What is an RO plant?
RO (reverse osmosis) plant removes contaminants from the unfiltered water when pressure forces it through the semipermeable membrane. In the RO plant, water flows from the more concentrated side (more contaminants) to the less concentrated side (fewer contaminants) to provide potable water.
Commercial RO plant consists of a semipermeable membrane. This membrane consists of tiny pores that block the contaminants and allows only water molecules to flow through. In this way, it provides clean water to drink.
How does a RO system work?
Reverse osmosis removes sediments and chlorine from the water with a pre-filter before it comes in contact with a semipermeable membrane to remove dissolved solids. In addition to the RO membrane, every RO water plant contains a carbon filter and sediment filter.
The filters can be termed pre-filter or post-filter depending on whether water passes through the filter before or after. RO plant contains one or more of the following filters:
– Carbon filter
This filter helps to reduce chlorine, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other contaminants that give water a foul odor or taste.
– Semipermeable membrane
This membrane removes approximately 98% of total dissolved solids (TDS).
– Carbon filter
This filter helps to remove particles like dust, dirt, and rust.
Following are the steps about how water gets purified in the RO plant:
1. First of all, water enters in RO system and passes through prefiltration. Prefiltration consists of both a sediment filter and a carbon filter to remove the sediments and chlorine. These particles are removed previously because that could clog or damage the RO membrane.
2. Secondly, water flows through a reverse osmosis membrane where dissolved particles are removed that are as minute as that can only be seen through an electron microscope.
3. Thirdly, the water gets stored in the storage tank and held until needed. The reverse osmosis system continues to filter water until the tank gets full.
4. Lastly, water comes out of the storage tank when you turn on your drinking water faucet. It passes through another post-filter to polish potable drinking water before it gets to your tap.
What does a RO system remove?
The RO plant removes dissolved solids such as arsenic and fluoride when water passes through the RO membrane. It also removes chlorine and bad taste and odor from the water. Moreover, the following is the list of substances removed by the RO system:
- Herbicides and pesticides
- Many other contaminants
However, the RO system does not remove any bacteria or viruses.
Advantages of RO system
The RO system has several advantages as it removes 98% of dissolved solids that make it healthier to drink. Following are some of the benefits:
- RO plant installation is easy and safe
- Reduced sodium
- Decreases harmful dissolved contaminants
- Water without any bad taste and odor
Does RO system wastewater?
When the water flows through the system, it gets divided into two streams. One stream carries removed salts, minerals, and dissolved pollutants to drain. Another stream carries filtered water, which is used for drinking purposes.
The wastewater carried to the drain is not wasted. 4 gallons of water exit for every gallon of freshwater produced. The drained water can be used for multiple purposes, such as cleaning the utensils or washing machines to clean clothes.
Is the RO system suitable for the environment?
When the wastewater is drained from your home, it consists of heavy chemicals and minerals. This drained water is treated in a wastewater treatment plant. It is diluted to make it easier to treat through the hydrologic cycle.
Chemicals have been eliminated in the carbon filtration stage. Thus, the water discharged from your home is already chemical-free. Meanwhile, the brine water or leftover water consists of a slightly high concentration of dissolved inorganics. In this way, the RO system speeds up the recycling process of wastewater.
Is RO System Good For Human Body?
Water consists of several dissolved contaminants which are not visible to naked eyes but drinking that water can make you sick. This system works best for human kidneys as it filters out water before it enters the body.
However, it does remove beneficial minerals like magnesium and calcium, but that does not mean the RO system is bad for you. 70-80% of the human body is water that hydrates, lubricates joints, and aids organ function. Food is an essential source of nutrients and not water. You can take minerals and nutrients from fruits and vegetables.
How Long do RO systems Last?
RO system generally last for 5 to 10 years. However, it needs proper maintenance. The pre-filters and post-filters need to be changed every 6 months to 1 year. Do consider replacing the RO system after 2 to 4 years.
There are specific alternatives to the RO system, such as a water softener. But they do not filter harmful contaminants from water. It just removes calcium and magnesium to soften the water. Thus, the RO system is much better for healthier drinking options.