When thinking about public water quality, homeowners want to know their drinking water is clean. Chromium, lead, and other contaminants in drinking water can make you and your family sick or cause cancer, birth defects, and neurological disorders.
Fortunately, one method that purifies the water in your home is a reverse osmosis system. A collection of filters and membranes ensure bacteria, metals, minerals, chemicals, and other contaminants are filtered out. However, the reverse osmosis, or RO, process has some drawbacks. Here is how to overcome these two RO challenges.
1. Water Is Wasted
In order to produce clean, purified water, the RO system depends on high pressure to force water molecules through a semi-permeable membrane with pores approximately 0.0001 microns in size. Such pore size makes RO very efficient at removing all those contaminants but also makes the membrane susceptible to blockage.
The RO system uses water to automatically flush the membrane surface and remove any obstructions and buildup. The system uses four gallons of water to produce one gallon of purified water. Water-conscious people feel this water could be wasted because that water essentially goes down the drain.
You can do a couple of things to cut down on the amount of wasted water. You can install a permeate pump at your RO source to make your system more efficient. A pump uses pressure from draining wastewater to perform certain tasks, which frees up water pressure to devote toward filtration. As a result, the water storage tank fills up faster, the membrane lasts longer, and water waste is reduced.
Additionally, you can put your wastewater to good use rather than listen to it go down the drain. Some environmentally conscious RO users find ways to capture the wastewater into a holding tank for reuse. You can use wastewater for irrigation outdoors, which is helpful in dry Arizona. Other people use wastewater to initially fill their washing machine or to clean floors.
2. Water Tastes Flat
The resulting water from a reverse osmosis system is known for its ability to filter nearly all contaminants from water like harmful metals, bacteria, and other pollutants. The resulting water may be pure and clean, but it can taste flat or bland. This phenomenon occurs when your water lacks essential minerals like calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium that give water a crisp, clean taste.
You can add these important minerals back into your water after filtration. One way to achieve great-tasting RO water is to add an alkalinization or remineralization filter stage to your system. The addition of minerals raises the pH of the end product to make it taste better. Some even feel water that contains trace amounts of minerals provides a small but important contribution to your overall health.
You can choose other ways to add minerals to your RO water. Mineral drops and electrolyte blends add trace minerals back into your water, as does mineral-rich sea salts. If mixing water is not your thing, opt for a water pitcher equipped with an alkaline filter. Simply add your RO water to the pitcher and pour out a glass of perfectly flavored water.
You may already have a reverse osmosis system in place. If you are concerned about these common challenges with your own system, talk to an experienced plumber about how a permeable pump can boost your water efficiency. At Moon Valley Plumbing and Rooter, we can upgrade your existing reverse osmosis systems as well as install a new system with an alkalinization filter to make your water taste more refreshing. We are always happy to answer any of your questions and concerns.