Reverse osmosis is considered the most effective method of removing water contaminants. It can eliminate up to 99% of lead, asbestos, copper, chloride, sulfate, fluoride, chromium and nitrate, among others.
So, is there anything better than reverse osmosis? Not exactly. But if you are looking for a perfect alternative, consider ultrafiltration.
Ultrafiltration is a water treatment method that requires no tank to store the water. It also does not require electricity to operate, and wastes zero water.
What are the Benefits of Reverse Osmosis?
As aforementioned, reverse osmosis water filtration is one of the most popular methods of water purification. The process offers various benefits, including:
- Better-tasting water
Reverse osmosis removes up to 99% of total dissolved solids (TDS) from your drinking water. It also improves the appearance, odor and taste of the water.
It is for this reason that most restaurants use RO-filtered water for cooking their delicacies. Meals and beverages prepared with this water taste great as well.
- Encourage hydration
As aforementioned, reverse osmosis provides great-tasting water. As a result, people tend to drink more water and less sugary beverages like soda.
- Filters most contaminants
Reverse osmosis removes the most contaminants from water compared to other water filtration methods.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is the most effective method of eliminating most chemical contaminants and disease-causing organisms.
- Environmentally friendly
A reverse osmosis water filter is more environmentally friendly than disposable bottles. They are also more convenient since you just need to turn the faucet to fill your glass with great-tasting water.
- Saves money
If you frequently buy bottled water, you will save more money by switching to an RO system. These units produce clean water for pennies per gallon.
What are the Drawbacks of Using Reverse Osmosis?
Although reverse osmosis is one of the safest and most efficient water filtration methods, it has a few disadvantages too. They include:
- Waste water
One of the major drawbacks of reverse osmosis is wasted water. RO systems can waste 3, 4 or 5 times the water they produce.
This can lead to high water bills.
- Removes essential minerals from the water
The RO process eliminates contaminants and healthy minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium from your water.
Additionally, when these minerals are removed from the water, the pH of the water decreases, and it becomes more acidic.
The low pH water can corrode your plumbing systems and strip copper and lead from pipes. These toxic metals then end up in your water, making it unsafe.
- High installation cost
RO systems are expensive, complex to install and might require professional assistance (at an extra cost). They also require frequent maintenance to ensure safety and effectiveness.
What is not Removed by Reverse Osmosis?
Reverse osmosis does not effectively remove dissolved gasses like methane, carbon dioxide and radon.
Some systems also do not eliminate most organic compounds, chlorine by-products and bacteria microorganisms.
Does reverse osmosis remove all minerals from water?
Reverse osmosis removes up to 99% of water contaminants and minerals from water. To get the minerals back, you have to remineralize the water.