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How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?
Osmosis is the phenomenon of water flow through a semi-permeable
membrane that blocks the transport of salts or other solutes through
it. Osmosis is a fundamental effect in all-biological systems. Osmosis
is applied to water purification and other chemical laboratory and
industrial processes. When two water volumes are separated by a
semi-permeable membrane, water will flow from the side of low solute
concentration to the side of high solute concentration. The flow may be
stopped or even reversed by applying external pressure on the side of
higher concentration. This is called reverse osmosis. (R.O.) Reverse
osmosis is only one stage of a typical R.O. system. Sediment and carbon
filtration is normally included with an R.O. system, with each stage of
filtration contributing to the purification process.
The first stage of filtration is the sediment filter, which reduces suspended particles such as dirt, dust, and rust.
The second stage
of filtration is the carbon filter, or filters which reduce volatile
organic chemicals, chlorine, and other taste and odor causing
The heart of Reverse Osmosis is the membrane. It is responsible for rejecting up to 98% of the total dissolved solids in the water. This is where the purification takes place.
What Is Meant By Total Dissolved Solids?
In the natural cycle of water, water that began its life as rain and
eventually found its way to your tap has come in contact with many
sources of potential contaminant. The various minerals and salts that
have been dissolved by the water during this cycle are called Total
Dissolved Solids (TDS). What Type Of Mineral Contaminants Are Removed
By R.O.? Reduction of mineral components that make up total dissolved
solids will vary up to a maximum of 99.8% depending on water chemistry
What is the Difference Between Faucet-Mount / Pitchers and Reverse Osmosis?
Faucet-Mount and Pitcher filtration systems on the market are able to
reduce certain contaminates from your water based upon the use of
granular activated carbon, or in some cases carbon blocks. Some units
include additional filter media that will reduce some heavy metals as
well. These type of devices are limited to the types of contaminates
that they can effectively removed from your water based upon the type
and amount of carbon contained with in the filter.
Contaminants Average Influent Concentration (mg/L) Average Effluent
Concentration (mg/L) Average Percent Reduction Maximum Effluent
0.28 0.0035 98.7 0.0052
10.2 0.207 97.9 0.3
0.036 0.0005 98.6 0.0007
0.15 0.013 91.3 0.03
0.17 0.01 94.1 0.01
3.1 0.03 99.0 0.04
149357 #/ml 5 #/ml 99.99 17 #/ml
10.2 0.26 97.5 0.83
8.0 0.5 93.9 0.7
0.15 0.002 98.6 0.003
Perchlorate 0.10 0.003 96.5 0.005
25 pCi/l 5 pCi/l 80.0 5 pCi/l
Selenium 0.10 0.10 92 0.011
TDS 790 24 97 800
The Watts Premier Reverse Osmosis (RO) incorporates three different
types of filtration technology in order to provide the best quality
water to the user. The first stage is a sediment filter which removes larger particles and sediment from your water. The second and third stage
with in our RO is our carbon block filter. Watts Premier uses only high
quality independently certified carbon blocks. This additional
certification on our carbon blocks ensures the consistency and
integrity of the carbon block in each system we sell. These carbon
blocks are able to reduce many contaminants with in your drinking
water. The work horse of our system, the RO membrane, is next and
is where the main filtration takes place to reduce any remaining
contaminates or up to 97.9% of impurities in the water. The RO membrane
is responsible for reducing many of the difficult water contaminants
such as arsenic, chromium, radium and total dissolved solids. The fifth and final stage is
a granular activated carbon filter which polishes your drinking water
just prior to you drinking it. The combination of these technologies,
mainly with the use of the RO membrane, is how the RO system can
provide to you water that is bottled water quality.
Contaminate comparision chart for Reverse Osmosis to Faucet Mount/Pitchers.
Contaminates Reverse Osmosis Standard Filtration Products Faucet Mount and
Arsenic (Pentavalent)<=300 ppb Reduction*
Chromium (Hexavalent) Reduction
Chromium (Trivalent) Reduction
Chlorine (taste and odor only)
Results 15 Reductions out of 15 4 Reductions out of 15 4 Reductions out of 15
Does R.O. Remove Parasites Such As Bacteria, Cysts Or Cryptosporidium?
While a health claim can not be made because of intangibles such as regular maintenance, these items are too
large to pass through the TFM membrane. NSF's rating for reduction of Giardia Cysts and Cryptosporidium is 1
micron, and the TFM membrane filters down to 1/10,000th of a micron. That is 10,000 times smaller than these