Are you aware that tap water typically has over 200 chemicals? Water problems have become a global threat. The climatic changes bring along new environmental impacts, such as drought, torrential flooding, and rising and falling sea levels. Add these to a swelling population, and you will see why water is essential.
Treatment plants have adopted reverse osmosis in an address water concerns. Reverse osmosis or RO is among the most effective ways of securing clean and healthy water. Although there are several filtration techniques, including ion exchange, carbon, and ozone, RO is the most efficient method. However, to better understand the RO water treatment process, you should first know what osmosis and how it occurs.
Osmosis is a naturally occurring phenomenon. It is the process by which saline solution migrates to a stronger saline solution. For example, our kidneys absorb water from the blood, and roots absorb water from the soil.
Reverse Osmosis and How it Works
Unlike osmosis, which occurs naturally without a need for energy, reverse osmosis requires the application of energy to the saline solution. Specifically, the process requires a semi-permeable membrane that allows the movement of water molecules, but not from the dissolved salts, bacteria, organics, and pathogens.
The water is pushed through the reverse osmosis membrane by application of pressure, which is greater than the osmotic pressure, in order to deionize and demineralize water. This allows pure water through the membrane and inhibits passage of contaminants.
4 Stages of Reverse Osmosis
1. Sediment filter This is the pre-filter stage which is designed to strain out silt, dirt, and other sediments. This stage is especially important because the sediment filter prevents dirt from getting into the RO membranes, which can be easily damaged by sediments.
2. Carbon filter This filter is designed to eliminate chlorine and all other contaminants that can affect the life and performance of the RO membrane. Additionally, the carbon filter improves both the odor and taste of water.
3. RO membrane This is a semi-permeable RO membrane in the reverse osmosis system that is specially designed to allow water through. However, the RO membrane also filters out other water contaminants.
4. Polishing filter This is the final filter (carbon filter) which polishes off the water and removes any remaining odor and taste in the water. This filter also ensures that the water is clean and safe to drink.
Benefits of Reverse Osmosis
If you’re planning to get a water filtration system that will give you clean and safe water, here are some of the reasons you should consider an RO system:
It is simple to maintain
Reverse osmosis systems have few moving and replaceable parts, which makes it easy to service the system.
Improves the taste of water
The RO system filtration stages help remove odor and enhance the taste and appearance of water. Through the four filtration stages, contaminants that cause odor and taste problems are eliminated.
Is sustainable and affordable
By investing in an RO system, you will no longer need water delivery services. This means that you won't need bottled water. Although bottled water is often purified through a reverse osmosis system, producing bottled water will waste more water compared to a reverse osmosis system. A lot of water is needed to make a single bottle of water.
During the water purification process of bottled water, wastewater is channeled to the drain. Additionally, water and petroleum are used as raw materials in the production of bottles. Afterward, petroleum is used again to deliver bottled water to stores. Not to mention, the trucks that deliver the water will require a lot of water themselves for cleaning. These little details make reverse osmosis all the more appealing to the avid environmentalist.
There are very few filtration systems that can remove all water contaminants. But reverse osmosis has been found to eliminate most of the dangerous water impurities. RO removes all contaminants and what is left is clean and delicious drinking water. Some of the impurities it can remove include:
- Chlorine and Chloramine
- Nitrates and sulfates
Why Reverse Osmosis is Better Than Other Filtration Methods
Although there are several other water filtration options, including faucet filters, refrigerator filters, and pitcher filters, very few can help reduce dangerous and invisible contaminants or even improve the taste and smell of the water. A reverse osmosis system can remove dangerous contaminants that other filtration methods cannot. Additionally, most refrigerator, pitcher, and faucet filters often require ongoing and expensive maintenance for continued optimum performance.
Not only does reverse osmosis filter and remove the most contaminants but they are the most affordable. Pitcher filters typically last 100 gallons or less and their replacement filters are expensive. With the NU Aqua reverse osmosis systems, complete filter replacements are cheap and only need replacement every 6-9 months.