A reverse osmosis water filtration system works through a process that includes a membrane that removes most contaminants from water that we drink, cook, and clean. Even water that has passed all the Federal Government’s stringent requirements tends to have contaminants in the water. Reverse Osmosis creates purified water that is safe to drink through a very complex process.
The Process of reverse osmosis in 7 Steps
The process takes impure water from wells or supposedly clean city water and puts the water through a series of filters and membranes and reverse processes to rid the water from even the smallest particulates:
- Sediment stage: Rids the water of sand and rust and other large particles
- Carbon Stage: Removes chemicals and chlorine before they can come in contact with the membrane of the process.
- Reverse Osmosis stage: Removes dissolved solids and even the smallest molecules from the water as it passes through a very sight membrane.
- Remineralization stage: Puts back in certain minerals like calcium and magnesium that help balance the Ph in the water. This actually helps improve the taste of the water.
- Storage tank: The water that is now purified and stored for later use.
- Optional stage: UV light can kill any remaining organisms.
- Final Carbon Stage: This helps improve the taste of the water after it has been stored. It is also referred to as the “polishing stage”
Do you need a home reverse osmosis system?
If your city water or private well produces particularly bad water, you would be wise to consider a reverse osmosis water filtration system. This is particularly true if your water is brackish or the source is less than trustworthy. If you prefer to install a system for drinking water, that should be fine in most cases. If cost is a concern, then smaller units for drinking and cooking that are installed in the kitchen will usually cost less than $500. Although, some DIYers may want to install their systems themselves, they really should consider hiring someone to do it for them. This is a very complex system that needs to be installed properly in order to work correctly. Also, you should have the water tested to make sure the water filtration system is adequate to clean the water.
Membranes for reverse Osmosis:
Learn about the different membranes for a reverse osmosis water filter. The Thin Film Composite (TFC), which rejects 98% of contaminants, is only good for chlorine free water, whereas the Cellulose Triacetate (CTA) will only removes 93% of contaminants, but is tolerant of chlorine. These seemingly small details are important when selecting the process and filter membranes as they point to a very good reason to have your water tested.
If you decide that a reverse osmosis water filtration system is right for you, you need to research carefully to learn which membrane is used for the system in order to assure you get the best tasting, cleanest water for both you and your family.