You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.

Water Taste & TDS : Correlation & More: Opinions Invited!

I have been trying to corroborate water taste with TDS, but see two different water with same TDS taste different. If the individual components that make the TDS are the same in two water samples will the taste be the same? Are there other factors other than TDS that affect water taste?

With a resistivity meter for measuring TDS it was not possible to measure organic components,when sugar was added to water the end TDS still remained the same. Is it possible for a water supply company to arrive at a desired taste by engineering the various ingredients that give taste to water?





Dear Mr. Natrajan

Conductivity meter measures only those solids which get ionised for example sodium chloride. Sugar being non ionizable will not show any rise in conductivity.

Water test is totally depends on the soluble organic and inorganic chemicals and pH of water.

TDS value may be same but composition of solids will be different so the taste. For example solutions containing 0.1 g Sodium chloride and 0.1 g sugar will have two different taste

If two sample will have same composition then taste may be same.

Prof. R. V. Saraf
Viraj Envirozing India Pvt. Ltd.
21 Radhakrishna, Near SBI Maid Road, Pune 38


Dear Natarajan.V.,

TDS in water originate from natural sources, urban run off, domestic and industrial waste water etc and are inorganic as well as organic in nature.Generally TDS in potable water is due to the presence of cations and anions (inorganic components).TDS is usually determined by gravimetric method, which involves the drying of filtered water sample at elevated temperature (you can get the procedure from any standard book describing water testing).

An approximation of TDS can be obtained by measuring the conductivity(or resistivity) of the water, as the bulk of dissolved solids in potable waters is made up of anions and cations such as calcium, magnesium, sodium (cations) and chloride, sulfate, bicarbonate (anions). The relationship between total dissolved solids and conductivity is a function of the type and nature of the dissolved cations and anions in the water.

TDS determination, using either gravimetric or conductivity method, provides a qualitative measure of the amount of dissolved ions, but does not tell us the nature or ion relationships. In addition, the test does not provide us insight into the specific water quality issues, such as hardness chloride, nitrate. Thus TDS test is a just an indicator test for the general quality of water.

The mineral composition of water determines its taste. For example, water with a TDS of 500 mg/L composed of table salt would taste slightly salty, have a slippery feel, and be called soft water. Whereas, water with the same TDS value but composed of similar proportions of table salt, calcium, sulfate and bicarbonate would have a more acceptable (less salty) taste and feel less slippery due to its greater water hardness.

Salty taste can be reduced by limiting the amounts of chloride and sulfate ions in potable water to less than 250 mg/L each.Water high in hardness may taste bitter. It also should be mentioned that some components of water, which do not significantly contribute to TDS may impart specific taste to water.

Examples being, copper, iron some specific organic compounds.
Addition of sugar to water does not change the resistivity as sugar is not ionized. It assumed that when TDS is within the permissible level (<500 mg/L) major taste problems due to chloride and hardness may not be perceived


Leela Iyengar


Dear Natarajan.V.,

Please go through the link here: This may help you.

With regards

Diponkar Bordoloi
Assistant Engineer
Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED)
Guwahati, Assam

4. Contact us for eliminating scaling effects

Contact us for eliminating scaling effects caused by calcium carbonates present in water.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
1 + 9 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 India License.