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Reverse Osmosis Water Filter: What Is It and Do You Need One?

Are you drinking the cleanest water possible? A 2015 study reported an average glass of water contains 10 million bacteria, according to NDTV. If you want to drink purified water, you have various options like a reverse osmosis water filter. How does it work and stack up versus other water purification methods?

What Is Reverse Osmosis?

This system removes various contaminants from unfiltered water. It works by forcing water through a semi-porous membrane. The water moves from a side with more contaminants, to a side with fewer contaminants.

This produces freshwater (permeate) and wastewater (brine). This process of osmosis makes the water more concentrated as it goes through the membrane, so both sides become balanced.

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a little more complicated. This process blocks contaminants so they can enter the membrane’s contaminated side. The method can remove other stuff besides contaminants, including salt.

What Contaminants Are Removed?

A reverse osmosis system takes out various substances like fluoride and arsenic using the RO filter. Other substances are filtered out through filters to remove sediment and carbon.

These filters can also remove other unwanted features from unfiltered water. For example, you can get rid of the nasty taste and odours from chlorine, which is used for water treatment. Meanwhile, the sediment filter removes dirt and debris.

Here’s some of the main stuff a reverse osmosis system can remove:

  • Arsenic
  • Fluoride
  • Herbicides
  • Pesticides
  • Salt
  • Sediment
  • VOCs

Substances that an RO system doesn’t remove include bacteria and viruses. However, there’s a caveat. A city treatment plant usually replaces unwanted microbes before it becomes tap water.

In terms of bacteria, there are other options to remove more bacteria, including ultraviolet (UV) disinfection.

Reverse Osmosis Benefits

When comparing different water purification systems, one issue to take up is whether or not it’s a better option versus other systems. Here are some of the main benefits of RO systems:

Reduced Sodium

Did you know that iodised salt was developed to boost people’s iodine intake? It’s recommended that most adults consume less than 1500mg of sodium daily, according to the American Heart Association. There’s a lot of “hidden salt” in food and drinks, so it’s critical to remove as much excess salt as possible.

Healthier Water

An RO system can remove up to 98% of all dissolved solids. This provides a healthier drink. A similar system is a water distiller. The problem is it’s less efficient versus RO systems so you should probably consider the latter.

Easy Installation and Maintenance

An RO system is quite easy to install and maintain. In fact, you can install the system under your kitchen sink! This provides lots of filtered water without buying bottled water, for example. When you use a storage system, you can basically enjoy unlimited clean drinking water.


RO filters are much more eco-friendly than bottled water. One of the main drawbacks of that option is the water is stored in plastic bottles. While they can be recycled, there’s still a bigger carbon footprint versus using your own reverse osmosis water filter.

Michael Hunt

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