The relationship between TDS (total dissolved solids) and conductivity depends on the water chemistry. For example, 1,000 mg/L of NaCl will give a different conductivity than 1,000 mg/L of MgSO4. The very rough rule of thumb is TDS, mg/L × 1.6 = Conductivity (µS/cm). The factor of 1.6 used in the equation has a typical range of 1.4 to 1.8, though wider variations are certainly possible.
When possible, the best correlation is developed from the analysis of specific water or waste stream for both TDS and conductivity from which a specific correlation factor is produced. Then, if the water chemistry remains fairly constant, conductivity can serve as a good indication of TDS. If the water chemistry changes significantly, the rule of thumb will not work.
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