Total Solids


Definition - What does Total Solids mean?

Total solids is a measurement that includes the combination of total dissolved solids and total suspended solids in a liquid. It is a measurement that is often used in the water treatment industry.

A higher total solids level indicates that there is a high level of solid material in a liquid sample. Depending on the evaluation criteria, a high level of total solids could cause the sample to be considered contaminated.

Corrosionpedia explains Total Solids

Total solids is a combination of two different measurements:

  1. Total dissolved solids is a measurement of the amount of solid material that has gone into solution in a liquid sample. These solids cannot be filtered out. The liquid may be evaporated to determine the level of total dissolved solids. Potassium, sodium and magnesium are examples of these types of solids.
  2. Total suspended solids is a measurement of the solids in liquid than are not dissolved. Depending on the size of the solids, they can be collected by devices such as filters. Inorganic sediment and microbes are examples of these types of solids.

Having some degree of total solids in a water sample is not necessarily detrimental to water quality or the organisms that depend on it. Excellent water quality often includes a good balance somewhere between too low a level of total solids and too high a level of total solids. The right kind of solids also need to be present in the water to ensure good water quality.

Some solids in water can cause corrosion to occur rapidly to water vessels. Water treatment processes should be put in to place to avoid the corrosion that can occur from electrolytic water or water with microbes that can induce corrosion.

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