Understanding TDS and Your Pool

Of course you are not meant to drink pool water, but if you swim and splash around you can’t help but get some in your mouth. Just for comparison, according to the EPA drinking water is allowed a maximum TDS of 500 ppm while pool water is safe at 2,000 ppm.

TDS stands for “total dissolved solids” and is the measure of all soluble substances that can be dissolved in water.

Generally the maximum TDS level for regular fresh water swimming pools is 1,000 to 2,000 ppm (parts per million) however, in the Phoenix area 2,500 ppm is the accepted norm by many pool service companies for two reasons:

  •  Due to the extreme summers, the average pool loses 8 feet of water per year through evaporation;
  • Arizona has very hard water with a high calcium level in the water at pool startup, usually showing 700-900 ppm. A recommended TDS level of 2,500 allows most pools to be drained every three years instead of every two years while still maintaining a decent swimming environment.

1,000 to 1,500 ppm is optimum for a healthy pool. New pool water TDS is in the 800 ppm range, but of course, this depends on where you live in the valley. Some communities have water that is over 1,000 ppm straight out of the tap!

TDS levels rise from the chemicals you put in the water, but also from sweat, sunscreen, dirt and debris, which leave a residue in your pool that builds up over time. When the TDS level rises too high swimming pool water can become:

grow algae
have an increase in bacteria
stain pool pebble and tiled surfaces and/or create scale
irritate skin and eyes
taste salty

Your pool pump runs longer and your chlorine loses some of its ability to disinfect when combatting the issues mentioned above.

But I have good pool chemistry!

Even with perfect chemistry and pool maintenance (including regular filter cleans), your pool needs to be drained every four to five years. High vegetation in your yard as well as haboobs and stormy weather in the Southwest can mean your pool might need to be drained sooner.

Draining and replacing the water is the ONLY way to treat high TDS.

Blue Utopia Pools technicians use a handheld digital electrode tester to measure the electronic conductivity in the pool water of our customers during regularly scheduled service. We prioritize customers with the highest TDS levels first and if the TDS level in your pool is over 2,500 ppm we will contact you to discuss putting fresh water in your pool.

FREE TESTING! If you would like to know the TDS level of your pool feel free to call Blue Utopia Pools Service at 623-932-9104.