The name RO purifier has been overused so much that it has become synonymous with water purifier. Most people fail to understand that RO is a type of water purifier, rather they are of the misconception that all water purifiers basically work on RO technology, In 9 out of 10 times, we don’t even understand our requirement and straight away go for RO purifiers. Every technology used in water purifier has its own merits and demerits. RO technology need not be the ideal solution for all your water problems. The maintenance and operation cost of RO purifiers are comparatively high and it also leads to a lot of wastage of water. Hence, opt for water purifier only if it is necessary.
So what is with all the hype about RO purifier and what really happens really in an RO purifier?? As the name itself suggests, it uses the reverse mechanism of the osmosis process. In an osmosis process, the less concentrated solution will have a natural inclination to move towards a higher concentrated solution. It is a naturally occurring phenomenon and absorption of water by the roots of plant and absorption of water from blood by kidneys are typical examples of such.
What Really Happens in an RO Purifier?
In the reverse osmosis technology, an air pump powered by electricity is used at the side of high concentration solution. This creates sufficient pressure to force the higher concentrated solution to move towards the solution of lesser concentration. A semipermeable membrane consisting of numerous pores is placed in between separating the two solutions of different concentration. This membrane is capable of removing all the dissolved and suspended particles while the solution flows from higher concentration to lower concentration. As a result, we get osmosis water or in general terms pure water that is free from suspended salts and impurities that is safe for drinking.
Components of RO Purifier
- Sediment filter – This is a basic filtration membrane employed to remove all the suspended impurities
- Post carbon – This is used to remove dissolved impurities and is used to remove bad odour and the yellowish color that is present in water
- RO membrane – This membrane consists of numerous minute pore of size 0.0001 microns and removes most of the bacteria and dissolved salts making the water fit for drinking purpose.
- TDS controller – This is used to regulate the TDS value of the water determining how much dissolved salts should be removed from the water ensuring our body gets sufficient amount of salts.
- Anti scalent balls – These may be added to carbon or spun filter and they are used to prevent scale formation ensuring the long life of RO Membranes. The white formation sediment due to the salts present in water is referred to as scales.
- Pump – The pump is run by electricity and creates sufficient osmotic pressure to force the salt water to pass through the membrane.
When Should You Opt for an RO System?
The concentrations of salts present in water is measured in TDS(Total Dissolved Solids ). The Bureau of Indian Standards( BIS ) has analyzed and fixed the TDS value for safe drinking should be less than 500 ppm. To be on the safer side, if the TDS value of your drinking water is more than 500 ppm, then it is a clear indication that you need to go with reverse osmosis water treatment. The reverse osmosis system will filter the excess salts and will make your water safe for drinking. You can measure the TDS value of your drinking water with the help of a TDS meter. If the TDS value of your drinking is less than 300 ppm, it is not necessary that you have to opt for a reverse osmosis water treatment. Rather you can choose other water treatment systems that are available and it would be more than enough for your needs.
Why Should You Not Go for a Reverse Osmosis System?
The maintenance and operation costs of RO purifiers are comparatively high than other purifiers. It uses a pump that operates on electricity hence it is safe to install a back up for the same. Adding to this, a large amount of water is also wasted in the purification process. It is estimated that only one-third of the water is purified and is used for drinking purpose while the remaining water is wasted. In other words, for every 1 liter of water used for drinking purpose, 3 liters of water is wasted. In some cases, the purified water has very low TDS value which means that all the essential salts and minerals have also been filtered. It is mandatory to use a TDS control to regulate the TDS value and retain the sufficient salts and minerals in the drinking water.
It all comes down to that one question. Is it really worth it to spend all those money on reverse osmosis water treatment?? Well, of course, it is. As the age old proverb goes, “Health is Wealth” and drinking safe water plays a vital role in staying healthy. If the TDS value of your water is more than 300 ppm, never have second thoughts as the reverse osmosis system is the ideal. On the other hand, if the TDS value is less than 300 ppm, you may opt for other water treatment systems and save yourself some money.
Yoshu Nova is a freelance content writer of this blog. We thank Yoshu Nova for his contribution towards this wonderful blog.