If you’re looking for a new drinking water filtration system for your home or business, it won’t be long before you come across a term like “RO water systems.”
But these are relatively unfamiliar terms to those that don’t know a lot about the means and methods by which water supplies are commonly filtered.
So what does it mean, and what does it matter to those looking for a drinking water filtration solution?
How Reverse Osmosis Systems Work
First off, the “RO” in RO water systems stands for “reverse osmosis.”
Reverse osmosis is a process by which water is filtered, under pressure and flow, by forcing it across a semipermeable membrane.
The system causes water to flow from a side with a high concentration of contaminants, across the membrane, into an area of lesser concentration, which is effectively free of contaminants: pure water.
This semi-permeable reverse osmosis membrane in a reverse osmosis filter has small holes – pores – that are small enough to allow water molecules to flow through, but which trap contaminants, even dissolved ones.
This makes reverse osmosis water filters highly effective for removing dissolved heavy metals and toxins that cannot be removed via mechanical means alone.
Some of the common contaminants that RO water systems can effectively remove are lead, sodium, copper, chromium, chloride, arsenic, radium, and fluoride. They can also be used to reduce the levels of other metal ions and aqueous salts.
RO water systems are also commonly capable of removing toxins such as herbicides and pesticides which can become dissolved in, and born by, water. Reverse osmosis can also remove VOCs such as THMs.
The reverse osmosis stage, in which water flows across the membrane, is the central component of the system. However, these systems may have several additional stages of filtration. Some have as many as five.
Also, RO water systems are often paired with preliminary mechanical filtration methods to remove sediment and particulate matter before the RO phase in which dissolved solids are removed.
Are There Any Advantages to RO Water Systems?
There are numerous advantages to the use of RO water systems for water treatment.
One is that they are capable of removing contaminants that other filters cannot, such as dissolved toxins and heavy metal ions.
For home cooks, using an RO water filtration system may also improve the flavor of food and drinks. Since RO removes dissolved minerals, such as municipally added fluoride, it can positively impact the end result of foods and beverages – not just resulting in better-tasting water.
There is also the consideration that RO is more sustainable and economically friendly than buying bottled water – not only because we don’t ultimately know the source from which those companies draw, but because then we also won’t be throwing untold millions of spent bottles into landfills and waterways each year.
Using an RO system will also substantially reduce, nearly eliminate, the total concentration of dissolved minerals that cause scale – so filtering your water before making ice or coffee can extend the lifespan of your appliances, too.
Some RO water systems, like mechanical drinking water filtration systems, can be relatively easy to install – making them ideal not only for homeowners but for business owners.
Can You Buy RO Water Systems for Your Home or Business?
Yes, there are residential and commercial RO water systems that you can buy for your home or business.
Some of the leading systems on the market are available at efilters.net, such as the Everpure ROM 4 and MRS600HE, for residential and commercial applications, respectively.