Do you know your tap TDS level?

richsdJuly 8, 2013

I checked my tap water this afternoon and was shocked how it has spiked to 705 ppm. (in the past it's been in the 500s.) I don't have a water softener so that's not the problem. I get Phoenix water.

For those who don't know what TDS means, it's basically how much salt is in the water. The lower the better of course.

So, besides the heat, the salty tap water makes growing things all more difficult.

If anyone else has a TDS meter, I'd be curious to see what readings you get from your tap water.

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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

It's not just salt; it can be organic or inorganic material, including minerals such as iron (which makes for really hard water), arsenic, and a host of other constituents. A 'high' TDS reading doesn't necessarily indicate that the water is 'salty', just that more stuff got past the filters than EPA guidelines recommend.

Here is a link that might be useful: Total Disolved Solids

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 12:49AM
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richsd

OK, thanks. But when I say 'salty', I'm referring to not only sodium chloride (table salt), but to all the other salts that have an osmotic effect in water (sulfates, chlorides, calcium, etc.)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 9:36AM
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toucan(9)

Any good inexpensive TSS meters you recommend.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 11:46AM
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richsd

toucan, I bought mine on Amazon for about $20. My pH meter was way more expensive, like $120.

You may have noticed that Zerowater advertises it includes a TDS meter for free. That's a quick way to get one.

A reverse osmosis system will substantially reduce the TDS of the water for a greenhouse for example, but I use way too much water outside to use a reverse osmosis outside.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 4:55PM
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Juttah

What about a calcium inhibitor filter? Would that help?

Here is a link that might be useful: Calcium Filter

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 6:36PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

It certainly keeps the mister nozzles from clogging up. This comparison of filters might be helpful. In our house, we use an undercounter carbon filter and a different type in the shower.

Here is a link that might be useful: water filters

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 9:25PM
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richsd

Juttah, I opened the link you provided. The site doesn't describe in detail what the filter is doing, so I wouldn't recommend buying it.

Actually, there's not much we can do about our high salinity water here, but at least do these important steps: On a regular basis, over-water your plants to leach out the accumulated salts; and use mulches and gravel to reduce evaporation loss. Also, growing plants that can take high salinity is one easy way to deal with the problem. Example is bermuda grass- it can take a lot of salt before it shows damage. I use water from my R/O unit when I use my pump sprayer (it's also handy to wash windows...)

Arizona's salty, alkaline water is probably one my biggest peeves about living here. Arrgh!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 3:46PM
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