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Water Treatment Methods : Reverse Osmosis

What is a reverse osmosis water system?

Reverse osmosis (R/O) is a water treatment process in which water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane that has very small holes or "pores". Clean water passes through and impurities/contaminants that are too big to pass through the membrane are left behind and flushed away.

How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?

Reverse osmosis systems purify water by forcing pressurized water through a water filter membrane. If the raw water being treated comes from a well or another private source, disinfection and pre-filters (to remove chlorine and/or particulates/sediment) may be needed in advance of the R/O unit to remove contaminants that can foul or damage the membrane.

Typical Reverse Osmosis Stages:

  1. During the initial filtration stage, tap water or well water (pressurized by a booster pump) is passed through a particle filter (a pre-filter) that removes silt, sediment, sand, and clay particles that might clog the R/O membrane.
  2. The water is then forced through an activated carbon filter that traps minerals and contaminants such as chloramine and pesticides. It also removes chlorine, which is important, as chlorine will shorten the life of the membrane.
  3. Water is transferred under pressure into the R/O module, allowing only clean water to pass through the small pores in the membrane. Impurities unable to pass through the membrane are left behind and flushed down the drain.
  4. Treated water is then sent to a storage tank.

 

Well Water that contains manganese, hydrogen sulphide or iron should be pre-treated to extend the life of the membrane.

Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Systems:

Residential R/O Filtration Systems:

Under the sink reverse osmosis water systems

Whole house reverse osmosis water filters

Commercial R/O Water Filter Systems:

Commercial reverse osmosis  

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