Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a water purification process in which water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane that removes 99% of tap water impurities. The REVERSE OSMOSIS process is the most advanced, economical and effective means to have bottled quality water at your tap. By forcing water under pressure through a semi-permeable membrane, the membrane allows water molecules to pass through and reject dissolved impurities sending them down a drain. REVERSE OSMOSIS removes all the contaminants of concern to the consumer including bacteria, viruses, parasites, heavy metals, inorganic chemicals, pesticides and algae. RO is the same process used in most water bottling plants.
Reverse Osmosis (RO)
1) What does a Reverse Osmosis Filter System (ROFS) do?
A ROFS produces drinking water from your tap, Reverse Osmosis is a simple and straightforward water filtration process. It is the most common system used for water bottling plants, and has been used for years to desalinate water (convert sea water to drinking water). With the many options in the water filtration market place, it can be confusing to understand the different methods. The goal here is that as you read on you can gain a better understanding of RO.
The important points to consider:
- All RO systems work under the same principles.
- The only difference is the quality of filters and membranes used in designing the system.
2) How does a Reverse Osmosis Membrane work?
The Reverse Osmosis membrane has a tight pore structure (less than 0.0001 micron or 500,000 times less than the diameter of a human hair) that removes all the contaminants of concern to the consumer including bacteria, viruses, parasites, heavy metals, inorganic chemicals, pesticides and algae from drinking water. Additional Carbon filters used in Reverse Osmosis also help to remove unwanted odors, colors and tastes from water.
Factors that effect performance:
- Incoming water pressure.
- Water temperature.
- Type and number of total dissolved solids (TDS) in the tap water.
- The quality of the filters and membranes used in the RO system.
3) What are the advantages of RO?
- Improves taste, odor and appearance (coffees and teas).
- Removes the pollutants listed below and more!
- Does not consume energy.
- Does not collect pollutants but flushes them down the drain.
- Easy to keep clean.
- Low production cost – bottled water quality for pennies from your tap.
4) What does a Reverse Osmosis System remove?
A reverse osmosis membrane will remove impurities and particles larger than .001 microns.
5) What are the components of a Reverse Osmosis System?
Basic components common to all Reverse Osmosis Systems:
- COLD WATER LINE VALVE: valve that fits onto the cold water supply line. The valve has a tube that attaches to the inlet side of the RO pre-filter. This is the water source for the RO system.
- PRE-FILTER SEDIMENT FILTER: water from the cold water supply line enters the Reverse Osmosis pre-filter first. The most commonly used pre-filters are sediment filters. These are used to remove sand silt, dirt and other sediment.
- PRE-FILTER CARBON FILTER: used to remove chlorine, and other unwanted taste and smells from the water.
- REVERSE OSMOSIS MEMBRANE: the water is then filtered through the RO membrane.
- POST-FILTER CARBON: to polish the water before drinking, a carbon filter is added. This will help ensure great quality water.
- AUTOMATIC SHUT OFF VALVE (SOV): the automatic shut-off valve will help to conserve water. When the storage tank is full this valve will prevent any additional water from entering preventing any more water from being filtered. By shutting off the flow this valve also stops water from flowing to the drain. Once water is drawn from the RO drinking water faucet, the pressure in the tank drops and the shut off valves opens, allowing water to flow to the membrane and waste-water (water containing contaminants) to flow down the drain.
- FLOW RESTRICTOR: to regulate flow through the RO membrane there is a flow control. Based upon the gallon capacity of the membrane, this device will maintain the flow rate to give you the highest quality drinking water. Without this device it would reduce production capacity as water would take the path of least resistance and flow through the drain line.
- STORAGE TANK: the standard RO storage tank holds up to 13 gallons of water. Inside the tank there is a bladder that keeps the system pressurized.
- FAUCET: the RO unit utilizes its own faucet next to the sink.
- DRAIN LINE: this line runs from the outlet end of the RO membrane housing to the drain. This line is used to dispose of the impurities and contaminants found in the incoming water source (tap water).
Diagram of a Reverse Osmosis System with Basic Components.
6) Are all Reverse Osmosis Systems and filters the same?
RO systems can appear similar in terms of design and components. However, the quality of those components can be very different. The difference in quality can effect the product water from the system.
7) How do you increase the gallon per day (gpd) capacity of the Reverse Osmosis Membrane on a Reverse Osmosis System?
The main reason to increase the flow rate is to ensure that there is adequate water available during peak times. This is to improve the recovery rate of the membrane. Sizing is especially important when the RO system is connected to multiple units (sinks and ice makers) and will reduce the time it takes to fill the pressure tank. Changing membranes does not affect the quality of the water produced or the length of time the membrane will last.
Contact a Juturna expert for sizing recommendations.
Hard water is the most common water problem found in the home. Hard water can leave spots on your glasses and dishes, make laundry dingy, dull or feeling scratchy, and cause soap scum and scale to build up around showers and faucets. This makes cleaning a chore. The buildup will also occur in your water appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines, traditional water heaters, and new tankless water heaters.
What are the benefits of Soft Water?
A water softener removes the harsh minerals commonly found in hard water, leaving you with softer, mineral-free water that is much easier and gentler on everything that uses water. Cleaner sinks, and faucets with less crusty scale buildup; Less soap scum and stains in tubs, showers and shower doors ; Brighter, cleaner clothes; Softer laundry, linens and towels; Cleaner, smoother skin and hair.
What is Filtered Water?
Filtered water is water that has gone through filters to reduce the amount of iron, hydrogen sulfide, aesthetic chlorine taste and odor as well as microorganisms, such as cryptosporidium and giardia. Filtering water involves separating mineral particles, like particulates, iron, hydrogen sulfide or organic matter, from the water molecule (H2O). By passing water through a “filter bed,” or “media bed,” these granular particles are trapped.