FAQ - Reverse Osmosis
What is Reverse Osmosis?
Reverse osmosis, also known as hyperfiltration, is the finest means of filtration available today. It is the most common treatment technology used by premium bottled water companies. Reverse osmosis refers to the process of forcing water through a semi-permeable membrane under pressure.
How does Reverse Osmosis work?
Reverse osmosis uses a membrane that is semi-permeable, allowing pure water to pass through it, while rejecting the contaminants that are too large to pass through the tiny pores in the membrane.
Can Reverse Osmosis be used on well water or water from other untreated sources (lake or river)?
Yes, RO is generally an excellent choice for homeowners with well water. However, it is important to note that reverse osmosis does not provide foolproof protection against all microorganisms. You should have your water tested for bacteria and virus contamination before relying solely on reverse osmosis. If microbiological contamination is present or suspected, you should combine reverse osmosis with an ultraviolet system for maximum effectiveness and protection against bacteria and viruses. A water softener or whole-house iron filter may also be advisable (depending one the level of relevant contaminants in your well water) to prevent membrane fouling thereby ensuring maximum membrane life and effectiveness.
How often does the reverse osmosis membrane need to be replaced?
With proper maintenance of your sediment and activated carbon pre-filters, your reverse osmosis membrane should last 2-3 years.
Why are reverse osmosis systems always combined with carbon and sediment pre-filters?
The only major category of contaminants that reverse osmosis is not highly effective in removing (organic compounds) is specifically targeted by activated carbon filters. Pre-filters also prevent the reverse osmosis membrane from being fouled or clogged by sediment, chlorine, and other contaminants, thereby enhancing its effectiveness and lifespan.
Are all reverse osmosis systems equally effective?
Absolutely not. Like all water filters, the effectiveness of a reverse osmosis system depends greatly on the quality of its components - especially its pre-filter cartridges (quantity and quality) and the membrane itself. Lower quality pre-filters will suffer from premature membrane fouling, as well as reduced performance, purified water output, and membrane life.
I notice that a reverse osmosis system will remove just about everything from my water, including some nutrients that are good for the body. Should I take a supplement to counteract the nutrients that I will no longer get through my water?
No, this is not necessary. You should already be getting all of the nutrients such as essential salts, vitamins, and other trace minerals from the food you eat and the other beverages you drink.
What is "crossflow"?
Quality reverse osmosis systems use a process known as crossflow to allow the membrane to continually clean itself. As some of the fluid passes through the membrane the rest continues downstream, sweeping the rejected contaminants away from the membrane and down the drain. This prevents contaminants from backing up against the membrane and clogging it.
How much purified water can a home RO system produce?
Our RO systems come standard with a membrane that produces about 50 gallons of purified water per day. An upgrade is available at a relatively low cost which allows you to boost production to 100 gallons per day. The upgrade kit includes a larger membrane and housing and a larger storage tank (20 gallons). The actual amount of water produced in your home will depend on your household water pressure. Because reverse osmosis water purification occurs slowly (it is a very fine filter!), a storage tank is used to hold 3 gallons of purified water at all times so pure water is always at your fingertips.