You may have heard the term Reverse Osmosis mentioned when looking at water filtration systems, but what is it exactly?
Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a simple water filtration process which works by using pressure to force water through a semipermeable membrane in order to remove any impurities. The contaminants which are filtered out are flushed away and you are left with clean, great tasting drinking water.
How effective is Reverse Osmosis?
Cost effective and easy to maintain, RO systems are an extremely effective method of water filtration, capable of removing 99% of 65 contaminants.
What contaminants can it remove?
RO systems will remove common chemical contaminants such as lead, chlorine sodium, chromium and copper and can reduce fluoride, calcium, magnesium, arsenic, radium, sulfate, potassium, nitrate, and phosphorous.
So how exactly do they work?
There are generally four stages to the RO process, each designed to filter out specific contaminants. Firstly, the mains water, driven by pressure, comes through a sediment filter which, as the name suggests, will filter out any sediment, dirt and silt before they reach the actual RO membrane (which is very delicate). Next, the water will pass through a carbon filter which will remove chlorine. This will improve both the taste and smell of the water and will also help to preserve the life of the RO membrane. The water now reaches the RO membrane, filtering out almost all other contaminants and allowing just water through. The final stage is another carbon filter which removes any taste or smell in the water, ensuring that the drinking water is the best that it can be.
Where can the units be installed?
Domestic RO units are neat in design and can generally fit under your kitchen sink.
What maintenance will they need?
RO systems are low maintenance and should just require a service once a year to make sure that they are sanitised and the filters and membranes are changed. Most domestic RO systems run on water pressure only and do not use electricity. Commercial units (which are larger than domestic) will use electric pumps but the power required to run these is still minimal. A well cared for and maintained RO system should have a long lifespan and can last 10-15 years.