Throughout the years, having access to clean and safe water has become a priority for many households. There are more than 2,000 contaminants that lurk in our water, with many of them being potentially harmful to our health. However, the most efficient way to combat this growing concern is to invest in a reverse osmosis whole house filtration system. But before buying a reverse osmosis system, there are a few things you should know!
Together, let’s break down a reverse osmosis system, plus a few things to know before having one installed in your home.
What is Reverse Osmosis?
Reverse osmosis or RO is a water filtration technology used to remove potentially harmful contaminants present in household water systems. Scientists hail this process as one of the most efficient ways to purify water, as it can remove up to 99 percent of contaminants dissolved in water. A few of the toxins, chemicals, and debris it removes include sodium, chlorine, calcium, and magnesium (which create hard water), fluoride, arsenic, and much more.
How the process works is untreated water passes through micron-sized holes in a semi-permeable mesh. Because contaminant molecules are larger than water molecules, they get trapped in the mesh, leaving clean water to flow through. Each reverse osmosis system undergoes three main stages, pre-filtration, reverse osmosis, and drainage/storage. They break down as such:
Stage 1: Pre-filtration
The system connects to the drinking water lines and uses a high-pressure pump to bring in untreated water from the water source. The water passes through a carbon-based filter and traps sediments and mineral deposits before moving on to the next stage.
Stage 2: Reverse Osmosis
Here, the slightly treated water undergoes the reverse osmosis process, which filters the water further by passing it through a semi-permeable mesh.
Stage 3: Drainage and Storage
All the contaminated water leftover from the filtration process gets flushed, and the treated water is stored until it is ready for use.
In addition to removing toxins, chemicals, and debris, a reverse osmosis system can improve your water’s smell, taste, and color. Drinking reverse osmosis-filtered water can help reduce the health risks that come from drinking untreated water, such as high blood pressure, low fertility, and skin issues.
Now that you understand how RO works, here are a few things to know before purchasing your reverse osmosis system.
Things to Know Before Buying a Reverse Osmosis System
Some Reverse Osmosis Systems Don’t Remove Everything
It is true; not all filtration systems are created equal. While most RO systems can filter most pollutants, that is not the case for every filter you encounter. Perhaps pesticides and herbicides are a concern of yours. We highly recommend researching the capabilities of each model of a system before settling on one to have installed in your home.
The filtration system you need is determined by the water issues that plague your home. If you are unsure what kind of treatment system is best, you can request a free water test from the Science of Water. We believe in learning the ins and outs of your water before installing one of Puronics’ high-performing residential treatment systems.
You Must Regularly Replace the Prefilter
Just like with any other household appliance, reverse osmosis systems work hard and need love, too. When you purchase a whole house water filtration system, it is important to remember that filter replacement is vital to the reverse osmosis system’s longevity and efficiency.
Since RO filters are multi-stage units, there are more filters to replace, and not necessarily at the same time. This can get costly depending on which system you buy. The best way to prepare for this is to do your research on which system best suits your needs and budget.
How Many Phases Do You Need?
Another thing to consider before buying a reverse osmosis system is how many phases you need your system to have. A standard system has four, but a household system can feature as many as six filtration stages and as little as three. As discussed in the previous section, each stage uses a different filter to ensure that your water is as clean, great-tasting, and contaminant-free as possible.
For example, if you rely on well water to supply your home and nourish your body, you may have a lot of sediment present in your water. So, opting for an RO system with additional pre-filtration (five stages) is likely the best option for you. Whereas a home that uses municipal water often receives adequate filtration with only four stages.
Your Water Usage May Increase
Reverse osmosis systems are incredibly beneficial, removing up to 99 percent of contaminants. However, they can create a unique issue for homeowners: increased water usage and waste production. According to industry experts, some systems are only 25 percent efficient, meaning that eight liters go down the drain throughout the filtration process for every two liters of water filtered.
Many manufacturers have figured out how to reduce the amount of wastewater produced (i.e., leftover contaminant-filled water), such as adding more filtering stages, but it, unfortunately, doesn’t eliminate all of the waste. One thing you can do to combat this is to repurpose your mineral-rich wastewater. Use it to water your plants, flush the toilet, or even wash your car.
The Science of Water
As you can see, there are countless things to know and consider before buying a reverse osmosis system. We hope that our list of things you should know has inspired you to take a closer look at the different reverse osmosis filter options before leaping.
Once you’ve decided to purchase a reverse osmosis system, let The Science of Water take care of your water needs. We have more than 35 years in the water business, we’re proud Puronics water treatment system installers, and we’re more than eager to help you get the cleanest, best-tasting water flowing through your home. But first, we need to conduct a free water test to learn the best way to take care of your water woes.
If you’re interested in learning more, please contact our team at (352) 745-7070 or (904) 580-0000.