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IfyouÃ¢ÂÂve ever taken a sip from a glass of water that came from the home ofsomeone with a reverse osmosis system, you know how pure and refreshing ittastes.
Or, perhapsyou have concerns about water quality and want to make sure your family isdrinking healthy water that reduces contaminants as much as possible.
Reverseosmosis (R.O.) drinking water truly is the purest choice for any home. ItÃ¢ÂÂswater the way nature intended us to drink it.
Buthow exactly do these systems work, and what do they do to your homeÃ¢ÂÂs water?
Whatis Reverse Osmosis?
Osmosisis defined as the process of molecules passing through a semi-permeablemembrane from a less-concentrated solution into a more-concentrated solution.
Anexample or osmosis from nature is the roots of plants drawing water from thesoil.
Reverse osmosis is simply theopposite of that process.
The Reverse Osmosis Process
Moleculesare forced through a semi-permeable membrane to form a less concentratedsolution. Essentially, the membrane acts like a type of filter as it hasextremely tiny pores that help remove microscopic contaminants from the wateryou drink by straining them out.
In thecase of reverse osmosis drinking water systems, the semi-permeable membraneonly lets water molecules through while other contaminants are collected andflushed away.
HowReverse Osmosis Filtration Works
ThereÃ¢ÂÂsa bit more to the process when using a reverse osmosis Â system to purifydrinking water.
IfyouÃ¢ÂÂve ever seen an R.O. system, youÃ¢ÂÂve likely noticed the three cylindricalcanisters on a manifold. One of these is the membrane and the other two arecarbon filters. LetÃ¢ÂÂs take a closer look at what each of these cartridges do.
Thefirst step in purifying water with reverse osmosis is meant to protect themembrane. It removes larger sediment, including some dissolved solids, andhelps reduce chlorine.
Thisfirst cartridge is referred to as the sediment filter or carbon block filter.It helps conserve the membrane, which can get clogged by excess sediment ordamaged by exposure to too much chlorine, which youÃ¢ÂÂll find in municipal water.
Reverseosmosis works best when you start with good water and then make it great.ThatÃ¢ÂÂs why you should never use a reverse osmosis system with hard water unlessit is under 10 grains per gallon. If your water istoo hard, start with one of our other water treatment solutions.
Weoften recommend having a water softener installed before installing an R.O.system. Scale buildup from hard water can damage these systems in the same waythey damage other appliances. Learn more about howhard water ruins appliances here on our blog.
Step2: The Reverse Osmosis Membrane
Followingthe initial filtration comes the real magic of an R.O. system.
Yourwater is forced through the semi-permeable membrane under pressure. Themembrane is a synthetic plastic material that allows the passage of watermolecules. However, sodium, chlorine, and calcium as well as larger moleculeslike glucose, urea, bacteria and viruses cannot pass.
Wehave reverse osmosis drinking water systems that are tested and certified forreduction of:
Water-Rightuses thin film composite (TFC) membranes in its EclipseÃ¢ÂÂ¢ R.O. systems and Impression SeriesÃÂ® R.O.systems. Thistype of membrane is resistant to bacteria breakdown and has a high rejectionrate of 95 to 97 percent on average. TFC membranes are not chlorine-resistant,which is why a carbon prefilter is used.
Steps3 & 4: Â Post Filtration and Final Polish
Beforeyour homeÃ¢ÂÂs water is ready to drink, it goes through a second carbon filter (orpost filter), which removes any remaining contaminants in the unlikely casethey slipped past the membrane.
Thenthe water fills up a storage tank where it waits until youÃ¢ÂÂre ready to use it.
Finally,thereÃ¢ÂÂs the in-line activated carbon filter, which gives your water one lastpolish as it comes out your faucet.Â This is used to remove any remainingodors or flavors that may come from the system hoses or the holding tank.
Thepolish is a Ã¢ÂÂjust in caseÃ¢ÂÂ step to make sure the water you drink tastesincredibly fresh!
IsReverse Osmosis Drinking Water Right for Your Home?
Softwater is excellent for cleaning, showering, and laundry. However, some peoplewould rather not drink it. Depending on how hard your water is to start with,it could still have high total dissolved solids (TDS), which can negativelyaffect the taste. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs because the hard minerals are replaced by sodium, andthere may be other contaminants in your water that a softener will not remove.
Areverse osmosis system can remove that sodium along with other contaminants anddissolved solids, which makes a water softener and an R.O. system an idealcombination for most homes.
drinking,youÃ¢ÂÂll be making a smart investment that saves you money in the long run and isbetter for the environment.
Reverseosmosis systems are commonly installed under kitchen sinks or in basements. Ifdesired, Water-Right also offers whole home R.O. systems. So you can even washyour car with reverse osmosis water for a spot-free finish!