You always want the best for your family and never wish to compromise with the water’s quality. You want to drink water that contains minimum contaminants as possible.
You will understand the purity of water once you take a sip of water from a glass of a reverse osmosis or RO water purifier. RO drinking water provides you with the purest form of drinking water at your home. Reverse osmosis provides you water similar to the way nature wants you to drink it.
What is Reverse Osmosis?
In the process of reverse osmosis, unfiltered water is forced to go through a semi-permeable membrane to free it of contaminants. Water is made to flow from the side that contains more contaminants known as the more concentrated side of the semi-permeable membrane to the side that contains less contaminants known as the less concentrated side.
This provides you with clean drinking water. The freshwater that is produced is known as permeate. The water that is leftover at the more concentrated side is known as waste or brine.
A semi-permeable membrane is a membrane that has several small pores. These pores block all the contaminants, allowing only the water molecules to pass through the pores. In the process of osmosis, to acquire equilibrium on both sides of the membrane, the concentration of water increases as it gradually passes through the membrane.
For drinking water systems that work on the procedure of reverse osmosis, the semi-permeable membrane allows the water to flow through the pores and the contaminants that get collected are flushed away.
What Does a Reverse Osmosis System Remove?
In the reverse osmosis system, dissolved solids like fluoride as well as arsenic are removed through the membrane. A sediment along with carbon filtration are present in an RO system which reduces the debris as well as dirt from the water.
In a reverse osmosis process, some of the elements that gets removed are sediments, arsenic, fluoride, chlorine, salt, VOCs, contaminants, herbicides as well as pesticides. The only thing that is not efficiently removed by the membranes are bacteria and viruses. But there is no bug threat from that as the water that you get from water plants is microbiologically safe.
Some of the bacteria can be removed by the process of reverse osmosis. But there is a slight chance of bacteria growing back on the membrane and thus enters the water supply.
How Does RO Purification Work?
To purify water with the help of a reverse osmosis system, a few processes are involved before you get the purified water. You will come across three canisters in an RO system.
Among these three canisters, one acts as the membrane while the other two acts as carbon filters. The steps involved in getting pure drinking water out of an RO system are listed below:
The first and most important step to purify water through reverse osmosis is to protect the membrane. The membrane removes large sediments that include dissolved solids which in turn helps in reducing the content of chlorine from the water.
Carbon block filter or sediment filter is what you will find in the first cartridge. This protects the membrane as there is a possibility that the membrane gets blocked by too much sediment or can even get damaged by being exposed to excessive chlorine.
It is advised not to use this process with hard water as RO process works best with good water. If your water is hard, you are recommended to install a water softener.
2. Reverse osmosis membrane
Under pressure, the water is forced to flow through the semi-permeable membrane. The membrane is made of synthetic plastic that makes the passage for the water molecules to pass.
The membrane does not allow large molecules as well as calcium, sodium, and chlorine to pass through them. It has been tested as well as certified to reduce lead, copper, TDS, arsenic, fluoride, and many more components from drinking water through the process of reverse osmosis.
3. Post filtration as well as final polish
Before you receive the water to drink, it is again made to pass through another carbon filter or post filter ( whatever you may call it). This carbon filter removes all the remaining contaminants that may have slipped through the membrane.
After this, the water is filled up in the storage tank from where the water can be used.
Also, there is an activated in-line carbon filter present that gives a final polish to water before you drink them. The remaining odors as well as flavors that may be present are removed from the system. The polish makes sure that the water is completely pure.
Benefits of an RO System
This process provides water in the purest form and is one of the best methods to filter water. 98% of TDS is removed from water making it healthier. The benefits of reverse osmosis system benefits are:
- Reduces the harmful contaminants dissolved in water.
- Reduces odors and bad taste.
- Can be easily maintained and installed.
- Contains less contaminants.
- Removes the presence of lead from water.
- Helps people to get free from several diseases like low fertility, high blood pressure, and nerve damage. It also reduces the risk of anemic conditions as well as brain damage, especially among children.
- The process is environmentally friendly as an alternative to bottled waters.
- The water provided from the RO system is better for cooking.
Disadvantages of an RO System
While RO systems have the most effective filtration technique among others, it has certain disadvantages as well.
- Inefficient from an eco-friendly point of view.
- Does not prevent small particles like fluoride from entering your water system.
- 5-15% of water is wasted as they get filtered in some of the household RO systems.
- A pressure drop can be noticed in the rate of water flow.
- The wastewater needs to be disposed of properly. You can either consider disposing into the sea or using an evaporation system.
Healthy water is important for a healthy life. Water pollution has become quite a serious issue today. Best purifying technology is said to be RO technology. It provides clean water in the purest form. The processes involved are quite simple and healthy.
If you are considering installing a purification system at your place, a RO purifier will be the best option for you.