Reverse Osmosis Water: Pros & Cons (2023 Guide)

Introduction

Are you planning to buy a Reverse Osmosis Filtration System for yourself but are confused with the decision-making? If yes, you’re at the right place to gather all the information on reverse osmosis water filters, their function, application, and maintenance.

As a novice to water filters, you might ask: Do we actually need to buy an RO for our homes? Well, you might be shocked to hear that water for more than 26 million Americans has been found contaminated by various chemicals and microbes, causing 7.2 million individuals to get sick each year due to waterborne diseases. Fortunately, the Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water can answer all these water-related problems.

No matter if you’re a novice at the RO water filtration concept, this guide will shed some light on the basics of reverse osmosis water systems, the pros & cons of using RO water, and factors to consider before buying an RO in 2023. Let’s find out more!

whole house RO system (1)

➢How Does the Reverse Osmosis System Work?

Have you ever heard of Osmosis? It is a natural phenomenon by which a weaker saline solution (with a lower concentration of salts) will tend to move towards the stronger saline solution (with a higher concentration of salts). A suitable example is the roots of a plant absorbing more water from the soil. Reverse Osmosis is the direct opposite of this phenomenon. 

In Reverse Osmosis, the water will move through the membrane pores with the help of a driving force. This will remove most dissolved salts, bacteria, organics, and pyrogens from the water, making it suitable for regular use. 

How Does the Reverse Osmosis System Work (1)

  • Components of RO Water Filters

There are four major components of an RO water filtration system. However, this number can vary as per the provider or the need of the application. The four major components are the feedwater pump, pre- and post-filters, RO membrane, and storage tank.

The feed water pump forces the water to pass through the RO membrane. Then comes the two extra filters, i.e., pre and post-filters. These filters can filter out the contaminants such as dirt, dust, and leaves from water.

The Reverse Osmosis membrane, also known as a semi-permeable membrane, can continuously remove water contaminants. The RO membrane is believed to remove more than 98% of dissolved salts from water.

After the post-filtration, the filtered water from the RO water system can be stored in the storage tank for future use. The size of storage tanks depends on the need and usage of RO water and the size of the RO plant.

Components of RO Water Filters (1)

➢Benefits of RO Water

Among the widespread waterborne diseases, drinking water scarcity will be here sooner or later. Thus, the Reverse Osmosis water filtration system is a hope for those looking forward to a safe and healthy drinking lifestyle. As per the reports of ASPE, 77% of the American population already have water filters at home, and the number is increasing daily. 

Here are some of the benefits of RO water and why you should have one:

1) Improved Water Quality 

The Reverse Osmosis water filtration system is excellent for those looking for improved water quality. The semi-permeable membrane operates on the principle of high-pressure cross-filtration, which removes more than 98% of the contaminants from the polluted water.

A reverse osmosis system can improve the water quality by removing the following substances from your raw water:

  • Iron
  • Sediment
  • Colloid
  • Bacteria
  • Virus
  • Lead
  • Fluoride
  • Chromium
  • HG
  • Chlorine
  • Fluoride
  • Heavy metals
  • Chloramine
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Hazardous dissolved chemicals
  • Etc.

Benefits of RO Water (1)

2) Reduced Waterborne Diseases 

Waterborne diseases are caused by drinking polluted water containing microbes or pathogens. The Reverse Osmosis water filtration plant can remove all such disease-causing pathogens. Additionally, the semi-permeable membrane can eliminate 99% of heavy metals like lead, manganese, arsenic, and asbestos to make it safe for drinking purposes. 

3) Enhanced Taste and Odor 

The reverse osmosis water filtration system eliminates the Fluoride from water, improving water’s overall taste and odor and making it safe for cooking. The RO water plants are designed to lower the total dissolved salts (TDS) of water under safe limits, improving the sweet taste of water, 

4) Extended Lifespan of Appliances 

RO water is not just about drinking but is crucial in improving the lifespan of other household appliances. For example, lowering the TDS and removing the chemicals will reduce the chances of corrosion, scaling, and mineral build-up and conserve energy. 

5) Get Direct Access to High-quality Bottled Water and Save Money

By installing a reverse osmosis system, users can directly connect to the tap water pipe or inject tap water and get fresh water through purification within 6 seconds. The water produced is fast and stable and can be taken at any time, which is convenient and fresher. In addition, there is no need to buy bottled water from the market, which saves the purchase cost of bottled water.

➢Cons of RO Water 

Not everything about RO filtration might be appraisable for you; hence.  

  • Wastewater Production 

Although RO filtration systems are very efficient and can remove 98% of dissolved salts from polluted water, the filtration system will reject between 35-70% depending on the life of semi-permeable membranes, stages of RO, and further conductivity needs. Even if an RO filtration system has an automatic shut-off valve, the RO filtration system will keep on producing a rejected water stream unless the storage tank is full. 

The wastewater can be reduced by increasing the efficiency of RO membranes, such as timely maintenance and replacement, and by increasing the number of Reverse Osmosis filtration system stages. 

  • Mineral Removal 

The RO system is designed to remove up to 99% of impurities and dissolved salts, including minerals. Most of these minerals are in excess and can be harmful to living beings, but some healthy minerals, like Calcium and Magnesium, are also eliminated. 

It has even been reported that RO can cause mineral deficiency, particularly in children and pregnant women. RO water, which is deficient in minerals, can get into your body and leach the minerals from your body as well as eliminate them via urination. 

The solution to this problem is to use mineral-specific filters, have a remineralization system, or add a minute quantity of sea salt (0.25 teaspoon per gallon). 

  • High Initial Cost

RO filtration systems might have a low production cost and enhanced efficiency in removing impurities and dissolved salts, but the high initial cost can be problematic for some. 

  • Consumables replacement:

The auxiliary filter of the reverse osmosis filter needs to be replaced relatively frequently. The reverse osmosis filtration system usually contains 5-micron PP cotton, activated carbon filtration, 1-micron PP cotton, reverse osmosis membrane, and T33 (activated carbon column), and these filter materials have a certain service life. If the filter is not replaced regularly, the filtration effect will be affected.

The replacement frequency of the reverse osmosis membrane is 1-2 years, and the replacement frequency of the first three filter materials of the reverse osmosis membrane is generally 3-6 months.

  • Maintenance Requirements

Reverse osmosis water purifiers usually require installers to have more professional knowledge and more experience. Since the reverse osmosis water purifier requires a water pump and must be powered on during use, there are certain electrical safety hazards.

As a homeowner, you must retrofit the RO filtration system into your house and hire a professional for continuous maintenance. Reverse Osmosis filtration plants might need to be treated chemically via anti-scalant, anti-corrosive agents, or an acid to deal with scaling, corrosion, and fouling. 

➢Is Drinking Water from A Reverse Osmosis System Harmful to My Health?

By the end of 2023, more than 55% of US citizens will be affected by bad drinking water quality. The contaminants and the geographical location, salinity, temperature, and many other conditions have also hampered the distribution of clean water in many regions. But the question remains: Is drinking water from a Reverse Osmosis water filter safe for health?

There is no tried and tested evidence to indicate that Reverse Osmosis water is harmful to health but is not beneficial either. RO filtration will eliminate all the valuable minerals and ions from water, leaving behind a dead, tasteless thing to drink. Therefore, it is recommended to remineralize the RO water to make it worthy enough to drink.

Can I Remineralize RO Water?

As per the World Health Organization (WHO), there should be a minimum amount of minerals in drinking water, such as 100 mg/L of salts, 30 mg/L of Calcium, 30 mg/L of bicarbonate, and 10 mg/L of Magnesium. But can we remineralize RO water to add all the needed minerals and salts? The answer is Yes! There are several ways to remineralize the RO water, such as adding 0.25 teaspoons of sea salt in a gallo or having a remineralization unit right after the RO.

➢How to Choose the Best Reverse Osmosis System? 

Whether you’re a homeowner or managing a large-scale industry, there are some factors to consider before you decide to have a Reverse Osmosis filtration system. 

Factors to Consider Before Buying an RO Filtration

1. Water Quality in the Area

The quality of the incoming water is the first factor to consider. You can provide relevant water quality testing data to relevant engineers. After understanding the local water quality and your water treatment needs, engineers will provide you with the most suitable water treatment equipment for the local water quality, reducing your purchase time and avoiding wasting money.

2. Water consumption and number of water points.

The capacity of the equipment is one of the main factors that determines the price. Therefore, water consumption is also one of the issues to be considered when selecting treatment equipment.

You can judge your water quality and quantity needs based on the number of family members, average daily water consumption, number of water supply points, and the use of RO water. Of course, you can also seek help from experts in water treatment equipment.

3. Consider the installation method and space.

The installation and use of water treatment equipment, especially whole-house reverse osmosis equipment, requires location and space reserved according to the user. Therefore, if it is an old house or a fully renovated house, you need to determine whether there is a corresponding installation space.

4. Brand

When choosing a brand of RO water filtration system, you need to consider quality assurance and after-sales service, as well as the low cost of subsequent core replacement and cost-effectiveness. Choose a high-quality RO water filter within a limited budget.

➢Conclusion

NEWater can provide the best reverse osmosis filtration system solution based on your raw water quality. Our reverse osmosis systems are customizable and available in different capacities to meet the water filtration needs of laboratories, schools, coffee shops, homes, or industries.

We offer the best reverse osmosis filtration systems and accessories at reasonable costs, such as whole house reverse osmosis systems, portable reverse osmosis systems, laboratory reverse osmosis systems, desalination reverse osmosis systems, commercial reverse osmosis systems, solar RO water purifier, reverse osmosis membrane. Contact our engineers for a free water treatment solution!

 

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