My answer to What is reverse osmosis? How does it affect your health?
Answer by BlueLife India:
Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a relatively modern technique for purifying drinking water. The system forces water under pressure through an ultra fine filter (usually a membrane), retaining the impurities on one side while pure water collects on the other. RO systems are supposed to remove all dissolved solids and bacteria, but to make doubly sure;
How It Works
Reverse osmosis uses a membrane that is semi-permeable, allowing pure water to pass through it, while rejecting the contaminants that are too large to pass through the tiny pores in the membrane. Quality reverse osmosis systems use a process known as cross flow to allow the membrane to continually clean itself. As some of the fluid passes through the membrane the rest continues downstream, sweeping the rejected contaminants away from the membrane and down the drain. The process of reverse osmosis requires a driving force to push the fluid through the membrane (the pressure provided by a standard residential water system is sufficient – 40 psi+).
Reverse osmosis is an excellent choice for almost all home water purification needs. It is the most recommended solution for individuals on a pre-treated municipal water system. While reverse osmosis can be very effective in removing bacteria and viruses, it is not recommended that reverse osmosis be the only level of purification for water that contains or may contain biological contaminants (untreated well or lake water, for instance). For these applications consider a combined reverse osmosis / ultraviolet system or the addition of a complementary whole-house ultraviolet system for maximum effectiveness and protection against bacteria and viruses. Since membranes are subject to degrading by chlorine, iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulphide, and to bacterial attack, sediment pre-filter and an activated carbon pre-filter and/or post-filter should be included with your reverse osmosis system. Water softeners can be used in advance of the RO system when household water is excessively hard to prevent pre-filter and membrane fouling. RO systems are generally the best choice for water contaminated with high nitrite levels as might be found in agricultural areas.
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