Reverse osmosis system: how it works
Reverse osmosis, commonly referred to as RO, has been the world’s so far most effective technology for water purification. It is intended to purify water from 99.8% of known impurities including sediment, dissolved salts, viruses and bacteria. During the process, treated water is being pushed through a semi-permeable membrane which entraps contaminants and lets the molecules of water flow through.
Osmosis in an absolutely natural physical process first observed by scientists in the middle of 18th century. Within the process, a weaker solution of salts tends to emigrate to a stronger one. Reverse osmosis is literally the opposite. The technology has been applied in water purification since 1950s. By 2015, there were some 18,500 desalination plants in the world, providing pure water for over 300 million people.
RO water purifier is currently being used in a number of industries including food and beverages production, microelectronics, power plants, heating equipment, pharmaceuticals, chemical processes etc. But most importantly, the reverse osmosis water purification system is the basic source of drinking water for population, more and more often to be found at kitchens of usual households.
Reverse osmosis water filter for your home
Since quality of drinking water is the basis for human health and well-being, you might want to approach selection of the unit with careful consideration. To find an appropriate solution, you need to answer the following questions first.
Estimated, what is the volume of drinking water produced by RO water filter system you are planning to consume on the daily basis?
You are connected to city mains or a private well? What is the quality of the source water? The RO membranes are delicate, you might need some additional filters preinstalled before the water gets to reverse osmosis filtration system.
Pressure in the mains? If the pressure is low, it is necessary to additionally install a pump to increase pressure of the water flowing to the membrane.
Do you prefer to re-mineralize your water after purification? With the mineralization, you are able to improve taste of the water and saturate your organism with important minerals.
Every one of these factors, as well as others, also influences the cost of the filter.
The system is usually installed under the sink or any other place convenient to connect it to pipelines with source water and sewage system, as well as protected from direct sunlight. The set of filters is usually hung to a metal rack, the storage tank for pure water is put alongside.
The reverse osmosis water treatment system completed with a pump or UV lamp will also require source of electric energy. The faucet for purified water (or two faucets, if there is an option of mineralized water) is installed on the surface of the sink or kitchen counter top.
Replacement of filters
If speed or quality of purification have decreased, it is necessary to replace filters. Timely replacement of the filters of the reverse osmosis drinking water system is extremely important.
Traditionally the system consists of 5-6 stages of purification divided into blocks. Preliminary purification filters are recommended to be replaced every 3 months, RO membrane has to be replaced at least once in 12 to 18 months.
As a rule, replacement filters are sold in sets accordingly.
Filters for preliminary purification (stages 1-3)
RO membrane and post-filter (4-5)
Mineralization filter / UV lamp (6) – optional
Disinfection of the system is required to be performed every 6 months of its operation, or in case the filter was not being used for 2-3 weeks. The procedure of the system disinfection is usually described in the passport of the product.The reverse osmosis water treatment system is the safest, most effective, compact and affordable solution for domestic water purification. If you keep it in good working order, it is going to become the indispensable source of pure and tasty drinking water at your home for many years to come.