Reverse Osmosis (RO) technology was developed in the late 1950’s through U.S. Government funding as a possible method of desalinating seawater. Today, RO drinking water systems are used in millions of homes and even by NASA to ensure the astronauts have clean, safe drinking water while in space.
So why do millions of consumers choose reverse osmosis drinking water systems for their homes? Let’s explore the advantages–and even the disadvantages of point of use RO systems.
What are the Advantages of Reverse Osmosis?
In weighing out the pros and cons of reverse osmosis, here are a few of the “pros”:
1. Outstanding Water: RO technology has the ability to remove 95 to 99 percent of total dissolved solids (TDS) as well as chlorine taste and odor.
2. Low cost: A reverse osmosis system produces delicious water for pennies per gallon which can save you money over buying bottled water, not to mention the convenience of having it available at the kitchen tap.
3. Reach for water instead of cola: With an RO system, households can have great-tasting water to drink and cook with. Water is truly the healthiest drink for our bodies—and many families with children have found after installing an RO drinking water system, their families are turning away from sugary drinks and sodas and drinking more water.
4. Better-tasting food: When it comes to cooking, many have discovered that cooking with reverse osmosis water impacts the flavor of most recipes. There’s nothing like using clean water that is free of impurities to enhance a soup or hot drink. It’s no mystery why most restaurants now use RO filtered water in their cooking.
What are the Disadvantages of Reverse Osmosis?
Here are a few of the “cons” or disadvantages of RO.
1. Clogging: The small pores of an RO system can become clogged and the system must be routinely maintained. Even common chlorine can damage an RO system. Therefore, in order to maintain their reverse osmosis system, many RO owners also invest in a pre-filter to protect the RO unit from fouling or pair it with a whole-house conditioner.
2. Filter Replacement: Once you’ve purchased the system and had it installed, it can produce water for pennies per gallon. But there is continual expense of routine filter changes and maintenance. Although RO systems are virtually maintenance free, they should be cleaned and sterilized once per year.
3. Slow Process: Because reverse osmosis uses household water pressure to push tap water through a semi-permeable membrane, this process takes time. If you need a lot of filtered water at once and empty the system’s holding tank, you must allow time for the RO process to refill the tank.
Despite the disadvantages of RO, the millions of homeowners who chose RO drinking water systems for their homes did so because they determined that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.