When I started looking for a water purifier, I thought reverse osmosis wasn’t for me.
I lived in a small apartment. Those reverse osmosis water purifiers seemed to need a lot of space. Maybe I could get something that I could attach to the faucet or something, I thought.
They seemed too big. Too complicated. Too expensive.
And it was true, a reverse osmosis water purifier takes up a lot of space and wastes more water than it purifies. My brother had one.
However, reverse osmosis has a long-standing history and tradition as a great water treatment method.
Reverse osmosis is put very simply, the process of pumping water through a series of permeable membranes to remove impurities. These membranes act like a sift to catch impurities and contaminants as the water passes through.
A reverse osmosis water purifier come in a variety of sizes and levels of complexity depending on the needs of your home.
These different size and levels of complexity mean that a reverse osmosis water purifier is usually a system of different filtration and purification mechanisms put together.
For example, many reverse osmosis water purifiers remove chemicals, bad tastes and odors via a carbon filter that precedes a semi-permeable membrane that reduces contaminants such as sodium, heavy metals like lead, aluminum and arsenic and in some cases even fluoride and nitrates.
A reverse osmosis water purifier will be made up of thin-film membranes that remove contaminants by acting as a barrier that will not allow these contaminants to penetrate. This way, the contaminants will not seep through and you will get clean drinking water.
Some of these membranes are exceptionally tight, sometimes as tight as 0.001 microns!
Reverse osmosis water purification systems remove sodium, arsenic, asbestos, most cancer-causing radionuclides. It also reduces chloramines and cysts, like giardia and cryptosporidium, and will take care of most bacteria and viruses.
As I later learned, one of the cons of a reverse osmosis water purifier is that it wastes quite a lot of water to make purified water.
Approximately for every cup of treated water, 4 cups of water are wasted. This happens because the delicate membranes of the reverse osmosis water purifier have to be cleaned out generating drain water as “waste”.
And for me, getting a water purifier was not only about getting clean water but becoming more environmentally friendly. And, wasting water was not part of the plan.
Some reverse osmosis water purifiers are quite impressive depending on how many “stages” the unit has. Systems sold at hardware stores are built to satisfy most needs and are also built to impress buyers into selling something that looks “better than” whatever else is offered.
The bigger the unit the more service, replacements and working parts it will house, potentially more headaches.
As we mentioned before, reverse osmosis water purifiers are made up of different components, such as a carbon pre-filter, permeable membranes with several stages, storage tank and may also include add-ons such as ceramic filters, UV lamps and pumps.
Even though a reverse osmosis water purifier has its place in the world of water filtration, it may be on the expensive side and bulky. It can also become a little high maintenance.
Minerals in water are important, precisely the Achilles heel of a reverse osmosis system. Flat tasting water drained of minerals is not ideal.
Drinking alkaline water, with its high mineral content, is a great way to enjoy a healthy gut. Find out more about tap water filters that help you get alkaline water.
If you’re an outdoor person, a nature-lover, better get camping water filters. For total security while out and about in nature get one that is reliable and convenient. Check some tips here.
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Encyclopedia Britannica, Reverse osmosis, www.britannica.com
How Stuff Works, How reverse osmosis works, www.science.howstuffworks.com
Huffington Post, The hidden dangers of drinking water, www.huffpost.com