Water is a necessary component for all living beings’ survival. If we speak of drinking water supply through natural resources, it is approx about 3% of the total amount of water on earth. In other words, Of all the water on earth, only 3% is worth drinking.

Out of this 3%, most water is contaminated and unsafe for drinking. Here is where RO or Reverse Osmosis comes to our rescue. Water treated in RO is not only safe to drink but also has multiple benefits, so in this article we are going to briefly discuss reverse osmosis benefits and its working.

In order to make water safe for consumption, It needs to be treated in an RO system which makes it free from dissolved solids and other contaminants. Additionally, it also removes foul odors and improves the taste of water.

Let us see what is RO? and what are Reverse Osmosis benefits that will motivate you all to drink safe and healthy water.
 

Understanding What is contaminated water before looking at drinking water reverse osmosis benefits


Reverse Osmosis benefits and working explained

 

Contaminated water is basically impure water that is not safe to drink. It gets contaminated due to various natural and unnatural causes. This water contains elements other than water molecules. These elements prove to be fatal to our health if such water consumption is prolonged.

Following is a list of contaminants that are dissolved in water, which need to be removed in order to make it safe for drinking:-

- Carbon
- Arsenic
- Fluoride
- Dissolved salts
- Chlorine
- Herbicides
- Pesticides
- VOCs
- Sediments
- Selenium
- Urea

There are numerous other contaminants that pollute water, but the above-mentioned ones are majorly eliminated in an RO.

If the water received at our homes is already treated by local treatment plants, then it is mostly free of deadly pathogens like viruses and bacteria.
 

Understanding what is Reverse Osmosis before looking at its benefits?


RO or Reverse Osmosis is a water purification process within which a filtration process treats contaminated water to remove harmful impurities. This process is done by using a semi-permeable membrane called the RO membrane.

A certain amount of pressure is applied to contaminated water so that it is pushed through the semi-permeable membrane. The RO membrane allows less-density water to pass through it by blocking the contaminants. This resultant water is pure and high in density.

For example: If pressure is applied to salt water, enabling it to pass through the semi-permeable membrane then salt particles are left behind and the resultant water is fresh and pure. This is how water is treated in the RO system.


What is an RO membrane?


RO membrane is the most important component of the RO system. It is made of components like polyamide thin-film composites (TFC), cellulose acetate (CA), and cellulose triacetate (CTA). The membrane has pores all over and is spirally bound to a cylindrical tube or a bundle of hollow fibers.

RO membrane is durable and has a high pH value due to which it is resistant to microbial attack. The contaminated water has dissolved compounds and hence has a high density.  Pressure is applied and the contaminated water passes through the RO membrane towards a low-density area.

During this process, the dissolved compounds are left behind and the resultant water is in purified form. The RO membrane can remove up to 95% of the dissolved solids that are harmful to our health.
 

Functioning of an RO system


A dedicated household RO system has basically 3 primary filters for water purification. These filters are known as Pre-filter, RO membrane, and Post-filter. Most of the new-age RO systems now have an additional UV chamber wherein pathogens like viruses and bacteria are removed with an accuracy of 99%.
 

  1. Pre-filter: Water when it enters an RO unit, has to flow through a pre-filter. This water is known as feed water. The main function of a pre-filter is to remove the sediments and other dissolved solid components like dirt, rust, etc. Other function also includes the removal of foul smell and bad taste from water. Therefore, this pre-filter is also known as a sediment filter.
  2. RO membrane: After the water is treated in a pre-filter, it passes through the semi-permeable membrane under pressure. Here water is treated to remove dissolved solids and impurities to reduce contamination. An RO membrane removes up to 95% of the impurities from water.
  3. Post-filter: A post-filter is the last stage purification component of an RO system. Here, water is made ready for consumption by removing the leftover impurities like Carbon, Chlorine, and VOCs(Volatile Organic Compounds).


Nowadays, an optional UV filter is also incorporated to remove viruses and bacteria. The resultant water is pure, clean, and safe for drinking. This pure water is collected in a small storage tank from where it can be easily accessible to our kitchen faucets as and when required. An ample amount of impure water is discarded during the purification process.
 

Top 8 Reverse Osmosis Benefits

8 reverse osmosis benefits with explanation

 

Below are some of the major Reverse Osmosis benefits listed for you in detail.
 

  1. Natural minerals retained: An RO works on the purification of contaminated water by removing various contaminants whereas, on the other hand, it does not destroy the natural minerals present in it. Hence, minerals in water are retained in RO purification.
  2. Environment friendly : Compared to bottled water, RO filtered water is proven more Eco-friendly. It does not make use of plastic on an active basis. It is a reusable system and does not have a recurring need for single-use plastics. Now, it makes the RO system an Eco-friendly mechanism.
  3. Water quality restored : Nowadays, water quality is deteriorating due to many natural and unnatural causes. The original quality and purity must be retained. Here is where an RO system proves as a boon. It restores water quality and provides maximum benefits.
  4. Contaminants reduced : The main purpose of an RO is to get rid of all sorts of water contaminating agents. As the name suggests, it works on the principle of reverse osmosis in which the water passes through a semi-permeable membrane leaving behind the contaminants.
  5. Easy Maintenance : A household RO system is an easily installable and compact device that can be placed anywhere in your house or Kitchen area. Similarly, it requires low maintenance and works for a longer period without needing any repairs. Once in a while you are required to re-install certain modules of the device, apart from that it does not seek attention.
  6. Taste and odor retained : Yes, it is true that we get tasty and fresh-smelling water after it is treated in an RO. Drinking water has various dissolved impurities and salts in various parts of the country. These dissolved agents sometimes affect the taste and smell of the water which makes it undesirable for consumption. 
  7. Easy to Install : A household RO system is a simple device and is easy to install anywhere in our house where there is an ideal water inlet source. Any educated adult can read the easy-to-follow instructions and install the device without an expert supervision
  8. Quick and Easy to operate : RO system once installed is easy to operate and does not involve any complex procedure. At the same time, water after purification is stored in a storage tank that refills itself once the water level starts to deplete. So, we may have quick access to fresh and pure water whenever required.  

 

Easy Maintenance of RO system integrates the value of Reverse Osmosis benefits


An RO system works effectively and efficiently for many years if maintained in a proper manner. Any Household RO device has a minimum of 3 to maximum 4 stages of filtration. It is very important to change these filters at regular time intervals including the RO membrane so as to ensure optimum performance.

Water is not the same in quality everywhere. Some areas have more contaminated water whereas others may have comparatively less contaminated water. Maintenance of RO depends on the usage of the device for your household purposes or how many contaminants are removed from the water.

A sediment filter needs to be replaced once a year but experts suggest replacing it twice a year if the water in a particular area is more contaminated. The same is the case with a Carbon filter.

An RO membrane is the most delicate part of the system and the most important one. If the other filters are replaced in a timely schedule then the membrane can last up to 2 years.
 

What are the drawbacks of RO filtration?

To evaluate the pros and cons of reverse osmosis below are some of its drawbacks listed for you -
 

  1. During the filtration process, a considerable amount of water is wasted. It is like, out of 100% of the input water, only 25% is purified, and the rest 75% water is rejected water.
  2. RO is a costly affair it is true. But taking into consideration the water quality, it is a one-time investment and we are good to go for a decade or two without worrying or compromising the water quality.
  3. Clogging depends on the number of contaminants present in the input water. If the water has more impurities, the filters and membrane are more prone to clogging at regular intervals. An indication of clogging is that the filter produces less water. 
  4. Filters and membrane replacement on regular basis may be a challenge. Schedule the replacements in a timely manner so that you may not miss any filter replacement date.
  5. Water filtration is a slow process but there is a storage tank provided wherein filtered water is stored and kept to be used when required.

 

Final thought on Reverse osmosis benefits and disadvantages


Reverse Osmosis is a reverse process of a natural phenomenon of Osmosis. It is an effective tool for water purification. It is a one-time investment and provides the utmost water quality including a better taste and odor. Water is filtered on multiple levels and passed through the RO membrane, wherein it provides contaminant-free and safe drinking water. At the same time, it is Eco-friendly and cost-effective.

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