Just Plumbing

Just Plumbing | What is Reverse Osmosis and How Does It Work?

What is Reverse Osmosis and How Does It Work?

In the US, 50 billion plastic water bottles are purchased yearly. Broken down, that means there are 13 plastic water bottles a month for every single person in the US.

Most people would say they buy water in disposable plastic bottles because they want safe drinking water. At the same time, these bottles are filling landfills and oceans.

While it makes sense to want clean water, there are healthier options to get it. A reverse osmosis water purification system can get the same results.

Not only do you prevent all the plastic from turning to waste, but you also save money in the long run by not buying water in individual plastic bottles.

Read on to learn more about reverse osmosis and why installing a reverse osmosis system in your home is a smart investment.

What Is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse osmosis is a water purification process that takes unfiltered water and works to remove water contaminants.

The unfiltered water is forced through a permeable membrane to remove contaminants before it becomes drinking water.

The reverse osmosis system works to remove those unwanted particles from water, including:

  • Unwanted molecules
  • Large particles like contaminants and sediments
  • Microorganisms

If you’re worried about water safety, then adding a reverse osmosis system to your home gets water to the molecular level, pure H2O.

This eliminates all those plastic water bottles, and your whole family can access clean, filtered water right from the tap.

Understanding Osmosis

As you begin to understand what happens during a reverse osmosis process, it can also help to know about osmosis.

Osmosis is a naturally occurring process. There are many natural examples of osmosis occurring in nature. During the osmosis process, a weaker saline solution will migrate to a stronger saline solution.

Let’s consider a few real-life examples. The kidneys in the human body work like a natural filtration system when they filter water from the bloodstream.

In nature, a plant puts roots into the ground. Those roots pull water from the soil during the osmosis process.

During osmosis, a migration process occurs between different concentrations of liquids. For example, you might have a water solution with a low concentration of other substances, like salt, for example.

This substance will automatically migrate to the substance with higher concentrations until they blend. Typically, the less dense solution, like water, will pass through a semi-permeable membrane to mix with the other.

You might think of it as pure water passing through a membrane and mixing with contaminated water or substance on the other side.

Of course, this is exactly what you don’t want to happen to drinking water. So, how does this matter for drinking water, and how does this process happen in reverse?

How Does a Reverse Osmosis System Work?

Reverse osmosis is exactly like it sounds, and the water process goes in reverse. Pure water wants to migrate with the contaminated or unfiltered water like it would in osmosis.

Instead, during reverse osmosis, the unfiltered water is forced to move the other way and go through a membrane, like it might in osmosis. This membrane is a filter that grabs the contaminants from the water before mixing with the pure, filtered water on the other side.

Once reverse osmosis occurs, the membrane has trapped the contaminants, and the water is pure and more healthy to consume.

In a reverse osmosis water purification system, water usually goes through multiple stages of filtering. A reverse osmosis system can have three, four, or five stages of filtration.

Most water purification systems will include:

  • A sediment filter
  • Carbon filter
  • Semi-permeable membrane

The unfiltered water works through different stages to get clean water. The sediment filter will remove things like dirt, dust, and rust.

The carbon filter will then work to remove organic compounds (VOCs), chlorine, and other contaminants. Often, these contaminants will give water a distinct smell or taste.

Finally, the semi-permeable membrane works to remove the remaining total dissolved solids (TDS).

Through the process of reverse osmosis, you end up with pure water at the other end of the process.

What Does Reverse Osmosis Remove?

You are seeking a water purification system to remove those unwanted substances, so you have clean and healthy drinking water.

But what specifically does the reverse osmosis process remove from the water before making it available as filtered and clean?

Through the different layers and phases of filtration, many things are removed, including:

  • Dirt
  • Dust
  • Rust
  • Sediment
  • Chlorine
  • Fluoride
  • Salt
  • Arsenic
  • VOCs
  • Herbicides and pesticides

As you consider a reverse osmosis water purification system, talk with experts about the number of filters and, more specifically, what gets removed at each stage.

Benefits of a Reverse Osmosis System

A reverse osmosis water purification system works to get you clean, safer water. In fact, it can remove nearly 100% of dissolved solids from the unfiltered water, making it that much after for you to drink.

Aside from the harmful dissolved contaminants that are removed, there are a host of other benefits, too.

Water has reduced sodium levels, which is important for some people with health conditions.

Have you ever visited someplace and thought this water smells strange or this water tastes funny? With a water filtration system, you can remove most, if not all, foul odors and tastes from the water.

It’s important to remember, too, that using this kind of system is more environmentally friendly. No more adding plastic water bottles to landfills.

The reverse osmosis system is easy to install, and once installed, it’s easy to maintain, too. It fits right under your kitchen sink, so you don’t feel like you have some big filtration system on your countertop.

Get the Home Water Purification System You Need

Nobody likes the idea of drinking unsafe water or water with particles that aren’t great for you. You’re probably also becoming more aware of the impact single-use water bottles are having on the environment.

A reverse osmosis water system removes a host of contaminants you don’t want in your water when you drink it.

To learn more about a water osmosis system or to set up an appointment for installation, contact us today.