Water Testing Salinitiy

I have a water purification system this is tied to not only the interior of the home, it’s also connected to the exterior hose bibs and lawn sprinkler system. Is there a testing kit for salinity I should use to see if the content is too high? What level is safe for the trees, zero?

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A TDS(Total Dissolved Solids) Meter can accomplish that by measuring the conductivity of the water. They are fairly inexpensive and a reliable way to measure Salinity in ppm(parts per million). This will measure the quantity of ionic solutes in your water but it will not tell you what kinds of ions it is measuring. Its fairly safe to assume in most cases that it is a mix of sodium,calcium magnesium and/or something else. To test specifically for this is a lot more complicated and usually only warranted if you are using well water as most municipal water systems put out an annual report on water quality. A less practical way to measure salinity is to evaporate a sample of water and measure the residue. Keep in mind you may need to use a large sample in order to get a residue which will even register on most scales with a 0.01-0.001gram resolution. I highly advise against this method, its mainly to illustrate a point in that there are many ways to measure salinity with different degrees of accuracy. This is what I have used for years without the need for calibration. I have trusted it for measuring water used on plants that are highly intolerant of salt like Nepenthes and Sarracenia. Note that distilled or deionized water should in theory read out 0ppm as a point of reference.

HM Digital TDS-4TM Meter with Digital Thermometer

I’m assuming that because you are asking about salt levels, the purification system also has a water softening component to it? If so, then yeah you want to be careful about using it on plants. Generally speaking the amount of salt added is negligible to human taste but it could be enough to cause issues with the plants/trees. Though, since this is already connected to your hose bibs and sprinklers, maybe it isn’t too saline. Probably worth testing either way.

Looking on amazon, it does look like there are a wide variety of salinity kits available. From test strips to electrical meters. I can’t really recommend something specific, since I’ve never used any of them.

Here in Germany the waterproviders have to publish the exact ingedients of theyr water on theyr website.
Dont you have that in the States?

I found an inexpensive tester on Amazon, should arrive Monday.

Florida water…This doesn’t need to be complicated… City water, well water, surface water–brakish?
Softener? & reverse osmosis? Or JUST filtered? RO takes ALL of the ions out.

Use the above mentioned disolved solids tester. SHOULD give you a usable answer. I would only be concerned if your starting with brakish.
Here, we have HIGH alkilinity. Leavs white crust on pots. Doesnt hurt trees.

If RO, the de-ionized water will PULL ions back out of your soil… Same for your gut.
Spend the bucks ONCE to test it at a water Lab- the drinkin water. BTW-- I’m a chemist. POSTmore.:thinking:

Excellent, the tester should be here Monday, I’ll post the EC results.

Yes we do. It is information provided annually. It is still worth testing locally since these figures are average and salinity typically increases during the drought period of the year depending on the source of the water.

Test results are in

TDS = 291+
US/CM = 550+

I dont think is good?

291 is in the high-moderate range. 500 is EPE maximum for drinking water. Your probably OK. Does it taste metalic?

Total disolved solids tester only measures “conductivity”. Converts that to DS. It’s an expression of ALL of the disolvable ions in the water. Ca, Na, K, P, iron, etc. Pretty much what’s in fertilizer. Use organic.

Does the tester do pH? Should be in the 7 range ( 6.5- 7.5)

Is the water leaving white calcium deposits on your pots over several summers? Adding inorganic fertilizer to water puts all of those ions back in anyway…

What water purifier DO you Use?

Read… Hope this helps,


Here is the system we have: https://gentekwater.com/products
And this is the tester I used:

No metal taste and no build up on any fixtures. I have noticed the refrigerator and freezer both have what seems to be a lettuce or parsley odor lately.

The system only uses the salt to create a brine solution that cleans the system and regenerates the system for ion exchange, it doesn’t add or remove salinity from the drinking water.

It appears to be a NICE system. Your TDS should be lower.
When was the thinner tank exchanged/ serviced?
SIMPLE TEST… silver nitrate (lab grade) < 1/16 tsp into 1/3 cup of tap water. IF IT GOES white/ cloudy, chlorine is over-runing the filter. Denotes other ions are present also. Needs to be serviced.

Regardless, shouldn’t be harmful to your trees. Or you.
Have a water test done, including bacterial.:speak_no_evil:

System is Less than 6 mo old.