How Reverse Osmosis (RO) Works
A reverse osmosis system pushes water through a semipermeable membrane to remove impurities and harmful contaminants. This process happens in a few stages. In the first stage, water gets pushed through the particle filter to remove impurities like salt, sand, and sediment. Then, the water passes through an activated carbon filter that traps and removes minerals and contaminants such as chlorine, mercury, copper and pesticides. Finally, the pressurized water is forced through the semipermeable membrane where the smallest impurities are trapped and only clean water passes through. All contaminants that were removed during the process are flushed away and the clean filtered water is sent to a storage tank where a final activated-carbon filter works to improve taste quality before it’s ready for household use.
Yes, Reverse Osmosis Removes Minerals from your Water
Healthy and unhealthy minerals will be removed from your water with a reverse osmosis system. The process will remove minerals and chemical materials from water, including salt, fluoride, lead, manganese, iron, and calcium.
However, there is no need to worry about the removal of the healthy minerals. Our bodies cannot digest the inorganic minerals found in water. The minerals found in our foods are in a form that we can digest. Reverse osmosis doesn’t affect your normal intake of minerals.
Reverse Osmosis Works with a Water Softener
Water softeners are great for removing minerals like magnesium and calcium from you water, but impurities may still be in the water you drink and use for washing and cooking food. A reverse osmosis system can remove those impurities, including 98% of the sodium left by the water softening process.
The combination of a reverse osmosis system and a water softener has additional benefits, such as:
- A water softener will provide soft water throughout your home, but a reverse osmosis system provides purer drinking water my removing most impurities including the salt left behind by the water softener.
- A water softener protects a reverse osmosis system because removing calcium and magnesium from water is difficult for a RO system. Since these are the minerals found in hard water, the water softener will reduce the water hardness, protecting the reverse osmosis unit and extending its life.
- Water softeners can save you money on utility bills because water-using appliances will operate more efficiently, using less energy. Plus, soft water can lengthen the life of those appliances. A reverse osmosis system saves money by eliminating the need for a water service and bottled water.