Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

Total Dissolved Solids teat kits

- AKA 'TDS' - is the measure of the total amount of dissolved material in the water and is measured in parts-per-million (ppm)

  • Soluble substances that enter a swimming pool eventually end up as dissolved solids
  • These substances include dissolved salts in the mains water, water treatment chemicals (such as aluminium-based flocculants), soluble pollution from bathers and disinfection by-products - i.e. those substances formed by the reaction between the pool sanitizer and bather pollution
  • The maximum TDS level for pools is 1,500 ppm
  • At values above 1500 ppm, staining may well develop
  • As water evaporates dissolved solids remain behind and therefore TDS level increase over time
  • High TDS reduces the effectiveness of pool chemicals, preventing them from doing what they're supposed to and also causes ioniser and saltwater chlorinator plates to become scaled more quickly, resulting in the need to clean them more frequently.
  • The water may also become turbid (cloudy) - in this case do not use an aluminium-based flocculant because it will leave behind sulphates which will add to the TDS problem (but you can use Jolly Gel )
  • The only practical long-term solution to high TDS is to drain some or all of the water from the pool and replace it with fresh, low TDS, water
  • Rain water (and the condensate from air-conditioning units) contains almost no dissolved solids so rain filling the pool, when the excess water must be removed, will help to reduce TDS
  • Low TDS will result in wild swings in pH, seemingly at random
  • A regular back-washing routine will help to control TDS and prevent it from rising too quickly

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Ken Walker - MyPoolGuru©