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Reviews and a Comparison of Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment

Posted Nov 06 2008 7:35am
by David Eastham

When it comes to cleaning up salty, brackish, water from a well, or even water laced with a lot of iron, manganese, sulphur, etc., reverse osmosis reviews are very good. And, I would agree with those reviews. However, RO technology is costly and cumbersome to say the least, and, unless you have the salty water problem, there are much better systems to use. Today we will do a reverse osmosis water treatment comparison with more modern technology.

Bad tasting and/or bad smelling water is common in a lot of the US. Sometimes the brackish water, or the water with high mineral content, is just undrinkable. That same water can be cleaned up with a RO system to be very drinkable, but I have always found such water to be very stale or flat tasting.

This “flat” taste is a small thing, but it is a symptom of something larger. The flatness comes from the fact that the RO process removes ALL the minerals from the water. We need trace minerals such as calcium and potassium to maintain good health. Also, this demineralization produces slightly acidic water and such water in our bodies will try to return to a neutral pH by leaching calcium from bones or teeth. If you use a RO system, you may want to consider adding mineral supplements to your diet.

Health officials have weighed in on this also, saying they believe such water is potentially dangerous since it creates a slightly acidic state in the body and cancer is believed to thrive only in a slightly acidic environment.

Water is put under pressure in an RO system and forced through a membrane with very tiny pores. So tiny in fact that only molecules the size of a water molecule, or smaller, can pass. It is very crutial to the process that the water pressure be maintained and this may call for an auxiliary pump to be installed.

With adequate pressure, however achieved, much of the water still will not pass through the membrane and, with many systems, it becomes a costly waste byproduct.

Chlorine is usually used to kill the living bugs in our well water or our city water and, since chlorine molecules are smaller than water’s they will not be filtered out. Neither will any of the thousands of synthetic organic chemicals that trouble our water supplies today. To remove these items, RO systems must be used in conjunction with some sort of carbon filtration.

Any filter system will somewhat reduce your water pressure, but, as you might expect, RO systems are very slow producers. In order to have an adequate supply of water for bathing or doing laundry you will need a storage tank with a diaphram to maintain pressure.

These units are rather bulky, comparatively, and with extra pumps, storage tanks, etc., they generally will require the assistance of a plumber to install. They are also prone to maintenance issues and higher operating costs, leading to the highest number of gripes in reverse osmosis reviews next to system costs.

If your drinking water comes from a water utility company, or from a chlorinated well, not plagued with brackish water, I would strongly urge you to compare the RO system to a selective filtration system. They are also referred to as multi-stage systems.

Selective filtration uses activated carbon that is blended with a chemically charged filter resin that is compressed in a solid block having tiny, submicron pores. No ‘Rube Goldberg’ system here. The bad water simply flows in one end of the filter, with household water pressure, and the good, clean, healthy water flows out the other end with the healthy minerals (selectively) intact. All heavy minerals are removed by ion exchange.

Kiss the extra pumps, pressurized tanks, extra maintenance and operating costs, and, even the need for calcium tablets good bye. If connected right these systems work almost maintenance free, giving you the best tasting, healthiest water you could ask for.

What’s the conclusion?…Don’t use your body as the filter and don’t assume all filters are the same, as you have seen, they are not.

About the Author:
David Eastham has performed extensive research on such things as reverse osmosis reviews to find the very best ways to provide families good, clean water. Follow him for his selections as the very best dollar for dollar buy, and the very best item overall, in water filtration systems.
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