Reverse Osmosis Home Water Filters
Reverse osmosis (RO) home water filters are among the most advanced in use today. They remove impurities by forcing water at high pressure through a very fine membrane.
These RO membranes remove impurities based on their size and shape. Particles larger than water molecules cannot pass through.
Thus, a reverse osmosis membrane prevents harmful particles, chemicals, and contaminants from reaching your water glass.
Reverse Osmosis Home Water Filters are the right choice when you’re faced with contaminants like nitrite, nitrates, arsenic, fluoride, lead, suspended solids, organics, and microorganisms.
But despite their proven effectiveness, myths keep circulating about them. Here are some common misconceptions concerning RO water filters and the facts behind the myths.
10 Misconceptions About RO Water Filters
1. A Reverse Osmosis System Deprives The Body Of Essential Minerals
This is perhaps the most popular misconception people have about RO systems. Reverse osmosis removes impurities so thoroughly that people worry that they lack some essential minerals by consuming the water.
Granted, the body needs some of these minerals extracted by RO filters, but water is not our body’s go-to source for them.
Most of our mineral needs are supplied by the food we eat. Consuming water purified by RO systems does not affect us in any way.
2. Reverse Osmosis Systems Waste Water
Many people believe that any reverse osmosis system wastes too much water for it to be useful.
The reverse osmosis filtration process forces water through an extremely fine membrane. Large sediments and contaminants are left behind in this membrane.
Water has to wash the membrane of these contaminants and continuous flushing of the membrane keeps it in good condition and makes it last longer; that’s where the wastewater comes from.
The wastewater stream in a reverse osmosis system is continuous. For instance, to get one gallon of water, the system might have to “waste” around 4.
But here’s the thing, the wastewater from RO is not highly concentrated. It can easily be collected and used for other purposes like washing dishes, doing laundry and watering plants. So the water is never truly wasted.
3. RO Water Attacks The Body
Some people believe that water filtered by a reverse osmosis system is so pure that it causes harm to the body.
And it’s true; a reverse osmosis system is good at what it does. It filters everything, including harmful chemicals, and some minerals that our body needs.
After using a reverse osmosis filter, your water becomes demineralized (containing no minerals). The absence of minerals in your drinking water would be a problem if water was your only mineral source.
But the damage doesn’t happen, since you get the vast majority of your minerals from other sources like food.
4. RO Water Is Acidic And Dangerous
While normal pH levels of tap water range from 7-8.4, reverse osmosis water is 6.5, which is on the acidic side.
Does this pose any danger to you? Simply put, no.
The environmental protection agency states that drinking water with a pH of 6.5 is safe.
This issue of “acidic water” isn’t particular to reverse osmosis filters. Depending on what they remove, other whole house filters will increase your water’s acidity, which is not a big deal.
To put things in perspective, here’s how acidic your favorite drinks are:
- Orange Juice (pH: 3)
- Lemon Juice (pH:2)
- Black Coffee (pH: 5)
- Tomato Juice (pH: 4)
Our bodies naturally balance our pH, and if you can consume these drinks just fine, nothing is alarming about drinking RO filtered water.
5. Refrigerator Filters Can Replace RO
Refrigerator filters contain carbon used to adsorb contaminants from your drinking water (and ice), but there are limitations.
Refrigerator filters treat water only through one stage of filtration, and they fail to remove contaminants like chloramine and some other chemicals.
A reverse osmosis system is superior as it gets rid of these contaminants plus many more.
Another drawback of relying on your refrigerator filter is that its effectiveness reduces with time.
6. Boiled Water Is Just As Pure
Boiling water purifies it to a certain level, but it’s still not entirely safe for consumption.
Boiling water kills bacteria and viruses, but there are some contaminants like lead, arsenic, fluoride, and mercury that boiling water can’t get rid of. Quite the opposite: boiling water with these contaminants increases their concentration.
The answer to this problem is to equip your household with a reverse osmosis system that can get rid of these contaminants, most importantly heavy metals such as lead.
Find out more about how RO systems save you from lead poisoning.
7. Water Softeners Are Enough
Water softeners do not purify water; they soften it. Water softeners reduce the hardness of water through the use of sodium.
This means that your softened water has more sodium than usual, and you’d need a filtration system to get rid of the excess sodium.
On its own, a water softener fails to improve the taste and smell of your water. For the best water quality, you’d need both a water softener and a filtration system.
8. A Reverse Osmosis System Is Too Slow
A reverse osmosis system works hard to provide you with safe water for drinking. Many water sources in the US contain high levels of contaminants and a high TDS level (Total Dissolved Solids).
Reverse osmosis filtration is the best way to get pure drinking water. It can be relatively slow, but to fully eradicate contaminants, the system needs time. That’s why every RO purifier comes with a storage tank.
The storage tank holds already purified water (1.5-2 gallons), and when you consume the tank water, the filtration process continues. In essence, you don’t need to wait for a glass of refreshing drinking water.
9. Activated Carbon Filters Can Do A Better Job Than RO Water Filters
Reverse osmosis membranes are not the best at removing chemicals, but activated carbon filters are.
That’s why in any RO system, the RO membrane and activated carbon filters work together to ensure complete filtration of your water.
In other words, reverse osmosis systems integrate activated carbon filters to do a thorough job of purifying your water.
10. Filter Packs Are Too Expensive
Many people have reservations about RO systems because of the perceived cost of filter packs.
The truth is, RO filter packs come in a wide range of prices to suit your needs.
People also worry that they might not be able to clean or replace the filter packs when the need arises. You can always get experts to help out here, so there’s no reason for alarm.