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Although Reverse Osmosis seems like a complex system it is really a simple and
straightforward water filtration process. And it's not a new process. High-pressure (pump
driven reverse osmosis systems have !een used for years to desalinate" water # to
convert !rackish or seawater to drinking water. Having a !etter understanding of how a
reverse osmosis system works will eliminate the mystery and confusion you may feel
when you look at a reverse osmosis system -- with its many colored tu!es and multitude
of filters. Read on to enhance your knowledge of residential systems.
All RO $ystems work the same way.
%ost RO (Reverse Osmosis systems look alike.
All RO $ystems have the same !asic components.
&he real difference is the 'uality of the filters and mem!ranes inside the RO
Osmosis is a natural process !y which water flows into plant and animal cells(
through cellular mem!ranes( also known as semi-permea!le mem!ranes or osmotic
mem!ranes. &hese mem!ranes have a uni'ue property that pure water can freely flow in
either direction( !ut passage of salt and other dissolved impurities are inhi!ited. )iving
cells contain salty solutions( which allows them to a!sor! water from their natural
surroundings( through the osmotic process.
Osmotic pressure is a uni'ue( natural property of all solutions. &he osmotic
pressure of a solution depends on the concentration of the salt and other dissolved
materials. $uspended impurities like silt and !acteria do not contri!ute to osmotic
Reverse Osmosis is a process in which dissolved inorganic solids (such as salts
are removed from a solution (such as water. &his is accomplished !y household water
pressure pushing the tap water through a semi permea!le mem!rane. &he mem!rane
(which is a!out as thick as cellophane allows only the water to pass through( not the
impurities or contaminates. &hese impurities and contaminates are flushed down the
*ltimately( the factors that affect the performance of a Reverse Osmosis $ystem are+
,ncoming water pressure
-ater &emperature
&ype and num!er of total dissolved solids (&.$ in the tap water
&he 'uality of the filters and mem!ranes used in the RO $ystem (see operating
&ap water contains multiple !iological contaminants
&he RO treated water is not only pure !ut also great in taste and smell. &his is
!ecause the RO system removes a!out /01 of chemicals from the tap water.
$o you do not have to !ear with the taste and smell of chlorine anymore.
-ith the removal of lead( mercury( chlorine( as!estos and other 2344 well
known toxins( RO system significantly reduces the risk of illness and diseases.
&he water that you get from RO system hydrates your !ody at a faster pace.
&he !est part a!out RO system is that all the pollutants are not collected !ut
directly flushed down the drain.
&he RO system is !est for areas having hard water.
As most minerals like iron( magnesium( calcium and sodium are larger in si5e
than water molecules( the semi-permea!le prevents them from passing on to
the other side. $o the water actually gets de-minerali5ed. &he removal of
naturally occurring minerals not only makes the water less healthy !ut also
affects its taste. &hus many people find the RO water tasteless.
&he RO mem!rane fails to remove any dissolved salts ions or particles that are
smaller in si5e as compared to water molecules.
,t is expensive to use an RO water purifier as it runs on electricity.
&he system needs professional assistance for cleaning.