THE EFFECTS OF DRINKING LOW / HIGH TDS WATER
– Master Suryansh Talukdar 9 C
Eight of us, students of the secondary section, had been part of the science research cell under the mentorship of our Supervisor Ms. Anita Philip. We were planning and preparing ourselves to represent our school in the National Children Science Congress from the beginning of the academic session 2017-2018. After deliberations on various topics, we zeroed in on our topic. The topic was chosen because water plays a vital role in our holistic health. It is also considered the most important mode of carrying both macro and micro nutrients in our body but with recent changes in our lifestyle and ever increasing rate of pollution we tend to drink pure or mineral water which is bought for a price. At the same time, our ignorance about the contents and quality of water has led to many diseases in the long run. We never bother to check on the nutrients present in the water that we consider safe to drink. As a result, these days people are suffering from lifestyle related diseases, which arises due to deficiency of vital minerals.
Hence, we planned to study the TDS of safe drinking water from various parts of the county through various agencies. TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids in water and represents the total concentration of dissolved substances in water. During our research, we came to know that water with high TDS may contain potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium along with sodium bicarbonate, sulphate, chloride and nitrate. We also learnt that the accepted limits of TDS in the world in 70 ppm – 700 ppm. (ppm-parts per million)
Moreover, our research also equipped us with the fact that certain components of TDS such as chlorides, sulphates, magnesium, carbonates affect corrosion or encrustation in water distribution system. High TDS level (>500mg/ L) results in excessive scaling in water pipes, water heaters, water boilers etc. Such scalings shorten the life time of the appliances. It can also cause various diseases in human beings. The water in places like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Vellore has very high TDS, which is unsuitable for drinking. It is above 1000 ppm.
We also learnt that low TDS in water may also cause many problems in the body. Nowadays most of the people are fascinated to buy KENT OR EUREKA FORBES water purifiers which are equipped with the RO (Reverse Osmosis) technology. This RO technology does not allow useful materials in water to enter the body. Our body needs some salts like potassium and calcium in the body, but the RO does not allow these substances to pass through. Drinking RO water is as good as drinking DISTILLED WATER, as its ppm is 7 – 8 ppm.
For the first time, we learnt that drinking water too has standards and the importance of minerals that are present and the various filtration processes that take part in our environment. We also learnt about the harmful effects of demineralised water and pathogens present in commercial water.
Hence from our studies, we advised people to buy their water purifiers according to the TDS of the filtered water and the cost of the water purifier, because both high and low TDS is harmful for human body . By the end of our research, we were educated enough about the quality of water, the minerals it should contain and the utility of the minerals. We also came to know that the TDS of drinking water should be between 70ppm- 700 ppm.
I am highly obliged to Ms. Anita Philip for taking the pain in guiding us in spite of her busy schedule and also to the Principal, Rev. Fr. Bernard Fernandes for giving us the opportunity to carry out our research in spite of many limitations. I also thank God for being with us throughout our journey and pray to Him to keep our mentor and Father under His choicest blessings, so that our juniors too can get such experiences in future.