Significance of Total Dissolved Solids in Water
It is generally agreed that the total dissolved solids concentration of good, palatable drinking water should not exceed 500 mg/L. However, higher concentrations may be consumed without harmful physiological effects and may indeed even be more beneficial. This limit was primarily set on the basis of taste thresholds. Livestock and wildlife may be injured by drinking water that contains excessive dissolved solids. Continuous use of such water may cause a general loss of condition, weakness, scouring, reduced production, bone degeneration and death. However, animals can drink temporarily high saline waters that would be harmful if used continuously.