American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Effects of Total Dissolved Solids on Aquatic Organisms: A Review of Literature and Recommendation for Salmonid Species

Phyllis K. Weber-Scannell and Lawrence K. Duffy

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2007.1.6

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 3, Issue 1

Pages 1-6


Total dissolves solids (TDS) are naturally present in water or are the result of mining or some industrial treatment of water. TDS contain minerals and organic molecules that provide benefits such as nutrients or contaminants such as toxic metals and organic pollutants. Current regulations require the periodic monitoring of TDS, which is a measurement of inorganic salts, organic matter and other dissolved materials in water. Measurements of TDS do not differentiate among ions. The amount of TDS in a water sample is measured by filtering the sample through a 2.0 μm pore size filter, evaporating the remaining filtrate and then drying what is left to a constant weight at 180ºC. The concentration and composition of TDS in natural waters is determined by the geology of the drainage, atmospheric precipitation and the water balance (evaporation-precipitation). The mean salinity of the world’s rivers is approximately 120 mg L-1 and the major anion found in natural waters is bicarbonate. The most commonly occurring cation in fresh water is calcium. Changes in TDS concentrations in natural waters often result from industrial effluent, changes to the water balance (by limiting inflow, by increased water use or increased precipitation), or by salt-water intrusion. It is recommended that different limits for individual ions, rather than TDS, be used for salmonid species. These limits should be based on the effect of the ion on fertilization and egg development.


© 2007 Phyllis K. Weber-Scannell and Lawrence K. Duffy. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.