Reverse Osmosis: The Key to Safe Drinking Water

The phrase “reverse osmosis” [RO] is something you may have heard recently especially with the water crisis in Michigan.

How does reverse osmosis impact your everyday drinking water? Before we jump into why it is more critical today than ever before, let’s back up and look at what osmosis is.

Osmosis and How It’s Achieved

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines osmosis as this: The passage or diffusion of water or other solvents through a semipermeable membrane that blocks the passage of dissolved solutes.[i]

In the case of water filtration, water is considered the solvent and something as simple as sugar would be the solute. The process of osmosis occurs when a lower concentrated solution filters its solvent to a higher concentrated solution by moving through a membrane to create an equal balance of solvent and solute.

 And Reverse Osmosis?

By flipping osmosis on its head, reverse osmosis separates the solute from the solvent. In terms of water filtration, particles and contaminants are filtered out of drinking water.

And that’s vitally important for home and office drinking water.

Reverse Osmosis

Our 5 Stage RO Process

While the number of stages in a reverse osmosis system aren’t set in stone, the better reverse osmosis systems have 5 important steps in the filtration process to ensure pure and clean drinking water for everyone.[ii]

  1. Sediment Removal

In stage one, the removal of sediment from water is key. Sediments can include things like silt, stones and even clay from ground water. A filter is used first so the sediment doesn’t impact the sensitive semipermeable membrane. They are suspended from the water and don’t get anywhere close to it.

  1. Carbon Block Filter

In step two, a carbon filter is used to get rid of chlorine and any other chemicals that could contaminate your water and harm your body. While chlorine may be beneficial in swimming pools, it’s not a good addition to your cells and organs.

  1. Reverse Osmosis Membrane

Third, this stage is where reverse osmosis really does its thing. If there are any heavy metals present in the source water – and this includes any radioactive metals – they are filtered out by the semipermeable membrane. Following this procedure, the impurities are drained and the clean water is segregated.

  1. Granular Activated Carbon Filter

In this fourth step, the water has become nearly clean by passing through another filter. The carbon filter is typically dense and compact and leaves any contaminants that could cause unpleasant taste behind.

  1. UV Disinfection/ Activated Oxygen Injection

Finally, in step five, bad odor and the bacteria that can cause it are removed and clean, pure water flows from your POU water cooler.

Look for a Multi-Stage Purification Process

Keeping your employees happy and healthy includes a source of pure and clean drinking water every day. Make sure to find a system that includes reverse osmosis in a multi-stage purification process for best results.

[i] http://science.howstuffworks.com/reverse-osmosis1.htm

[ii] http://www.microbeworld.org/component/jlibrary/?view=article&id=3928