How Does a Reverse Osmosis System Works?

Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a water filtration system designed to separate clean water from contaminated water, making use of a membrane.

While under pressure, water is able to flow through a semipermeable membrane until it becomes purified.

Because of its higher concentration, water containing undissolved and dissolved materials do not pass through the membrane filter. However, the pure water which has a much lower concentration passes through the membrane easily.

Stages of Reverse Osmosis System

The major components of an RO process are water under pressure and membrane filters.

Other requirements include carbon for removing chlorine and prefiltration for removing suspended impurities.

The following are the stages of the reverse osmosis filter system:

  • First, the water gets into an RO system and passes through prefiltration. Prefiltration involves the use of a carbon filter and sediment filter to remove sediments or chlorine that can clog and damage the RO membrane.
  • Secondly, the water goes through the reverse osmosis membrane where dissolved particles are removed, no matter how tiny they might be.
  • Thirdly, the water flows into the storage tank that stores it until it is needed. The reverse osmosis system continues until the tank is full and shuts off when done.
  • Lastly, the water goes through another post filter process before it comes out of the faucet.

What’s The Use of A RO Storage Tank?

An RO storage tank is very essential in holding reverse osmosis water so that one can have a lot to use when needed. Since the reverse osmosis is very slow, it usually takes a minute to produce two or three ounces of RO water. So, therefore, if one was to turn on a kitchen faucet for a glass of water within the actual membrane production time, it would take five minutes to fill up but when a storage tank is involved, it fills up more quickly.

Things an RO System Removes

An RO system is best for eradicating dissolved solids such as arsenic. The system also helps water to taste better and free from foul odors.

Listed below are some other things a reverse osmosis system removes in water:

  • Salt
  • Flouride
  • Herbicides
  • Pesticides
  • VOCs
  • Chlorine

Aside from those listed below, there are many other contaminants that a reverse osmosis system can remove from water.

Unfortunately, the system doesn’t get rid of all types of bacterias and viruses.

There are certain bacterias and viruses that this system cannot remove. For removing living organisms and viruses, a UV disinfection system is more advisable.

What Are the Benefits Of Reverse Osmosis System Over Other Methods?

The reverse osmosis system removes ninety-eight percent of dissolved solids in water, making it healthier and suitable for drinking and other things. Besides, the reverse osmosis system is more environmentally friendly. It’s also easy to install, maintain, and fits well under kitchen sinks so one doesn’t have to worry about where to install it.  More also, blind taste tests have proven that the reverse osmosis system is the best, compared to tap water because tap water has traces of nitrate, leads, and other substances that make it taste somehow.

Reverse osmosis is well known to be a very efficient way to remove heavy metals, like lead, and other chemical contaminants from drinking water. For waters containing more than 200 total dissolved solids, reverse osmosis is cheaper than ion exchange. Even for water with less than dissolved solids, RO is the best since it helps to also get rid of silica and organics. Unlike distillation, reverse osmosis only makes use of a fraction of the total energy and does not have corrosion and scaling, or high-temperature problems

Generally, RO systems are more economical and better at improving the quality of water than most systems.

Does Reverse Osmosis System Waste Water?

The reverse osmosis system doesn’t waste water. The wastewater in an RO system is used to clean the water. After water flows through the system, it becomes divided into two streams. One of the streams carries the filtered water to the right faucet while the other carries the water contaminants to the drain.

When properly maintained, reverse osmosis systems usually last for 10 – 15 years if well maintained. Although its RO membrane and filters need replacing at intervals.