The Environmental Protection Agency is constantly surveying our local water supplies for new contaminants, in order to safely supervise and regulate the condition of our drinking water. According to them, apportioned levels of certain contaminants are safe to ingest, and therefore allowed, in our drinking water, but many people prefer water that is entirely contaminant-free. In order to achieve this level of water purification, millions of homes have chosen to install reverse osmosis systems.
Continue reading to learn how a reverse osmosis system works, and what you can do to improve the quality of your water.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
Water can be contaminated in many ways, but most often, pollution is the root cause. Pollutants like household cleaners, fertilizers, and industrial waste can seep into local rivers and waterways. Treatment plants often add chemicals to water in order to neutralize contaminants. For instance, chlorine is added to prevent the growth of microbes; but adding chemicals like this gives water a funny taste and odor. Reverse osmosis is essentially a technology that removes contaminants from drinking water without having to add any chemicals.
Also called RO systems, reverse osmosis technology utilizes water pressure and semi-permeable membranes to remove the majority of contaminants from drinking water. They provide safe, great-tasting, crystal-clear water on demand. Depending on the level of contaminates in the local area, some homes might need a RO system for just a particular area, while others will need one for the entire property.
How They Work
A RO system has four primary parts that come equipped on all models, including a prefilter, postfilter, RO membrane, and storage tank. City or well water will enter the property through the prefilter. The prefilter is meant to work as a bodyguard for the RO membrane, filtering out all the sediment and contaminants that can harm it. This not only protects the membrane; it extends its life. Although the prefilter has an important role in filtering, the RO membrane does the major filter work.
The RO membrane is semi-permeable, meaning that some things can pass through and some can’t. In terms of water filtration, it depends on the molecular charge and size of the particle. Water particles can pass through the pores of the membrane, but particles like smoke or paint pigments are too large and get filtered out. The water that makes it through the RO membrane is called the permeate stream. This stream of water is not only safe to drink, it also tastes really good! And to increase convenience, permeate stream water is stored in a storage tank for on demand, clean water. Any contaminants that arise in the storage tank are picked up by the post filter, making routine replacement necessary.
The best way to get quality water at home is with a water softening system.
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