A few weeks ago Nate and I used his TDS meter to test our tap water and a couple of bottled waters. From there, my curiosity grew and I decided to test several other types of bottled water.
If you are unfamiliar with TDS (total disolved solids) testing, the following article would be a good place to start before looking at my results: http://www.wqpmag.com/water-testing-101-tds.
Some highlights of the article:
- “TDS is anything—other than the pure H2O—in water that you cannot see. This could include any salt, metal or mineral, and the lower the TDS level is, the purer the water.”
- “In reality, a TDS meter measures the electrical conductivity of water or, in other words, the total amount of mobile charged ions found in water. If an element is dissolved in water and can conduct electricity, it is called an electrolyte. Salt, for example, is an electrolyte. Sugar, however, is not and will therefore not register on a conductivity or TDS meter. This is one reason why a TDS meter is only an estimate of the true TDS.”
- TDS is measured on a quantity scale, either in mg/L or, more commonly, in parts per million (ppm). Simply put, if the TDS level is 335 ppm, this means that out of one-million parts of H2O, 335 of those parts are something else.
Some other good resources include:
Some things to keep in mind:
1) Not all total dissolved solids are bad.
2) All of the water I tested was in the “excellent” range for TDS
3) My results are estimates and results will definitely vary depending on your location and TDS meter.
4) There are many other tests for water quality (such as pH) that should be used in addition to a TDS test.
1) Our Tap Water
TDS=219 ppm (parts per million)
2) Brita Filtered Water (Filter replaced one week ago)
TDS= 134 ppm
3) Pur Aqua Spring (ALDI Brand)-
TDS= 191 ppm
4) Nice! Spring Water (Walgreens)
TDS= 191 ppm
*I am pretty sure that the Aldi and Walgreens brand are the same exact water as they are both bottled at the same facility.*
5) Publix Spring
TDS= 164 ppm
Label Claim: “Processed by advanced filtration and ozone technologies”
6) Nestle Pure Life
TDS= 50 ppm
Label Claim: “Enhanced with minerals for taste.”
7) Aquafina (Pepsi Brand)
TDS= 4 ppm
Label: “…purified through a rigorous seven-step process called Hydro-7”
8) Dasani (Coca-Cola Brand)
TDS= 30 ppm
Label: “Enhanced with minerals for a pure, fresh taste.”
9) Iceland pure
TDS= 44 ppm
“Filtered through the lava mountains of Iceland, it has one of the naturally lowest mineral contents of any water and a high pH of 8.88.”
*I tested the pH level and it was significantly lower than 8.88 that the label claims.*
Label: “Dissolved solids at 180C: 309 ppm”
TDS= 0 ppm
Label: “Trace Pharmaceuticals Free, Bisphenol A Free, Chlorine Free, Arsenic Free, MTBE Free, Chromium 6 Free, Fluoride Free.”
“Penta Water is Over 100X More Pure than Leading National Brands.”
I’ve been told that water with 0 ppm would taste flat, but this water didn’t taste bad in any way.
TDS= 52 ppm
Label: “Total Dissolved Solids 62 ppm”
TDS= 35 ppm
Label: “Total Dissolved Solids 44”
TDS= 138 ppm
Label: “Total Dissolved Solids 224”
If you’re interested in testing your own water I would recommend the TDS meter.
I’m not sure what brand this meter is but a similar one can easily be found on amazon:
Happy Water Testing!