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June 12, 2014
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What Are Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)?


These are the sum total of all things dissolved in pool and spa water.

  In other words, this refers to all other chemicals besides H2O. It includes hardness, alkalinity, cyanuric acid, chlorides, bromides, sulfates, silicates and all manner of organic compounds. It includes not only sanitizing and pH adjusting chemicals, but also conditioner, algicides, cleaners, airborne pollutants, bather waste and anything introduced into the water via fill and spill water.  Every time we add anything to our pool and spa water, we increase its TDS.
In addition, when the water evaporates, it leaves behind all of the solids that had been dissolved in it. The National Spa & Pool Institute recommends pool and spa TDS levels be maintained between 1,000 and 2,000 ppm.
  When you get a lot of dissolved substances in water – anything above around 2500 parts per million – you are welcoming problems.


  Issues correlated with High TDS 


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NBWS Pool Service

 #1. High TDS interferes with the normal workings of sanitizers by forming a chemical “shield” around bacteria, algae, and other substances normally attacked by chlorine or bromine and preventing sanitizer molecules from circulating freely.
 #2. High TDS can cause eye and skin irritation, even though the pH is right and there are no chloramines in the water. 
 #3. High TDS can permit an algae bloom, even with a 2-3 ppm chlorine residual.
 #4. High TDS can also result in corrosion of metal equipment and accessories, even though the water is balanced.
But since stuff is always being added to pool and spa water whether we like it or not, TDS buildup in pool and spa water beyond recommended levels is inevitable.

Ways of testing your levels of TDS
Do you know the level of total dissolved solids in your pool?

Short of a detailed laboratory analysis, the most dependable method of determing the level of TDS in water is an electronic TDS meter.
TDS meters measure the conductivity of the water – its ability to conduct an electrical charge from one probe pole to another – which increases with increasing TDS levels. Under normal circumstances, the TDS level of a catchment of water can be expected to increase year over year until it is so high the water can no longer be sanitized effectively with chemicals and must be drained.
  Arizona / Pima Chemical Service Technician. can tell you the level of TDS in your pool, and if it is high, use our mobile Reverse Osmosis purification machine to decrease your water’s TDS level, rid it of potentially dangerous water contaminants, & lessen your dependence on pool and spa sanitizing and balancing chemicals, without ever having to drain your pool!


  “The mineral content of your water increases every day. This is due to evaporation, which removes only distilled water and leaves the minerals behind. In time, these minerals begin depositing on the walls of the pool and we call this gradual buildup “staining”.” excerpt from the “Swimming Pools Water Treatment Professional‘s” Educational series on Water Hardness. Unfortunately it is not possible to prevent staining completely, but here are some tips to help minimize it.



Minerals like calcium and magnesium leave behind white deposits. You may notice white deposits at your water line but not much when you look at the surface of your pool. Although pools with dark surfaces may occasionally show signs of calcium or magnesium deposits, the real culprit to staining is dissolved metals. Dissolved metals like copper and iron can discolor a swimming pools surface and combine with calcium, magnesium and each other to leave various discolorations. With higher hardness and TDS, more discolorations can occur.


  One of the ways to determine amount of minerals in your pool is to perform a total hardness & TDS test. These tests determines the amount of  minerals like calcium and magnesium that have built up in your pool. You experience these minerals in other household areas like the crusty build up on you faucets or the water spots on your car. The desert southwest experiences some of the hardest water conditions in the country. Out of the tap the water is already “hard” because it contains a lot of minerals. Combine that with some of the highest evaporation rates in the country, estimated at 1-2 inches per week in the winter and up to 3-4 inches per week in the summer and you’ll see why we have hard water & high TDS levels in our swimming pools and spas.

  Hardness & high TDS formally made it necessary for you to drain and refill your swimming pool periodically every 3-5 years to reduce the risk of stains and swimmer irritation. With our Reverse Osmosis treatment the water can be cleansed without draining the pool. Click on the “REVERSE OSMOSIS” tab on this web site for information regarding Reverse Osmosis Treatment.

  At North Bay Water Services, Inc., we test our customers TDS levels early each spring to avoid any potential problems during the swim season. In the event your TDS levels test high, we will send you a letter recommending to drain the pool down several feet and add fresh water. This will dilute your current level down to the recommended range.. You may call our office at 1-800-448-0362 at any time to request your current total hardness & TDS reading. Our customer service representatives will explain the options available for keeping your pool water safe and healthful.



6180 Egret Court, Suite A., Benicia, C A 94510

SINCE 1981


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