What is reverse osmosis and
how does it improve drinking water?

Reverse osmosis (RO) reduces dissolved or suspended contaminants in water using pressure to push the unfiltered water, or brine, through a semipermeable membrane. The reverse osmosis membrane blocks the contaminants, allowing the clean water or permeate to flow through to the less concentrated side. RO systems are used in homes and industries where high-quality water with low TDS (total dissolved solids) is required.

A reverse osmosis water system removes:

• Fluoride
• Salt
• Sediment
• Minerals
• Chlorine
• Arsenic
• Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
• Herbicides
• Pesticides
• Many other dissolved solids

Residential vs. Commercial

The primary difference between residential and commercial RO systems is water output. Reverse osmosis systems are considered commercial if output exceeds 500 gallons per day (gpd). A commercial reverse osmosis system also uses a specific pressure and larger membrane for greater capacity.

Residential RO systems are point-of-use (POU), designed for installation under a sink in your home or office. Under-sink reverse osmosis systems provide RO water to your faucet and refrigerator. An adapter kit, consisting of a couple of fittings, tubing, and a valve, allows you to run RO water to your refrigerator ice maker or ice machine.

Commercial RO systems are available for high water volume needs, from 200 to 7,000 gallons per day. These systems need greater water pressure to filter water with high concentrations of dissolved solids. Commercial RO systems operate at faster flow rates, Elements like iron, calcium, or magnesium may hinder production or damage the system. Proper steps must be taken to pre-treat the feed water before reverse osmosis filtration to avoid system failure.