how does reverse osmosis water filtration work

There is nothing quite like drinking a bottle of water. Knowing that it’s filtered, purified, and free of contaminants makes it that much more refreshing. It’s no wonder that Americans consumed 14.4 billion gallons of bottled water in 2019 alone. To achieve that fresh, crisp flavor, Dasani, Aquafina, and Penta are among some well-known brands that use reverse osmosis (RO) as part of their purification process. 

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the standards of bottled water products to ensure they are safe for consumers, but the waste from their plastic bottles present a whole different threat to the environment.

Are you tired of all this plastic waste? Looking for a way to reduce your carbon footprint without sacrificing clean, refreshing drinking water? Installing a reverse osmosis water filtration system in your home may be the solution for you. 

To fully understand reverse osmosis, how it works, the benefits of having this purification system in your home, and how The Science of Water can help, we must first know where our drinking water comes from.


Where Does Our Drinking Water Come From?

Having safe drinking water is something that many of us tend to take for granted. We turn on our sinks and use the water without a second thought. How does water go from a raindrop to our faucets? 

In the U.S., the water in our homes comes from rivers, lakes, and groundwater. For most of us, our water then goes from various intake points to a water treatment plant, on to a storage tank, and then finally through a pipe system to get into our homes.

Most water treatment facilities follow the same process to create water that’s safe for human consumption:

  • They add chemicals to the water to bind with the dirt and dissolved particles. This forms larger particles called floc which are heavy and settle to the bottom of the tank. This process is referred to as flocculation. 
  • The water on top then passes through filters to remove dust, parasites, chemicals, viruses, and bacteria.
  • Chlorine, chlorine dioxide, or iodine are added to the water to kill any remaining viruses and bacteria. In most cases, fluoride is also added to water as a public health measure to help reduce cavities. 

Even though this process is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the filtered water now has to travel through a pipe system to get into your home. As the water travels through these pipes, it can take on new contaminants. It is estimated that there are 9.7-12.8 million lead pipes still spread across the United States. This is one of the many reasons installing a reverse osmosis filtration system in your home will give you purer water and increased peace of mind.


Stages of a Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System

Reverse osmosis is a water treatment process that uses a semi-permeable membrane to filter out microorganisms, chemicals, and contaminants such as chlorine, salt, and dirt. Once these are filtered out and flushed away, what’s left is clean, delicious-tasting drinking water. 

Reverse osmosis usually has four stages of filtration:

  1. Sediment Filter: Removes larger particles, such as sand, dirt, and rust that might otherwise clog the rest of the filters in your reverse osmosis system.
  2. Carbon Block Filter: Uses activated carbon to attract and bond to positively charged ions. This prevents dangerous chemical compounds from passing through to the third filter. This stage is also where the tastes and smells associated with chlorine are eliminated. 
  3. Reverse Osmosis Membrane: Pressure is used to force the water through a semi-permeable membrane. This works at the molecular level to remove sodium, lead, fluoride, and other dissolved minerals.
  4. Post-Carbon Filter: Before your water is stored in the storage tank, it goes through another carbon filter to remove any final contaminants that may have slipped through the other processes. As the water makes its way from the holding tank to your faucet, this filter polishes the water one last time to remove any odors or flavors it may have picked up from the tank or hoses.


Benefits of a Reverse Osmosis Whole Home Filtration System

If having pure, clean, healthy, and better-tasting water isn’t enough of a reason for you to consider installing a RO system in your home, here are a few more advantages:

  • Saves Money: A reverse osmosis system means easy access to the same quality of water in your house as you’d get from water bottling companies. So having to spend money on disposable plastic water bottles becomes a thing of the past. 
  • Eco-friendly: By no longer relying exclusively on single-use plastic water bottles, you can use refillable water containers and reduce the amount of plastic going into landfills. 
  • Better Tasting Food and Coffee: By using purer water in your cooking, baking, or brewing, you will also enjoy better-tasting foods like soups, pasta, and beverages.
  • Low Maintenance: Reverse osmosis systems don’t require constant expensive maintenance. Generally speaking, filters should only be replaced every 6-9 months. And the reverse osmosis membrane should last 3-5 years depending on the starting quality of your water supply and the rate of your household use.


How The Science of Water Can Help

You’ve decided that you’re ready to take the water in your home to the next level. Congratulations! Let our professionals at The Science of Water help you figure out the best water filtration system for your home. 

Contact us for your free water test and estimate. We use Puronics systems that utilize SilverShield® Protection NASA Technology. Our products have also been tested and approved by the EPA. All of our reverse osmosis water filtration systems operate on household water pressure and do not use electricity. Plus, the slim profile of our filtration systems fits easily under the average sink, taking up little space in your home.

You and your family deserve water of the highest quality. To learn more about our services, visit our website or contact us by phone at (352) 745-7070 or (904) 580-0000 and let’s get started today!



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