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Water Filtration Technology

The three predominate membranes used in residential and commercial water filtration process are Reverse Osmosis (RO), Ultrafiltration (UF), Microfiltration (MF). In certain specialized cases Nanofiltration (NF) is used. 

Each level of filtration removes certain sizes of molecules and reverse osmosis in addition can remove dissolved solids such as salts as well as dangerous particles such as radioactive particles occurring naturally in the drinking water or lead and other metals that seep into the water from aging plumbing or industrial plants or pesticides. 

Type of water filtration technology

Microfiltration (MF)

  • The pore size on microfiltration membranes ranges from 0.1 – 5um, and has the largest pore size of the four main membrane types. Its pores are large enough to filter out such things as bacteria, blood cells, flour, talc and many other kinds of fine dust in solution. Because its pores are relatively large compared to other membranes, it can be operated under low pressures and therefore low energy.

Ultrafiltration (UF)

  • Ultrafiltration has a pore size range of 0.1um to 0.01um. UF membranes reject particles such as silica, viruses, endotoxins, proteins, plastics and smog/fumes such as ZnO. Due to the decrease in pore size, the osmotic pressure required is higher than that of MF. Does not remove radioactive isotopes, viruses or salts and sugars

Nanofiltration (NF)

  • Nanofiltration has a pore size range of 0.001-0.01um. NF membranes can filter particles up to and including some salts, synthetic dies and sugars, however it is unable to remove most aqueous salts and metallic ions, as such, NF is generally confined to specialist uses. Does not remove dissolved metal.

Reverse Osmosis (RO)

  • Reverse Osmosis has a pore size range of 0.0001um. It is by far the finest separation material available to industry. It is used on a large scale for the desalination and purification of water as it filters out everything but water molecules, with pore sizes approaching the radius of some atoms in many cases. This pore size means it is the only membrane that can reliably filter out salt,dissolved metal and metallic ions from water. A reverse osmosis water purifier protects you from the harmful effects of lead, heavy metals, chlorine, chemical contaminants, pesticides, pathogens, bacteria, viruses, and even radioactive materials. 

What is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse Osmosis (RO) uses a semi-permeable membrane filter (Thin Film Composite or TFC), very pure water is produced but still retains small traces of minerals. RO systems utilize a series of filters (sediment, granulated activated or block carbon), the TFC membrane.

This superior purifying process provides the highest quality of water. RO uses a semi-permeable membrane that has pores large enough to allow water molecules to pass through but small enough to block other types of molecules such as dissolved salts (ions) and other impurities like bacteria at 99.99%. This is the technology used to make (only the purest, but not all) bottled water, it is also the only technology capable of desalinating sea water.

How Reverse Osmosis works?

When pressure is applied to water on one side of the membrane, water molecules are forced through to the other side of the membrane, producing purified water. Contaminants are essentially filtered out by the process. RO removes 0.0001 micron size contaminants (the finest filter to date).

The most amazing aspect of RO is all of the impurities are separated and automatically removed through the drain so they don’t build up in the system like any other filtering system (like MF, UF and NF) and re-contaminate the water, thus keeping the membrane and water clean.

You are left with a safe, clean-tasting and delicious drinking water that doesn’t have a bad taste or smell. This is the reason to why RO membranes can last so long and perform like new with minimum maintenance even after years of operation.

What contaminants removed from Reverse Osmosis?

A high-performing RO system can remove up to 99% of dissolved contaminants found in feed water. These common water contaminants include:

  • Salts
  • Particles
  • Colloids: oil and fat-based molecules
  • Organic bacteria
  • Pyrogens: protein-based substances produced by bacteria that cause fevers when introduced into the human body

Certified Contaminants Reduction :

Arsenic99.6%Copper99.0%
Barium99.8%Fluoride97.7%
Cadmium99.8%Lead99.3%
Chromium (Hexavalent)99.1%Radium 226/22880.0%
Chromium (Trivalent)99.7%Selenium98.1%

Full List Of Contaminants Reduction :

Sodium99.6%Chromium-699.0%
Calcium99.8%Chromium-397.7%
Magnesium99.8%Sodium99.3%
Potassium99.1%Lead80.0%
Iron 299.7%Chloride98.1%
Manganese 2YesBicarbonateYes
AluminumYesNitrate3Yes
CopperYesFluorideYes
NickelYesPhosphateYes
ZincYesChromateYes
StrontiumYesCyanideYes
CadmiumYesSulfateYes
SilverYesArsenic + 3Yes
MercuryYesArsenic + 5Yes
BariumYesSeleniumYes
RadioactivityYesAsbestosYes
BacteriaYesSediment 
ProtozoaYesTurbidityYes
AmeobicYesGiardiaYes
CystsYes  
Organic Contaminants Organic molecules with a molecular weight < 300YesOrganic molecules with a molecular weight < 3005Yes

Volatile Organic Chemical (VOC) Reduction :

Sodium99.6%Chromium-699.0%
Calcium99.8%Chromium-397.7%
Magnesium99.8%Sodium99.3%
Potassium99.1%Lead80.0%
Iron 299.7%Chloride98.1%
Manganese 2YesBicarbonateYes
AluminumYesNitrate3Yes
CopperYesFluorideYes
NickelYesPhosphateYes
ZincYesChromateYes
StrontiumYesCyanideYes
CadmiumYesSulfateYes
SilverYesArsenic + 3Yes
MercuryYesArsenic + 5Yes
BariumYesSeleniumYes
RadioactivityYesAsbestosYes
BacteriaYesSediment 
ProtozoaYesTurbidityYes
AmeobicYesGiardiaYes
CystsYes  
Organic Contaminants Organic molecules with a molecular weight < 300YesOrganic molecules with a molecular weight < 3005Yes

Will Reverse Osmosis remove minerals in water?

Yes, an RO system will strip out the minerals, it will also remove a plethora of chemical and bacterial contaminants. Tap water may contain a very small amount of minerals, but the quantity is much too small to have an impact on health. 

For example, one glass of orange juice has more minerals than a bathtub of water.

The World Health Organization (WHO) made clarification that majority of healthy minerals are needed for human body is from food or dietary supplementary sources and not from drinking water. In addition, minerals found in water can be harmful to human health. 

The evidence is strong that calcium and magnesium are essential elements for human body (WQA, 2011). However, its a weak argument to suggest that we should make up this deficiency through water consumption (WQA, 2011).

Tap water presents a variety of inorganic minerals which human body has difficulty absorbing (Misner, 2004). Their presence is suspect in a wide array of degenerative diseases, such as hardening of the arteries, arthritis, kidney stones, gall stones, glaucoma, cataracts, hearing loss, emphysema, diabetes, and obesity. 

What minerals are available, especially in “hard” tap water, are poorly absorbed, or rejected by cellular tissue sites, and, if not evacuated, their presence may cause arterial obstruction, and internal damage (Dennison, 193; Muehling, 1994; Banik, 1989).

The minerals in water also include heavy metals which are sometimes toxic and radioactive. Water systems that don’t remove minerals will also leave these unhealthy metals & contaminants in your drinking water. 

Reverse Osmosis removes inorganic minerals, metals and much more to provide you with the purest, healthiest and most natural drinking water.

Reverse Osmosis has little affect on water PH

Water pH levels will automatically change when it is ingested and comes into contact with the food in your stomach (Wise, 2011). 

Even on an empty stomach, your stomach acid alone is already several times more acidic than RO water (pH 6.5-7.5) with a pH level of 2 (Wise, 2011). The human body regulates pH levels constantly to find balance and equilibrium (see Figure 2). 

Therefore under normal conditions it will always maintain a neutral 7.4 pH balance (Wise, 2011). The healthy body is very robust and it will restore homeostatic pH fairly quickly and easily (Wise 2011). 

Soft drinks and sports drinks typically have a pH level of 2.5, orange juice has a 3 pH and coffee has a 4 pH level and we drink these beverages all the time without problems (Wise, 2011).

Benefits of Reverse Osmosis water

RO water is safer, the most cost effective, filters on demand, healthier, has no smell and tastes refreshing. Based on our research, no other process is as effective.

  • Safe drinking water : Consumers want safe, healthy, good-tasting water. RO purified water meets the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act and EPA standards for drinking water.
  • Great taste : RO removes excess minerals, odor, color, and other organic compounds that contribute to bad taste.
  • Improved Health : RO membranes provide a barrier to bacteria and virus resulting in healthier water for drinking and cooking.

Conclusion

Water filtered or treated by RO is pure, clean, and healthy. RO treatment system is currently the only technology that can remove most of the emerging contaminants (i.e., prescription drugs and perchlorate) including other contaminants (i.e., Arsenic, Cyanide, and Fluoride) that are difficult to remove by other treatment methods. 

No more ingesting of harmful inorganic minerals means the body will no longer be stressed with trying to absorb something that wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place (Wise, 2011). 

Consumers should not be concerned about the removal of minerals by RO system. WHO (2009) and WQA (2011) pointed out, that the human body obtains vast majority of minerals from food or supplements, not from drinking water.

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