TDS is a popular water quality measurement because it’s simple, accessible, and does provide the reader with a general understanding of their water’s make-up. If the TDS meter returns a 2,000ppm reading, your water is brimming with dissolved solids, many of which are likely to be undesirable contaminants. If the TDS meter shows a reading of 100, you know your tap water is generally low in organic and inorganic compounds and lacking high mineral content.
However, a TDS reading is also a common water salesman trick. If a homeowner is shown a 300ppm TDS reading and told their water is full of dangerous and unknown dissolved substances, this can be used to leverage the sale of an unnecessary and expensive water filtration system. The truth is, a TDS meter alone cannot provide the salesman or the homeowner a complete picture of the water’s quality. A more in-depth water test kit can provide a much more complete picture of what is present in your water. Some specialized tests can be performed at home, and give you estimated ranges of specific contaminants like copper or arsenic. A lab test kit will give you a complete assessment of the contaminant levels present in your water.