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How Does A Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System Work?


A reverse osmosis water system (RO) pertains to a proven water purification process that people use all over the world. While the term may be globally known, the methodology that it uses to remove harmful contaminants from water is still a bit of a mystery to most people.

Here in Phoenix, nearly everyone is invested in some form of treated water. Whether they buy it from the store or their fridge provides a little bit of filtration, Arizonans prefer not to drink the hard water from the tap. Because of this, we thought it would be helpful to talk about some of the basic components of a reverse osmosis water filter system.

What Type of Filtered Water Do Phoenicians Drink?

Bottled water and 5 gallon jugs are popular in the valley of the sun – and rightfully so. Staying hydrated is extremely important. In turn, businesses and households spend a lot of time buying, refilling and recycling plastic containers. If they knew how advantageous RO filtration can be, it’s highly likely that they reconsider their water sources.

While adequate water consumption is key in Phoenix, so is the consumption of healthy water. Throughout this article we’ll explain how RO water filter systems work and how they provide our customers in the desert with the high quality water.

How a RO Filtered System Works.

The reverse osmosis process involves forcing a concentrated solution through a number of semi-permeable membranes in order to create a less-concentrated solution of water. The membrane traps microscopic contaminants in millions of tiny pores as the water continues to flow throw it. Water molecules are the only elements that can pass through the membrane as the other impurities are captured and flushed away.

Not only does the reverse osmosis water filter system purify your water supply, but it totally removes harmful debris. Most filtration solutions don’t totally eliminate the contaminates. In turn, home and business owners have to change filters more frequently. In order to appreciate the level of purification that’s performed, here are the various stages of filtering water with an RO system:

  • RO Pre-filtration: The pre-filter is designed to protect the RO system’s membrane by removing larger particulate matter from within. This included dissolved solids and sediment that can contaminate the water supply. Pre-filtering, or the clearing the channels, also reduces Arizona’s high chlorine levels.
  • Semi-permeable membrane: This type of material inside of a reverse osmosis water filter system is essentially the heart of the process. Water is forced through the membrane under intense pressure in order to purify it. As water passes through the material, undesirable substances are trapped in the membrane’s filter. This includes urea, viruses, glucose, bacteria, arsenic, lead, cadmium, barium, copper, selenium and other harmful impurities. Once these elements are removed, they’re later flushed from the system.
  • Post filtration polishing: Just before your filtered water is delivered to the tap, it goes through a carbon post filter, which removes any additional contaminants that may have slipped through the membrane. The water is then held in a storage tank until your family or employees are ready to drink it. An in-line carbon filter gives the water a final “polish” as it comes through your RO faucet just in case any lingering odors or flavors were left inside the tank or hoses.

Speak to One of Our Reverse Osmosis Experts for More Info.

If you’re looking for more information on reverse osmosis water filter systems, our plumbing service manager would love to answer your questions. While all of our plumbers have an array of experience, a few of our guys have specialized in water filtration for a good part of the last decade.

Whether you’re interested in installing an RO system or not, you can always schedule an in-house consultation at your convenience. For those of you with water purification systems, consider RO maintenance for improved performance and efficiency.

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