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4 Disadvantages of Using Reverse Osmosis Units to Purify Water

William Lin

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Reverse osmosis (RO) is one of the popular technologies used in water filter systems. In fact, a lot of water filters you know might use this technology to filter water. We see this term used in television commercials and newspapers often. Just what is it? It is a method of filtering water by passing it through a fine pored semi permeable membrane. Since the structure is very finely pored, a lot of chemicals and other harmful substances are blocked and you get pure water as a result. Or so you think. If you take a good look at the process, you can actually find out that it is not the best method out there to filter water. How? Let us take a look at the disadvantages of reverse osmosis.  

Reverse osmosis is based on the principle that since most contaminants and chemicals present in water have a larger molecular size than water, they get blocked by the semi permeable membrane and as a result you get filtered water. While it's true to a large extent, there are some loopholes in it.  

1. First and foremost, reverse osmosis wastes a heck of a lot of water. A reverse osmosis unit will only recover around 5% of the total amount of water passes through the unit. The rest, all 95% of it, will go down the drain literally. To be more specific, a reverse osmosis unit will waste 2 to 3 gallons of water for every gallon filtered. At a time when people are struggling to get water for their daily use, it is simply insane to waste so much of water.

2. It takes a lot of time. You need to be really patient if you want to use a reverse osmosis unit. A typical RO unit produces less than one gallon water in an hour. And that is a lot of time.

3. Perhaps the most important question is - does reverse osmosis make water safe to drink? The answer is not really. An RO unit blocks harmful substances based on their molecular size. Unfortunately, substances like pesticides have smaller molecular size than water and they pass through the system. As a result, the water you drink is not completely pure.

4. One of the most notable disadvantages of reverse osmosis is that an RO unit can become a breeding house for bacteria if left unchecked. You need to disinfect the storage unit regularly or else it will be completely infected by various bacteria. So, if you forget to disinfect it from time to time, you will be getting your daily serve of bacteria right from your reverse osmosis unit.

The disadvantages of reverse osmosis are now no longer a secret and you now know it is not the best method out there to get filtered water. So, it is always best to go for a water filter system which uses a technology which can completely get rid of all the harmful substances and yet retain the natural goodness of water.

William Lin is dedicated to research of high quality water products. His research is available on his website. Visit William's site at pure filtered safe water to learn about his personal recommendation for cleaner, healthier water.


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