applied.” When it comes to TDS many pool professionals will use the number to determine whether or not it is time to change out the water in your pool. We feel strongly that there are many other factors that need to be addressed and we hope this blog post helps to explain why.

If you’re like most, a small amount of your swimming pool water is placed into a bottle, it is then taken into a pool store and placed in an Electric Conductivity Meter is used to determine the TDS levels in the swimming pool. This type of test can be challenging to get accurate results because there are many determining factors that can cause the meter to give y0u a high reading including salt in your water. Because salt is highly electroconductive it will ping the meter and the technician will recommend that the pool be drained due to high TDS levels. But, what about Calcium Hardness? Shouldn’t that be another factor as to when it’s time to change out the water in the swimming pool?

The simple answer is, YES! When calcium levels rise it can be a nightmare because it scales the water tile line, the interior finish of the swimming pool, it scales filtration equipment and destroys water features. Another reason as to why a swimming pool owner should change out their water is rising CYA levels. As CYA climbs above 100ppm (typically if you use chlorine tabs) it prevents chlorine from working effectively. When this happens, it’s easier for algae to grow in the pool and can be a nightmare to manage because your Free Chlorine (FC) levels will have to be substantially high.

Whether it’s high TDS, calcium or CYA levels, Pure Water Industries recommends looking at all determining factors before choosing to change out your water. If you live in the Southwest U.S., we recommend changing out your water every two years. The best part about all of this is our mobile filtration system can remove all these contaminants from the swimming pool using Reverse Osmosis (RO) filtration which gives swimming pool owners an option to conserve 85% of the water in the swimming pool and in turn gives them the best possible water in their swimming pool. If you’re curious as to how we recycle swimming pool water please contact us today!