Reverse Osmosis Systems (RO) : Water pressure is used to force water molecules through a very fine membrane leaving the contaminants behind. Purified water is collected from the "clean" or “permeate” side of the membrane, and water containing the concentrated contaminants is flushed down the drain from the "contaminated" or “concentrate” side. The average RO system is a unit consisting of a sediment/chlorine pre filter, the reverse-osmosis membrane, a storage tank, and an activated-carbon post filter.
Reverse osmosis removes salt and most other inorganic material present in the water, and for that reason, RO lends itself to use in places where the drinking water is brackish (salty), contains nitrates or other dissolved minerals which are difficult to remove by other methods.
Stages of Filtration
The modern RO system is a unit consisting of a sediment pre-filter to remove particulates, turbidity, sand and rust; an activated carbon pre-filter to remove the chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, disinfectants, and VOCs which might otherwise damage the reverse osmosis membrane; the reverse-osmosis membrane which removes virtually everything such as heavy metals, lead, salt, chromium and dissolved solids; a storage tank, and an activated-carbon post filter. The carbon post filter or polishing filter is necessitated by the demineralized, slightly acidic RO water attacking the rubber inside the storage tank, dissolving some of the rubber. This can be avoided by remineralizing the water prior to storage.
Reverse Osmosis Purity
Reverse osmosis removes salt and most other dissolved inorganic material present in the water, and for that reason, reverse osmosis water filters are usually used in places where the drinking water is brackish (salty), contains nitrates, radionucliatides, heavy metals or other dissolved minerals which are difficult to remove by other methods. Using a quality carbon filter to remove any organic materials and chemicals that get through the sediment pre-filter, in conjunction with RO produces water with a purity that approaches distilled water is important for any house water filtration system. Microscopic parasites (including viruses) are usually removed by RO units, but any defect or micro-tear in the membrane will allow these organisms to pass into the 'clean" water. This is why RO systems are not rated to remove microorganisms except when an Ultraviolet Light filter is incorporated into the system.
Reverse Osmosis Efficiency and Waste
Though slower than a water filter, RO systems can typically purify more water per day than distillers. Also, they do not use electricity, but RO systems do produce waste water. One or more gallons of concentrated waste water are flushed down the drain for every gallon of filtered water that is produced.
The different ways to dispose of Brine Waste:
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