If you’ve done any research on reverse osmosis or RO water filtration, you may already know that many people regard it as the best filter type to remove contaminants. In fact, it would be easy to believe the RO filtration can remove any contaminant from your water. Although RO is an effective method, it cannot remove everything and in many cases, it works better alongside other filtration methods. Let’s take a closer look at what RO filters cannot remove to help you make more informed water quality decisions.

What is RO Filtration?

First, it’s important to understand that RO filtration is a purely mechanical process and no chemicals are added to your water to make it cleaner. The incoming water supply is placed under pressure and then forced through a semi-permeable membrane. This membrane only allows water molecules to pass through and contaminants are left behind. Periodically, the contaminants are flushed away and filter changes are needed from time to time. Water that has been cleaned with RO filtration is regarded as 99% pure.

What is Not Removed?

Despite the efficacy of RO filtration, there are certain contaminants that are physically smaller than a water molecule. They include certain organic compounds, chlorine, dissolved gases, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and more. Although a RO filter can remove most forms of bacteria and microorganisms, there are a couple of caveats. First, the RO filtration system must be installed correctly by a licensed and certified water treatment specialist. Second, the filter must be inspected and changed regularly to ensure that it works at optimal efficiency.

Will RO Remove Water Treatment Chemicals?

Many people hate the “swimming pool” odor and taste of chlorine treated water. The RO filter will remove some chlorine, but higher concentrations in water closer to the treatment plan may be a challenge. Fluoride molecules cannot pass through the semi-permeable RO membrane filter if it’s changed regularly.

What are the Benefits of RO Filtered Water?

For many homeowners, the installation of a RO filtration system has been a revelation. This system can remove a wide variety of common water contaminants, such as arsenic, lead, dissolved minerals, heavy metals and more. But, there are a few drawbacks to consider before you make a final decision. First, this process is lengthy and for that reason, the cleaned water is stored in a tank. This is usually located under the kitchen sink as part of a point-of-use or POU system. Obviously, if high capacity is needed for a business or other high volume water use locations this may be a problem. Second, depending on the makeup of your water supply, it may be necessary to install multiple systems to remove certain contaminants safely. There could be other contaminants present in varying concentrations and you need professional water testing to make informed decisions.

If you want to learn more about water testing and installing a RO water filtration system in 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.