In your search for a water filtration system for your home or renovation, you may have come across the term "reverse osmosis". What is it, and is it something you should add to your system? Here's some information courtesy of these articles that may help you decide.
When it comes to filtration, reverse osmosis is probably the most extreme. The process uses a membrane with tiny pores which only allows water molecules to pass through it, blocking many types of contaminants. But there are a number of concerns associated with this type of system that you'll need to think about before deciding it's right for you.
Blocks minerals - Many organic minerals can't pass through the membrane, such as salt.
Blocks bugs - Many types of bacteria and other disease-causing organisms are too big for the filter. If water-borne disease is a concern, reverse osmosis may be worth considering, especially if your water is not already treated by a municipal or county water treatment system.
High waste - As much as 70% of the water that goes into a reverse osmosis system is rejected, and is flushed away as waste water. The waste water contains a higher level of contaminants than the water that came into the house, and it goes back into the environment.
Slow process - It takes a long time for a reverse osmosis system to produce water. As it's produced, it's stored in a tank until you're ready to use it. If you use a lot of water, you may deplete the supply in the tank and have to wait for it to be replenished.
Not a cure-all - Research suggests reverse osmosis isn't particularly effective for removing some drugs and medications, pesticides and herbicides, and even one form of arsenic. The smaller the molecule, the more likely it will pass through.
The good with the bad - Reverse osmosis removes minerals that have health benefits, such as magnesium, calcium and potassium. When you drink this highly filtered water, it may actually pull these minerals from your body.
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