Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration Basics

Reverse osmosis (RO) systems are used to remove different contaminants from the water that comes from municipal water supplies. Typically used to desalinate seawater, this time-tested technology also purifies ground water loaded with dissolved minerals that create odors and affect its color and taste.

A key benefit of this time-tested technology is that it does not need to consume vast amounts of energy. RO systems also are economical and easy to maintain. The RO process is also pretty straightforward.

Water pressure pushes water across a thin, semi-permeable membrane that traps contaminants, permitting only purified water to pass through. Some units come with activated charcoal filters that remove chlorine and protect the membrane to prolong its lifespan. 

A final filtration cycle featuring another pass through carbon particles prior to ending up in drinking glasses and cooking pots ensures that water looks and taste great and contains no viruses or harmful bacteria. Meanwhile, the rate of water purification depends on the available water pressure, the temperature of the incoming water, and the degree of contamination.

To provide the necessary amount of purified water, consider your daily water usage patterns. For instance, if you need to treat water mainly for drinking and cooking, a small united mounted under the sink should suffice. Whole-house systems, on the other hand, treat all the incoming water used for bathing and laundry as well.


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