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Advantages and Disadvantages of Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 0
Stream of Tap Water
Credit: Martin Walls, via sxc.hu

What are advantages and disadvantages of the reverse osmosis water filtration system usage? Find out, which benefits and potential problems you can experience with this advanced purification system.

Before installing a RO  setup, you need to consider a few factors, such as its price, the quality of your tap water, potential health effects, related to its usage and requirements for the purified water for home appliances or fish tanks.

Should you choose to buy a RO filter, there are a few tips for you to follow, for a convenient and safe experience. Let's start with an overview of the benefits.

Advantages of reverse osmosis water filtration system

RO filter as source of pure drinking water

There's a lot of nasty chemicals in your aqua supply: traces of organic substances and medicines, nitrates, fluoride. A reverse osmosis filtration system removes them, providing you with a clean drink, free from chemical contaminants. When you use the purified fluid to cook, any food is more tasty and the preparation of meals requires less energy, than otherwise.

RO filter as water softener system

RO filter allows you to remove all dissolved minerals from an aqua supply. That's useful, when there's a hard water in your tap, because you can avoid a frequent removal of the lime scale deposits from kitchen appliances, thanks to an efficient purification system. Kitchen items, such as a tea kettle or coffee express, can last longer, when utilized with a soft fluid.

A pure water, such as the one provided by a reverse osmosis filter, is suitable for more, than just drinking, or cooking. Feel free to use it for various tasks, such as  the photo development, ironing or filling of a car's cooling system. When you own the reverse osmosis filter, you never risk running out of the clean aqua supply.

RO filter as source of drinking water during an emergency

During a disaster, such as a flood or an earthquake, any supplies of the clean water are frequently compromised, but affected people, who own a portable RO filter, are able to produce the quality drinking fluid out of the dirty sludge.

During such an emergency, the reverse osmosis filter with an ultraviolet water sterilizer is the safest to use, because traces of germs may get through the membrane of a standard purification system.

RO filter for fish tank owners

Aquarists often use RO water in their fish tanks. Mixing it with a tap water in the correct proportion allows them to meet chemical parameters, such as the hardness or pH, required for their favourite aquarium animals. The reverse osmosis purified water is necessary for all saltwater tanks. However, more demanding varieties of freshwater fish (i.e. discus fish) or dwarf shrimps (i.e. Crystal Red) need it as well. As most hobbyists use large amounts of a fluid for frequent aqua changes, the installation of a RO filtration system provides the more economic solution to them, than repeated purchases of container of the purified water.

Disadvantages of reverse osmosis water filtration system

Economical factors - when to install RO filter?

A RO filtration system is a relatively expensive purchase. Only 10-15% of the fluid volume going through the RO water filter is consumed, the rest goes down the drain as a waste. Expect to use more of the tap water, after an installation of a RO water filter. The delicate membrane in a filter has to be replaced every six months, for a filter to work properly. However, you would save money on a drinking water, which you were buying in bottles before, as well as on the purified fluid for the ironing, car cooling system or fish tanks.

Potential health issues and how to avoid them

Any reverse osmosis water filtration system removes all unwanted chemicals from the tap water. However, it eliminates all beneficial trace minerals as well. Therefore, a prolonged intake of a purified aqua may lead to a deficiency of minerals in an organism and the deterioration of health. The RO filter system shouldn't serve, as your main source of fluids. Make sure to supplement the minerals, or drink other fluids, such as juices or herbal teas, to avoid health problems.

Never store this purified drinking water for a long time, as it contains no chlorine or chloramine, so nasty germs can colonize it quickly. To be on a safe side, boil the fluid, when it was stored for longer, than a day.

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Installation and usage tips for reverse osmosis filters

Typically, RO filtration system is installed, by mounting it on a pipe, as an under sink water filter. Unless you buy a portable reverse osmosis water filter, changing the location of the device is difficult and requires a lot of work.

That's not a serious problem, as you can move filled containers instead. Just make sure, that you choose a convenient location to install your aqua purification system in the first place. Usually, that's a kitchen or a bathroom sink, which is closest to your kitchen or an aquarium.

The filtering process is slow, so prepare the water, before you need it and store it in a container.

RO filtration system is not a cheap investment, but it helps you to save money in the long run, especially if you own multiple household appliances, a saltwater fish tank, or a freshwater aquarium with delicate species of fish or invertebrates.

While there are certain disadvantages to a reverse osmosis water filtration systems, you can easily avoid those problems with a bit of clever planning. If you install quality aqua filters in a convenient location, prepare the liquid before you need it and use in the same day, you can enjoy tasty and healthy tea and other foods, prepared on the pure water, which is devoid of the nasty chemicals.



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