What Makes Reverse Osmosis Filtration Work, Anyway?

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For truly safe water, reverse osmosis filtration is the way to go. Because although the water treatment plant has multiple stages of filtration, our municipal water isn’t always as clean as you’d like.

Chlorine disinfectants and hard water minerals are still left in our water even after it’s been “filtered.” (Not to mention the lead that might get picked up as our water travels through the city pipelines.) But reverse osmosis filtration cleans up our drinking water for a delicious glass every time.

What is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse osmosis is essentially the opposite of osmosis, which is a process that happens all the time in nature. Osmosis is how plants draw water up from the soil. Water naturally moves between the soil and roots to create an equal balance of solvent concentrations. The process of reverse osmosis just works to invert that process for a specialized form of water filtration.

Reverse osmosis, or RO for short, uses external pressure to force water through a semi-permeable membrane. That membrane acts as a super fine filter. It removes even the tiniest, microscopic contaminants from our tap water. Only the pure water molecules can travel past the membrane. So when you turn on the faucet, all you get is clean, filtered water.

Stages of an RO Water System

We see RO filters in both commercial and residential applications. On a large scale, reverse osmosis filtration is used to desalinate seawater. Yet these powerful filters are also great on a smaller scale for filtering tap water.

Because the water treatment plants usually can’t remove all the contaminants we’d like, it helps to have another barrier in place. A home filter is what really purifies our drinking water, and reverse osmosis is often the go-to choice. The best RO water systems work in multiple stages, like the EcoWater ERO 175 and ERO 375 Reverse Osmosis systems. In general, the process is broken down into three or four steps, very similar to the following:

Step 1: Sediment Pre-Filter

The waterline first connects to a pre-filter that removes any sediment or particulate matter from your drinking water. This stage also works to tackle the taste and odor of chlorine that’s usually present in our unfiltered tap water.

Step 2: RO Membrane Filter

RO filters then go through a powerful filtration process that keeps just about every possible contaminant out of your water. This includes metals, minerals, and microorganisms like bacteria and parasites. The result is clean and tasty drinking water.

Step 3: Carbon Post-Filter

After those filters, the water is usually held in a tank that fits under your sink. Then, as you turn on the faucet, your water runs through a final filtration stage. This carbon filter works to “polish” your water and get it ready for drinking.

Restaurants and coffee shops rely on RO water to get the best flavors in their drinks. Schools use RO filters to tackle tough contaminants like lead in drinking water. And families love RO water because it’s the safest and easiest way to stay hydrated. Plus, reverse osmosis filters can be so much more affordable than bottled water, with even greater quality.

Next Steps for Drinking Water Filtration

In order to get the best-tasting water for your place of business, break room, or your family’s kitchen, you’ve got to start with high-powered water filtration. Plain tap water simply can’t compete with clean RO water. Working with your local water filtration experts can help you make the switch.

It’s easy to get your own RO water filter installed. Just contact your local filtration or soft water company to discuss your options. Scheduling a site review can help you learn about any unique water concerns your area might have, such as high levels of lead, iron, or hard water minerals. Once you know what you’re up against, you can get the best water system for your needs. Then you can enjoy refreshing water—straight from your own tap—every day!

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