reverse osmosis whole house water filter

Reverse Osmosis: Removing Dissolved Minerals

What is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a water purification technology that uses a semipermeable membrane to remove ions, molecules, and larger particles from drinking water. It can remove many types of dissolved and suspended species from water. This includes bacteria and is used in industrial cleaning processes and the production of potable water (drinking water). Reverse osmosis is most commonly known for its use in producing drinking water (purification) from seawater. This is done by removing the salt and other effluent materials from the water molecules. RO systems are capable of removing up to 99%+ of the dissolved salts (ions), particles, colloids, organics, bacteria and pyrogens from the feed water (although an RO system should not be relied upon to remove 100% of bacteria and viruses).

Clean Water Scarcity

Clean drinking water is difficult to come by in some locations.  In places like California, water can sometimes be scarce thanks to the drought.  And in many third-world countries, there’s a lack of infrastructure to be able to provide potable water.  Even in our own homes, tap water toxicity can be a real concern. Toxins like lead and arsenic have been found ­­flowing through the tap.  This is one reason that reverse osmosis water advocates believe that reverse osmosis is the way to ensure safe drinking water. Some cities use RO systems when there’s an abundance of saltwater and not enough fresh water. Think of various locations in Australia for example.

The Reverse Osmosis Process

There are advantages to drinking water that’s gone through the reverse osmosis process.  If you live in an area that’s plagued with water issues and concerns, this can be a good way for you to feel safe about the water that you’re drinking.  Are pesticides or herbicides are a concern in your community? Filtering your water through a reverse osmosis system may make a lot of sense.

There are, however, some disadvantages to reverse osmosis water, too.  For instance, most reverse osmosis systems have no way to differentiate between “bad” ingredients and good ones.  So while harmful contaminants are being removed, so are some of the trace minerals that our bodies need to perform properly, like iron and manganese.

In an ideal world, this wouldn’t actually matter, because we’d be getting all the good stuff we need from the foods we eat.  Unfortunately, nowadays that’s not always the case.  If we’re not already getting enough vitamins and minerals from our diet, then extracting them from our water supply as well can lead to a higher risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

So, Should I Install a Reverse Osmosis System in my Home?

It’s not an easy answer.  It is a personal decision for you and your family.  If the water supply in your area is really sub-par, and you feel that the reverse osmosis system is a better option than other filtration systems, then it’s definitely better than ingesting such ingredients like lead or arsenic.

However, if you’re merely curious about whether or not to install a home reverse osmosis water system, you should do some additional more detailed research before deciding.  Finally, the rice would likely be a factor in your decision, too.  RO systems/filters range from simple countertop and under-the-sink “contraptions” to household-wide systems.

Remember, You Can Always Count on Us!

A wide variety of RO systems can be explored including pricing by going to this link:  In any event, Proudfoot Plumbing, Heating and Air can steer you in the right direction when it comes to testing your water/evaluating your water situation and can assist you in the installation of a reverse osmosis system for your home.  Please give us a call at 1-412-461-2198.  We will be glad to help out and/or make recommendations for you.  You can also contact us by this form.  We look forward to hearing from you if you want our help.

Image Credit – Adobe Stock

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  1. […] summer, we were actually reviewing a reverse osmosis (RO) install for a prospective new customer and had a call from an existing customer who was […]

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