Reverse Osmosis 101: Here are the Basics

If you’re looking into home water filtration systems, you’ve probably heard of reverse osmosis. But what exactly is it? And how does it work to clean the water in your home? Here are the basics.

What Is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a system of removing contaminants from the drinking water in your home. The water comes into the filter, which contains a special semipermeable membrane. As the water pressure forces the water through the membrane, the purified water passes through and the contaminants remain behind.

The Benefits of Reverse Osmosis

The water in your home comes from either a well or a public source. But either way, it passes through many areas on its way to your home and can collect any number of contaminants on its way. The only way to truly know the water in your house is safe, clean, and pure, is to use a whole home water filter. 

The RO process has the potential to remove bacteria, nitrates, lead, and other dissolved solid pollutants that can be present in your water. Many systems also contain a carbon filter that removes chlorine. This step is helpful in protecting the membrane from damage. 

In addition to the pollutants mentioned above, RO can remove between 95 and 99% of impurities, including: sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, ammonium, aluminum, nickel, copper, zinc, cadmium, lead, mercury, chloride, fluoride, phosphate, silicate, chromate, thiosulfate, cyanide, sulfate, and bromide.

The Reverse Osmosis Process

A whole-home RO system typically works in the following phases:

  • Pre-Filter – Most systems contain a pre-filter, also known as a sentiment filter, that is designed to remove large particles from the incoming water. This is the first step the water passes through, and it helps protect the membrane from damage.
  • Carbon Filter – The next step is for the water to pass through the carbon filter. This step helps remove any chlorine and other organic matter from the water. Some systems use multiple carbon filters to preserve the life of the membrane.
  • RO Membrane – The third step of the process is when the water actually passes through the RO membrane. This membrane is semipermeable, which means that only pure water is able to pass through. No contaminants here!
  • Water Storage Tank – Once the water has passed through the pre-filter, carbon filter, and RO membrane, it is stored in a water storage tank until it’s needed. This allows you to always have fresh water at the ready.
  • Post-Filter – This final step works to remove any unpleasant odors or tastes that are present in your water after storage, so when you get water from the tap, it tastes as fresh and clean as it is.


Clear Waters Flowing Is Here

A reverse osmosis water filtration system is the perfect way to provide clean and safe water for your home and family, and Clear Waters Flowing is here to help. We provide residential water filtration systems, including RO, to homeowners and residents across Southern Utah, including: St. George, Washington, Cedar City, Kanab, Hurricane, and more. Contact us today for your free quote!