Want to know what is a reverse osmosis water system? Continue reading to the end to understand this water purification method.
What is a reverse osmosis water system?
The reverse osmosis water system is a water purification method that requires pressure to push water through the semi-permeable membrane, leaving contaminated water behind that is flushed down the drain and clean water passing through to the storage tank.
In reverse osmosis systems, contaminants are flushed down the drain, not like in water filtration systems where contaminants are absorbed in the filter media.
A standard reverse osmosis water system involves 5 stages to purify your water. The five stages include the RO membrane, which is the heart of the unit, and additional filters such as sediment filters, granular activated carbon, block carbon filter, and polishing filter.
Other models have an extra filter for remineralization and an ultraviolet filter.
How does the standard reverse osmosis work?
The reverse osmosis system work in stages and each stage is capable of removing specific contaminants.
- 1st Stage: sediment filter which removes the particles, such as dust, mud, sand, and other particulates.
- 2nd Stage: Granular activated carbon helps to remove organics, bad smells, chlorine, colors, turbidity, and other VOC chemicals.
- 3rd Stage: Carbon Block Filter clears contaminants such as cloudiness, chlorine, VOC chemicals, odor, smell, and taste.
- 4th Stage: RO membrane—that removes contaminants such as chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, salt, arsenic, bad mineral substances, lead, and other dissolved chemicals.
- The 5th stage is polishing filters to reduce bad tastes and odors.
- 6th stage Some systems have a remineralization stage. The reverse osmosis membrane strips off important minerals that are beneficial to our health. Some say the water becomes slightly acidic; some say it loses taste. You need a stage to add the minerals back, and that’s where the remineralization stage comes in. This stage adds back beneficial minerals (such as calcium and magnesium) that were removed by the membrane.
- 7-stage UV filter: UV light helps kill bacteria and viruses in the feed water.
What does the reverse osmosis water system do?
Since the system uses different stages to treat water it is known for removing many contaminants depending on the stages your unit has.
The contaminants reverse osmosis system removes include:
- Particulates such as sand, sediment, rust, silt, dust, mud, and more.
- Organics, bad smell, chlorine, cloudiness, colors, turbidity, taste, and other VOC chemicals
- fluoride, heavy metals, salt, arsenic, bad mineral substances, lead, and other total dissolved chemicals.
Where is the reverse osmosis system used?
It is used at home, in offices, apartments, outdoors, and in industries.
At home, under-sink reverse osmosis systems are commonly used. It is installed under the kitchen sink and provides purified water at a single faucet on the sink top.
Under sink reverse osmosis systems are point-of-use filters, meaning they will provide purified water only at the location where they are installed.
It requires some plumbing work.
Standard under-sink reverse osmosis systems come with a storage tank and most utilize 5 stages (mentioned above).
For outdoor places like RVs or offices, you can decide to purchase a countertop RO system.
The countertop system requires no installation. It is placed on the tabletop, stand, or kitchen counter. This means it is portable and you can move with it wherever you go. It is also known as a portable reverse osmosis system.
For an apartment, you can install a tankless RO system. It has a compact design where the reservoir and water filters are contained in a sleek case, taking up less space under your sink.
You are only required to install the additional faucet.
What part does the reverse osmosis system consist of?
The reverse osmosis system includes components such as
- Filters such as post and pre-filter
- Ro membrane
- A storage tank where purified water is stored waiting for human consumption.
- Automatic shut–off valve: when the storage tank is full, the automatic shut–off valve stops more water from entering the membrane and blocks drain flow.
- The check valve prevents water in the storage tank from returning to the reverse osmosis membrane.
- A faucet that is most commonly used in tankless and under-sink reverse osmosis systems.
- Drain line tubing: used to dispose of wastewater to the drain.
Reverse osmosis systems are not the same. There are different brands in the market. Each brand differs depending on:
- The number of stages the system includes for treating water
Some systems purify water using four common stages, while others have an additional filter.
- Quality components
Some brands have parts that are made of quality material that is tested and certified by independent bodies such as NSF.
Capacity is the number of gallons the unit can produce per day. in the short form known as GPD (gallon per day).
There is a reverse osmosis system that has up-to-date technology. Some come included with extra features such as:
- An integrated smart display screen to monitor water overall. The screen displays Total-Dissolved Solids (TDS), filter life indicators, volume settings, water shortage alerts, and an auto-flush mode.
- A faucet with a LED filter change indicator.
- Other has special faucet
- Contaminants it removes
Some remove more contaminants than others. The number of contaminants a unit removes depends on the type of filter and stages involved.