Does Reverse Osmosis Work Well with Well Water?

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Where well water is severely contaminated, reverse osmosis is the best option to deal with the mess. The process produces pure water from wells by separating naturally occurring contaminants from the water.

So, does reverse osmosis work well with well water? It does. It separates naturally occurring compounds like nitrates, nitrites and arsenic from the water, making it clean and pure.

Naturally, well water contains heavy metals, minerals and other contaminants. And if untreated, chances are, it will be toxic to you and your household.

Investing in a reverse osmosis system will help solve the problem. These units remove up to 99% of contaminants in the water, making it clean for drinking and other domestic purposes.

What Contaminants are Common in Well Water?

The most common well water contaminants include:

  • Nitrate

Although nitrate in well water does not pose any threat, it can be a concern if present at high levels. Consuming a lot of nitrates can cause nausea, lingering headaches and increase the risk of cancer.

  • Heavy metals

Heavy metals that can contaminate well water include lead, copper, arsenic, cadmium and chromium.

Significant amounts of heavy metals in the water can increase the risk of cancer, especially if taken for a long time.

  • Microorganisms

Bacteria such as E.coli and coliform are common in well water. These bacteria cause diseases which can be life-threatening.

  • Hydrogen sulfide

Hydrogen sulfide makes well water smell like rotten eggs. It is also flammable.

  • Organic chemicals

Pharmaceuticals, pesticides, paints and disinfectants are some of the organic chemicals that can contaminate well water.

The chemicals can cause liver and kidney damage. They can also damage the nervous and reproductive systems.

  • Sediment

Sediment are particles like dirt and sand that occur naturally in well water. You need to remove them from the water to ensure it is clean for drinking.

What Does Reverse Osmosis Remove from Well Water?

Reverse osmosis eliminates a host of contaminants from well water. They include arsenic, chromium, nitrates, nitrites and total dissolved solids (TDS).

The process also removes viruses, bacteria and heavy metals that might be present in your well water.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is well water safe to drink?

Well water is only safe to drink if it is tested and verified to be so. Although it could appear clean to the eye, it could contain pathogens, dangerous chemicals and heavy metals that could make you sick.

Is Reverse Osmosis the Best Method to Filter Well Water?

Reverse osmosis is the best way to filter your well water. It helps eliminate almost all contaminants that might be present in the water.

Are whole-house RO water filters the best for well water?

Yes. Whole house RO systems remove contaminants from your entire home’s water supply. As such, you cook, bathe, and wash your clothes using filtered water.

Who needs an RO system that removes contaminants from well water?

People with private wells require an RO system to filter their water. The water is delivered to their homes raw and untreated hence the need to treat it before use.

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Dr. Peter Gleick

Dr. Peter Gleick is an experienced water filtration engineer and technical writer for He is an expert in water purification and filtration, focusing on helping people get clean, safe, and healthy water for domestic use. He has more than 10 years of writing experience and has numerously contributed to leading publications in this field.

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