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Reverse osmosis (RO) is a water purification technology that uses a semi-permeable membrane. This membrane removes particles from drinking water. Reverse osmosis can remove many types of molecules, ions and bacteria from solutions.
These systems use household water pressure pushing the tap water through the semi permeable membrane. The membrane (which is about as thick as cellophane) allows only the water to pass through, not the impurities or contaminates. These impurities and contaminates are flushed down the drain.
It must be noted that the reverse osmosis systems remove virtually everything including bacteria, chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, organic compounds (eg oestrogen), viruses AND beneficial trace compounds and elements.
How the Reverse Osmosis System Works
The reverse osmosis water filter system has 3 filters before the membrane. There is a prefilter to remove the large bits like silt, dirt and rust partices down to 5 microns. The next filter is a carbvon block filter that will remove chlorine an dorganic compounds like pesticides, herbicides and oestrogens.The next filter is another prefilter that will remove particles down to 1 micron. This ensures that the water reaching the membrane is as clean as possible. The water is then forced through the membrane either by mains pressure or with the assistance of a pump. The water is then sorted in a pressure tank with a flexable liner. When the tap is turned on the water is forced out of the tank and through a secondary carbon filter that removes an residue from the the pressure tank. If chosen there is also a remineralizing filter that will restore some of the minerals that have been removed by the membrane. The water is then delivered through the tap.
Unless you have a particular concern or have been advised specifically on a Reverse Osmosis system The Healthy House® would recommend undersink drinking water filters as they leave in the beneficial trace elements.