1997-99: Pukatja (South Australia) – Total Dissolved Solids, Fluoride

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Pukatja (Ernabella)

The salinity of the Pukatja groundwaters ranges from 420 to 860 mg/L TDS with
nitrate concentrations of 5-16 mg/L and fluoride concentrations of 1.4-1.8 mg/L.
These parameters are generally within the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines
(1996) although fluoride is marginal.

Total Dissolved Solids

“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.


“Fluoride occurs naturally in seawater (1.4 mg/L), soil (up to 300 parts per million) and air (from volcanic gases and industrial pollution). Naturally occurring fluoride concentrations in drinking water depend on the type of soil and rock through which the water drains. Generally, concentrations in surface water are relatively low (<0.1–0.5 mg/L), while water from deeper wells may have quite high concentrations (1–10 mg/L) if the rock formations are fluoride-rich.” 2011 ADWG. Health Guideline: 1.5mg/L