What Is A Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System?


If you’ve found your way to this article then I think it’s a fair bet that you may be potentially looking at buying and installing a reverse osmosis water filter system in your home. Before we get to that though we should answer a few questions; what is a reverse osmosis water filter system? Do you need one? How will it benefit your household? Whether you’re a complete stranger to the concept or already know the basics hopefully there will be something of use to you in the information collected below.

What Is Osmosis Itself?


We don’t want to fill the article with scientific mumbo jumbo, we’ll do our best to translate into more simple terms where possible but learning the specifics can be pretty interesting too. Osmosis is the act of movement by solvent molecules through a semipermeable membrane into a region where the solute concentration is higher, usually equalizing the two sides of the membrane. Osmosis can be put to work in a variety of different ways most visibly by plants who use osmosis to absorb water through their roots to make their cells more turgid and able to stand up to face the sun. Osmosis occurs through liquids of differing solution or concentrations meeting on either side of a semipermeable membrane, the water with the highest water concentration will diffuse through the membrane into the liquid with the highest solute concentration.

In the simplest terms water with a lot of most often unwanted additives will attempt to purify itself a little by passing some of the contaminants onto the cleaner water on the other side of the filter. The process however just serves to make both sides of the filter quite unclean and therefore the process would be useless in cleansing drinking water.

What Is Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis as a concept could be a little confusing as it isn’t technically an opposite reaction. What happens is that the particles are essentially forced through the membrane due to pressurization resulting in an incredibly clean liquid with a very high water concentration and little other contaminants at all. Due to the applied pressure being greater than that of the osmotic pressure the particles pass through in the opposite direction that they do in osmosis. What this means is that you have a solution on one side filled with a high concentration of contaminants and on the other you have a solution that is incredibly “clean”, as close to pure h20 as possible. The main reason that you would need to employ a reverse osmosis water filtration system would be to remove contaminants. RO removes almost all water based contaminants.

What’s The Difference?

Osmosis is a diffusion of particles but of little use to water filtration. Reverse Osmosis can be employed to cleanse water and ridding it of various unwanted contaminants. The process was originally designed to create drinkable water from seawater but has since been improved and perfected making it more and more useful in the everyday home.

What Are The Other Forms Of Water Filtration?


You may believe that your water is already treated by water processing and therefore “clean”, but you could be very surprised by just how many potentially toxic contaminants remain. Whether you are looking into a filtration system in order to limit the amount of certain compounds you ingest due to allergies or sensitivities or just to improve general well-being there is a lot more lurking in your tap water than you might think.

There are many different types of water filtration systems on the market and choosing the one that’s right for you can be difficult. The five most popular are water ionizers, activated carbon filters, reverse osmosis and more recently UV and infrared filters. The most common is probably the activated carbon filter which works to remove larger sediments or particles from your water ultimately resulting in a cleaner and better tasting glass of h20. Less common and often much more expensive is the water ionizer which uses electrically charged plates to separate water into an acidic and an alkali stream. The benefits of drinking less acidic water are plentiful and an ever-increasing amount of research is growing proving this. In countries where reverse osmosis is more common they typically use a remineralisation process to make the water more alkaline as RO on it’s own can make the water more acidic. When buying a filter it should be a point of interest to check that your filter has this function. Infrared filters work especially well in hard water areas to soften the water and give it a softer feel but don’t work as well as the others at cleansing the water itself of any potential contaminants. Finally, the UV filter use ultraviolet radiation to treat the water and destroy a multitude of bacteria that may be found within. Whilst the word radiation instantly raises a flag in the mind of some the UV filter may actually be the most environmentally filtration method due to the lack of need for chemicals or additional heat.

What Are The Advantages Of Reverse Osmosis?

Out of all the filtration systems listed above RO is perhaps the most definite. It is capable of producing the cleanest and most pure result. There are very few contaminants that can make it through a good RO filter and it is also among the more cost effective and environmentally friendly. As it has grown in popularity the kits have become more straightforward to install and the price is reasonable if you shop around and do your research.


There are still many things you should consider before purchasing a reverse osmosis water filter. Precisely what you are using it for and whether it will be a benefit to the overall taste and purity of the water in your area is obviously the first to consider. If you do decide that you are going to take a sip from this particular fountain, please do keep in mind the aforementioned remineralisation process, RO filters can often result in more acidic water and all research is pointing that this may not be the best for your health, so if you are going to buy an RO filter make sure it’s one that combats this to produce both clean and alkaline water.

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