Reverse osmosis (R.O.) drinking water truly is the purest choice for any home. It’s water the way nature intended us to drink it. But how exactly do these systems work, and what do they do to your home’s water? Osmosis is defined as the process of molecules passing through a semi-permeable membrane from a less-concentrated solution into a more-concentrated solution. An example or osmosis from nature is the roots of plants drawing water from the soil. Reverse osmosis is simply the opposite of that process.
Step 1: Pre-filtration
The first step in purifying water with reverse osmosis is meant to protect the membrane. It removes larger sediment, including some dissolved solids, and helps reduce chlorine. This first cartridge is referred to as the sediment filter or carbon block filter. It helps conserve the membrane, which can get clogged by excess sediment or damaged by exposure to too much chlorine, which you’ll find in municipal water.
Step 2: The Reverse Osmosis Membrane
Following the initial filtration comes the real magic of an R.O. system.
Your water is forced through the semi-permeable membrane under pressure. The membrane is a synthetic plastic material that allows the passage of water molecules. However, sodium, chlorine, and calcium, as well as larger molecules like glucose, urea, bacteria and viruses, cannot pass.
We have reverse osmosis drinking water systems that are tested and certified for reduction of:
- nitrates and nitrites
- chromium (hexavalent & trivalent)
- cyst (cryptosporidium)
- total dissolved solids (TDS)
Water Specialties Group's drinking water system uses thin film composite (TFC) membranes in its ClearFlo reverse osmosis system. This type of membrane is resistant to bacteria breakdown and has a high rejection rate of 95 to 97 percent on average. TFC membranes are not chlorine-resistant, which is why a carbon prefilter is used.
Steps 3 & 4: Post Filtration and Final Polish
Before your home’s water is ready to drink, it goes through a second carbon filter (or post filter), which removes any remaining contaminants in the unlikely case they slipped past the membrane.
Then the water fills up a storage tank where it waits until you’re ready to use it.
Finally, there’s the in-line activated carbon filter, which gives your water one last polish as it comes out your faucet. This is used to remove any remaining odors or flavors that may come from the system hoses or the holding tank.
The polish is a “just in case” step to make sure the water you drink tastes incredibly fresh! Contact us today to learn more about how a reverse osmosis system can deliver the brilliant water you deserve.