A Quick Guide To Reverse Osmosis

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Everyone knows the importance of drinking enough water and staying hydrated, but it is also essential to have clean, filtered water to ensure any bad bacteria is removed and you are receiving all the necessary vitamins and minerals from your beverage.

One of the best ways to get rid of unwanted contaminants is through a process of reverse osmosis.


What is osmosis?

To understand what this is, you need to first learn what happens in osmosis. This is when freshwater and salt or sugar are separated by a semipermeable membrane. Osmosis occurs when the water travels through to the sugar or salt solution until it is fully mixed together.

Therefore, reverse osmosis is when the opposite occurs. This is when contaminated water is purified by forcing the water back through the semipermeable membrane away from the solids.

As a result, by separating the salts and minerals from the water, you will remove unwanted molecules and create purified water.

Therefore, reverse osmosis works in a similar way to using filter cartridges, removing dissolved particles that could pollute the water. However, it is considered to be more effective, resulting in 98 per cent rejection of contaminants.


The different reverse osmosis filters

There are different types of reverse osmosis processes, so it is important to understand the variations before you start looking for a reverse osmosis filter system.

Firstly, there is a one-stage reverse osmosis system, which involves the solution being fed through the membrane and exiting as either permeate or concentrate water.

A two-stage system is slightly more complicated, as the concentrate that resulted from the first process is then fed through another membrane to produce either permeate or concentrate water. The resulting permeate water is added to what was generated in the first stage.

Consequently, a two-stage system is more thorough, enabling a greater amount of pure water to be extracted from the solution.

There are also reverse osmosis systems with a concentrate recycle process available. This allows for a portion of the concentrate to be fed back into the feed water. The more processes the solution is passed through, the more pure the permeate water will be.


Types of reverse osmosis filters

At the same time, there are different types of reverse osmosis filters, depending on what the permeate water is being used for.

For instance, the desalination system is used to clean sea water for consumption or irrigation. This works by treating the intake with chemicals and using a high-pressure pump for the desalination process, which forces concentrated water through the membrane, leaving the contaminates behind.

The brackish water system is typically used to filter high salinity water. It uses water with dissolved solids but lower salt content than seawater, such as water found in wells with a high mineral content. This is then processed to produce water that is ideal for hospitals, pharmaceuticals, food and drink industries, and agriculture.

Lastly, water treatment plants are large-scale industrial systems that clean substantial areas of surface, brackish and seawater, such as from rivers, lakes, and the ocean. They are then purified into drinking water, which can be used in different industries.


What are the advantages of reverse osmosis?

When it comes to drinking water on a domestic scale, there are lots of advantages to having a reverse osmosis system in your house.


Remove impurities

For a start, its basic function to remove impurities from water means drinkers can be free from pollutants, including sulphates, fluoride, nitrates, lead, pesticides, bacteria, pharmaceuticals, arsenic, sodium, magnesium, phosphorous, radium, chromium, copper, calcium, potassium, and many more. Therefore, you can be confident you are only getting pure water from your reverse osmosis filter system, instead of any contaminants that may make you feel poorly.


Improves flavour

A second important advantage of reverse osmosis when it comes to water treatment is improving the taste of drinking water. By getting rid of impurities, any slightly metallic flavour, unwanted smell, or calcium taste will be extracted, and you will be left with pure H2O.


Cheaper than bottled water

At the same time, those who enjoy fresh water won’t have to buy bottled water every day if they have a reverse osmosis water filter system at home. This is also better for the environment, as fewer plastic bottles will need to be recycled.


Easy to maintain

Homeowners will be pleased to hear that reverse osmosis systems are not difficult to maintain, as a result of their removable parts. Many also have an auto cleaning system (ACS) that keeps the machinery free from built-up residue.