Nothing feels as pure and refreshing as taking a sip from a glass of water taken from a reverse osmosis system. Reverse osmosis drinking water is the best choice you can have in any home. But the question is, how exactly does these systems work?
It’s important to first understand the meaning of Osmosis. Osmosis is a term used to describe the process through which molecules pass through a semipermeable membrane from a solution of low concentration to one that is highly concentrated. Reverse osmosis is the reverse or rather opposite of this process.
How Reverse Osmosis Filtration Works
The first step in the reverse osmosis process involves the removal of large sediments such as rust, scale, and silt. It also helps remove some of the dissolved solids as well as chlorine. The water flows through a pre-filter which prevents clogging on the membrane. The pre-filter, therefore, helps in protecting the reverse osmosis membrane thus extending its life and allowing it to only handle the smaller contaminants in the water.
Homes with hard water may consider having a water softener system installed before installing a reverse osmosis system. The hardness minerals may result in scale buildup which can damage your system.
When the water reaches the membrane, most of the smaller particles that were not trapped by the pre-filter are removed. The membrane has microscopic pores which allow Oxygen and Hydrogen molecules to pass through. Note that the water is usually forced into the membrane under pressure. Other molecules such as chlorine, sodium, and calcium are not allowed through the membrane. These molecules together with other contaminants are instead flushed into the drain and exit the system.
Before the water is ready for drinking, it passes through a carbon filter which traps any remaining dissolved solids and contaminants that could have slipped past the semi-permeable membrane. The water is then routed to the holding tank until you’re ready to use it.