reverse osmosis

How Does a Reverse Osmosis System Keep Your Water Clean?

As many as 4 to 32 million cases. That’s how many people suffer from acute gastrointestinal illnesses (AGIs) every year due to problems with public drinking water. From fevers to diarrhea to vomiting, AGIs that contaminated water can cause many unwanted health risks.

What’s worse, the number above doesn’t even include the victims who have their own private water wells. With more than 40 million people drinking from private wells, you can already see how the number of the affected can drastically rise.

It’s for this reason you should already consider investing in a reverse osmosis system. With this technology in your home, you can relax and feel more at ease. After all, you’ll know that you and your loved ones can continue enjoying pure, clean, and healthy drinking water.

But what exactly is a reverse osmosis filtration system? How does it work? Read on to learn all about it!

A Simple Yet Effective Method to Filter Water

Reverse Osmosis (RO) refers to the process that removes salts and other dissolved inorganic solids in water or other solutions. At its core, a reverse osmosis water filter takes advantage of water pressure to push the water from the tap into and through a thin membrane.

The semi-permeable membrane filters larger molecules in the drinking water. These are the unwanted contents, such as dissolved salts or ions. More than that, it also removes other contaminants, including bacteria.

Through reverse osmosis, you can enjoy highly purified water for your drinking and cooking needs at home.

And just in case you’re wondering, RO isn’t actually a new technology. The concept of pressure-using membrane desalination has been around for a century now.

The RO systems you see now are of course more advanced and innovative. But they’re basically the children of this hundred-year-old technology.

You’ll find many RO systems in use both in homes, businesses, and even industries. Some examples are the food and beverage processing and pharmaceuticals. These systems play a huge role in water filtration for these industries’ applications.

And this should also tell you that RO is an effective way for you to enjoy cleaner, healthier drinking water.

Making the Impure Purer

Salt removal is only a small part of what reverse osmosis can do. This water purifying technology has the ability to also get rid of the following other impurities:

  • Chlorine
  • Chloramine
  • Detergents
  • Fluoride
  • Lead
  • Nitrates
  • Pesticides
  • Sulfates

Basically, when the water pressure in your household forces the water through the membrane, the impurities can’t get through the filtration technology. They end up going down the drain – literally and figuratively.

What you have in not just clean and fresh-tasting water. You’ll also notice a huge difference in the taste itself. So long as you choose an RO system that comes with at least a 4- or 5-stage process, then you can expect to reap these benefits.

Getting to Know Your RO Filtration Technology

To fully understand how a reverse osmosis system work to supply you with clean water, you need to know what makes it up first.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of an RO technology’s components, know that you’ll find most “Point of Use” versions of these filtration technologies installed under your kitchen sink. Note also that most of them look alike, not to mention work almost in the same way.

The main difference is the overall quality and longevity of each part. Take this Hydrotech Original Carbon Filter, for instance. Its manufacturers are confident in both its performance and service life that you’ll find only the most reputable suppliers offering free returns of up to one year.

The same goes true for this Microline R.O. S1229RS TFC 50 gpd Membrane. It also comes with a one-year purchase guarantee. In the unlikely event that you find it suddenly malfunctioning within a year from the time you bought it, you can have it replaced easily.

In any case, you need to look beyond guarantees and warranties. Another top priority is to ensure you know what makes up your RO filtration technology. So, let’s look at the primary components of this particular water purifying and filtering system.

Cold Water Line Valve

This valve attaches to your household’s cold water supply line. From the valve, a tube goes to the pre-filter’s inlet side. It’s basically what supplies the RO system with water.


As soon as water from the supply line enters the reverse osmosis system, it’ll first pass through the pre-filter. Many RO systems make use of more than a single pre-filter. However, many of them are in the form of carbon and/or sediment filters.

They exist to protect the membranes from dirt, sand silt, and other contaminants that have the potential of clogging up the system. Furthermore, you’ll find carbon filters that can get rid of chlorine, which doesn’t just taste bad, but can cause damage to the membranes.


Many refer to this as the “heart” of reverse osmosis systems. Semi-permeable in nature, these membranes can remove various types of contaminants. As a result, they help make the water taste better, not to cleaner, healthier, and safer for drinking.

Post Filter

From the membrane, a tank stores the water that has already passed through the membrane. But before the water even reaches the sink, it passes through a final filtering process. The post filter takes responsibility for this last step.

Most post filters come in the form of carbon filters. With these, you can expect any remaining unpleasant odor or taste to also leave the water you drink.

Other Crucial RO System Parts

There are several other integral parts of an RO system, including the following:

  • Automatic Shut Off Valve (SOV)
  • Check valve
  • Flow restrictor
  • Storage tank
  • Faucet
  • Drain line

All these components work together to deliver clean water to your home. Because they have their unique tasks and responsibilities, they also have varying lifespans. As such, it’s also important you know how long each of them lasts, so you can replace them as needed.

The Filtering Stages

See how we used the word “stages”? It’s because reverse osmosis doesn’t only make use of a single filtering method. RO filtering technologies typically involve four stages of filtration.

That’s why it can filter and get rid of contaminants and pathogens that can make drinking water look and taste bad. That’s why it can supply you with clean and delicious water for drinking and cooking.

Invest in a top-of-the-line RO system, and you can have up to 99 percent of various contaminants (including the ones mentioned above) extracted and flushed out of your drinking water.

Let’s take a look at these four filtering stages of the reverse osmosis process.

Sediment Filtration

This is usually the initial pre-filter phase of RO. Its goal is to keep dirt, sediment, and silt from even reaching the membranes.

Carbon Filtration

The carbon filter part of an RO system gets rid of contaminants, such as chlorine, that can negatively impact the overall performance of the membranes. It’s also thanks to the carbon filter that you can enjoy better-tasting and odorless water.

The RO Membrane

The semipermeable membrane allows water to flow through it, while it still strains out any remaining contaminants.

Polishing Filter

A final filter, usually another carbon one, sits at the very end of all the filter layers. As the name “polishing filter” suggests, it polishes off the water filtration process through removing contaminants that may have passed the RO membrane.

Basically, it’s the final assurance that you’ll have clean, pure, and amazing-tasting potable water.

Why Reverse Osmosis?

For the simple reason that it allows you to enjoy drinking water without worrying about contaminants and pathogens.

Impurities can come from many different sources. And they can easily find their ways into natural water supplies, which can then go straight either to public water lines or private wells.

Always keep in mind that while public water suppliers do their best to deliver clean water, they can’t 100% guarantee great-tasting water. There’s also the issue of contaminants that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doesn’t have complete control over.

Through investing in a high-quality reverse osmosis filtration system, you can rest assure that the technology will strain out said impurities. And the result? Considerably improved appearance and taste of your drinking water.

Note as well that RO systems, although they will cost you initially, can help you save a lot in the long run. Think about it: With bottled water averaging $1.22 a gallon, that means it costs 2,000 times more than what you pay for tap water.

You need water on a daily basis. And you need a lot of it. If you keep spending money like this for a long time, you can expect your wallet to shrivel up (no pun intended).

Rather than settling for this immense amount of expenditure, not to mention the added pressure plastic bottles place on the environment, consider going for a top-of-the-line RO system instead.

Ready for the Great Change a Reverse Osmosis System Can Bring?

If so, then know that we can help. We have a large selection of reverse osmosis system essentials, from filters to membranes to even more money-saving filter sets.

Check out our RO filters now to start enjoying the great and positive change they can bring to your life.

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