Reverse osmosis (RO) water filtration systems have become a popular choice in recent years. This is not surprising, many people want to secure a clean source of water for drinking and cooking. RO water is filtered to an extreme degree and it’s 99.9% pure. But, there are many questions about RO filtration that need to be answered to help you make an informed decision.

1.  What is RO Filtration?

RO is a mechanical filtration system which forces the incoming water through a semi-permeable membrane with tiny pores. Only water molecules and trace quantities of other contaminants can pass through the filter membrane. This is the same process that occurs in every natural organism to process water, but it’s reversed here. The water is cleaned to a very high standard that is hard to replicate without distillation which is energy intensive, costly and time consuming.

2.  What Happens to the Contaminants?

The contaminants that cannot pass through the filter pores are left behind on the surface of the filter. Over time they will clog the pores and make the filter less efficient. To prevent this problem, the filter surface is periodically flushed clean. The contaminants along with the wastewater go into the drain and out of the home.

3.  Is RO Filtration an On-Demand System?

The answer to this question is yes, but there is a caveat to consider. The RO filtration process does take time, there would be insufficient volumes of water if the RO water went directly to a connected faucet. The solution to this problem is simple, RO filtered water is stored in a tank and it’s accessed via a dedicated tap. The most common configuration is a point-of-use system installation at the kitchen sink. This allows the user to fill pitchers with drinking water, pans of cleaner water for cooking and to create absolutely flawless ice for beverages.

4.  Is the RO Filter Installed in Isolation?

No, there are typically at least four filtration stages in this type of system and RO filtration is only one of them. The first stage is a pre-filter to remove larger particulates that could cause damage to other components. The next stage is a granular activated carbon (GAC) filter to further improve the water quality to make the RO filtration stage more efficient. The third stage is the RO filtration process that we discussed earlier. Finally, there is a second GAC filter stage to make the water more palatable and to add a final polish.

5.  Does RO Water Taste Stale?

To some palettes RO water can have a stale taste, but the “normal” taste of water is derived from salts, minerals and certain other contaminants. This is why mineral water is popular and there are certain health benefits to consider. But, the uptake of essential minerals and nutrients is far more efficient when it’s derived from food. Also, you can add any extra minerals such as himalayan salt to the RO water to meet your needs.

If you’re considering a RO filtration system for your home, contact your local water treatment specialist today.

By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.