What is Reverse Osmosis (RO)?
Reverse Osmosis, or RO for short, is the opposite
of the natural process by which moisture is taken up by living cells. Root cells of plants, for example, have special cell
walls that allow water to pass through them. In reverse osmosis, water is forced against a synthetic membrane using normal
city water pressure. Only molecules of water easily diffuse through this unique membrane material, and are collected as pure
water on the other side. Impurities are left behind and are rinsed away to a waste drain.
What about minerals? Do Reverse Osmosis
systems remove them, and if so, aren't they needed for health?
Many home water devices claim they leave
so called "beneficial" minerals in, considering it an advantageous feature. Distillers, on the other hand, claim
they remove all "objectionable" minerals and consider it an advantage. Sounds confusing, doesn't it?
The subject of
minerals in water is one over which there is much controversy. There is even disagreement among health authorities. To help
you decide for yourself, consider the following information:
Minerals in water exist as mineral salts or so called inorganic
minerals. Minerals in this form may not be as biologically acceptable to the human body as are the organic forms of minerals
found in all food and quality mineral supplements.
Some inorganic minerals are harmful to human health and no water
treatment process can differentiate them from inorganic minerals that are not harmful. Examples of inorganic minerals that
are harmful are nitrates and toxic metals (lead, mercury and arsenic).
Excess inorganic minerals in water may be responsible
for bad tastes, salty tastes and metallic tastes.
Excess inorganic minerals may interact with almost every food and beverage, detracting
from its flavor. That's why virtually all packaged beverages, including soft drinks and beer, are made with controlled levels
of inorganic minerals to insure the best flavor possible.
The mineral content in water may
be much less than the mineral content found in foods. An 8-ounce glass of milk typically contains more calcium and magnesium
than 5 gallons of water.
Does Reverse Osmosis remove fluoride from the water? Isn't fluoride necessary
to reduce cavities?
Reverse Osmosis systems can remove over 90% of the fluoride in the water.
Fluoride occurs both naturally in the earth and water and is often artificially added to municipal supplies because there
is evidence it helps prevent tooth decay.
The long-term effects of fluoridation of public water supplies, however,
is still a subject of great controversy. Here's why:
Chlorine, for instance, has been used routinely since 1913, but only recently
have we discovered this helpful chemical has the potential to generate cancer-causing chemicals (tri-halomethanes or THMS)
when combined with organic substances naturally found in water. Fluoridation may have little benefit for teeth after childhood,
yet the population can consume fluoridated water from their municipal supply as well as pay for it. Consider too, that only
2% of total fluoridated water is used for human consumption.
Further, there are more prudent alternatives to fluoridating
the entire water supply such as the application of fluoride tablets and vitamins that may provide a safe, precise dose to
What factors affect my RO system's performance?
The quantity and
quality of water produced by a Reverse Osmosis system are affected by feed water temperature, feed water pressure and total
Temperature affects the performance of an RO due to the intricate design of an RO membrane. Production
is improved as water temperature approaches 77 degrees Fahrenheit (32ºC). Please Note: An RO device should only be installed
on the cold water line.
Reverse Osmosis systems are also affected by feed water pressure. As pressures increase
so does the rate in which water is produced. Generally speaking, Reverse Osmosis systems should be operated on feed water
pressures above 40 psi to provide acceptable performance.
High concentrations of total dissolved solids (poor quality) of the feed
water may decrease the life of the RO membranes or require additional maintenance.
long do RO membranes last?
The longevity of an RO membrane greatly depends on feed water conditions,
how well the system is maintained and whether the supply is municipal or well water. On most municipal water supplies, the
average useful life of a Reverse Osmosis membrane is 2 to 4 years. In well water applications, RO life may be reduced due
to varied water conditions.
What kind of maintenance is required?
need to be replaced every 6 months. Please contact Aquaflow proper maintenance of your Drinking Water System
What can I use
Reverse Osmosis water for?