Total dissolved solids (TDS) is the term used to describe inorganic salts and small amounts of organic matter present in solution in water. The main constituents are calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium cations, carbonate, hydrocarbon, chloride, sulphate, and nitrate anions.
This is "hard water" and is one of the main problems faced by the inhabitants of Cyprus. It is characterised by a white/yellow sediment that we often see in our taps. Water hardness is measured in 3 types of units:
- mg American degrees CaCO3/l or ppm CaCO3
- ⁰f or French degrees (1 ⁰f = 10 mg CaCO3/l or ppm CaCO3 and 1 ⁰f = 0.56 ⁰d),
- ⁰d or German points (1 ⁰d = 17,9 mg CaCO3/l or ppm CaCO3 and 1 ⁰d = 1,79 ⁰f)
Certain components of TDS, such as chlorides, sulphates, magnesium, calcium and carbonates, affect corrosion in water distribution systems. High levels of TDS (>500 mg/litre) lead to excessive scale formation in water pipes, water heaters and household appliances such as kettles and steam irons, washing machines. These salts can reduce the lifetime of these appliances and increase water and electricity bills.
In addition, hard water makes cleaning more difficult in the bathroom, kitchen and even the dishes as on the first contact with water the dishes and sanitary ware become filled with salt deposits and need both more frequent cleaning and more detergent to shine.
As for the human body, there are no recent data on the health effects associated with ingesting TDS in drinking water. Of course, there are cases where hard water has caused problems such as itchy or irritated skin and even hardening of the hair over the years.
Finally, something that has been frequently observed is that households with hard water use more detergent and fabric softener to wash their clothes as the soap can cling to the fabric, leaving it hard and rough or even not clean at all
The solution to hardness is a water softener that can be connected to our home's main water supply system and relieve us of the problems already mentioned!
Something important to know is that the now soft water that has passed through the softener is not potable as it works with ion exchange resin which replaces calcium and magnesium with sodium. By the same token, this water cannot be used for watering plants because high concentrations of sodium destroy plants.
Find a water softener for your home here and make an appointment for a water hardness measurement at your location so we can help you find the right system!