Imagine the population of where you live and the loads of dirty clothing that washed every day, possibly every minute of that day. These loads of laundry and the detergents used, add to the total dissolved solids (TDS) levels as well. They contain Boron, phosphates to name a couple, but let us stay focused on TDS.
Detergents contain surfactants that remove dirt from our clothing and keep it suspended in the water. To keep these surfactants at a minimum and effectively clean in hard or soft waters, builders are added into the detergents. Builders, such as sodium tripolyphosphate, remove calcium and magnesium in the clothing and water. This removal, allows the surfactants to get in there and do the cleaning. Remember that calcium and magnesium are salts that, in part, make up TDS.
So imagine when all the washing machines in your neighborhood cycle through and the water is emptied from the tub. Guess where the water containing surfactants, builders, dirt, calcium and magnesium ends up going? If you read the food and drinks article, you know where this is going. The water from the tub is heading toward the Water Reclamation Facility (also known as wastewater treatment facility).
Choose Environmentally Friendly
When shopping for detergents, take the time and choose ones that are environmentally friendly. Research the web for loads, no pun intended, of information, just type in ‘Environmentally Safe Laundry Detergents’ and explore. There are a number of great websites from people who have experimented with environmentally safe products, to creating their own recipes for cleaning laundry. If you really want to get into the nitty-gritty of things check out the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safer Choice website section.
Source: Laundry Detergent on Wikipedia