1997-99 – Amata (South Australia) – Total Dissolved Solids, Hardness

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Amata – South Australia

The salinity of Amata groundwaters is 710-1070 mg/L TDS, with nitrate
concentrations of 17-33 mg/L and fluoride concentrations of 0.9-1.4 mg/L. The
salinity is marginal in terms of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (1996).
The 1997 water quality investigation detected total coliform counts in the supply
lines (Fitzgerald et al., 2000).

Amata groundwaters are very hard, in the range 360-530 mg/L calcium
carbonate. Trials of a water softening technology were conducted in Amata in
1998-9 (Downing, 2000). Water conditioning units were installed in a house and
on the town water supply and appeared to be successful in removing and
preventing scale buildup in the pipes and fittings.

Hardness

GUIDELINE

“To minimise undesirable build‑up of scale in hot water systems, total hardness (as calcium
carbonate) in drinking water should not exceed 200 mg/L.

Hard water requires more soap than soft water to obtain a lather. It can also cause scale to form on hot water pipes and fittings. Hardness is caused primarily by the presence of calcium and magnesium ions, although other cations such as strontium, iron, manganese and barium can also contribute.”

Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011

Total Dissolved Solids

GUIDELINE

“No specific health guideline value is provided for total dissolved solids (TDS), as there are no
health effects directly attributable to TDS. However for good palatability total dissolved solids
in drinking water should not exceed 600 mg/L.

Total dissolved solids (TDS) consist of inorganic salts and small amounts of organic matter that are dissolved in water. Clay particles, colloidal iron and manganese oxides and silica, fine enough to pass through a 0.45 micron filter membrane can also contribute to total dissolved solids.

Total dissolved solids comprise: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, sulfate, bicarbonate, carbonate, silica, organic matter, fluoride, iron, manganese, nitrate, nitrite and phosphates…” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011