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What is Reverse Osmosis? Indiana Water Quality – Part 3

Ok, folks we are on the homestretch. We have gone over softening water and water filtration. Now it is time to talk about reverse osmosis. Put your thinking cap on- it’s time to get your science on!

Reverse Osmosis (RO), is a process where water is demineralized or deionized, pushing it, under pressure, through a semi-permeable membrane. This membrane is used to catch most minerals, salts, organic matter and protein while allowing the water to still pass through, leaving the fresh water on the other side.

Let’s give you a simple visual to make it even easier to understand. Pretend you are at the beach (You have to pretend because there are no beaches in Indiana!) and grab a cup of saltwater. Take a u-shaped pipe and in the middle of it, place a semi-permeable membrane, one with tiny holes. Dump your cup of salt water in one opening of the pipe and a cup of regular water in the other opening of the pipe. If you let the water settle you will see there will be more water on the side where you dumped the salt water. Water naturally wants to find equilibrium. The water in the tube wants an even salt to water ratio, pushing the regular water to the saltwater side in order to balance it out. This is called osmosis. Yep, we are getting all sciencey on you.

Now, we have to reverse that process. Because the water wants to naturally find balance or equilibrium, pressure must be applied to force the saltwater through the semi-permeable membrane. Once the pressure is applied, the saltwater passes through that membrane. The salt then stays on one side and you have fresh water on the other side.

A reverse osmosis system uses that pressure and the membrane to filter out just about everything out of the water- minerals, dirt, bacteria, pesticides, fluoride and much more. Now you have water, which is safe to drink, and tastes great too!

Here is something you might not know about RO systems. Reverse osmosis systems are usually hooked up to certain taps in your home. They are not installed as a whole-house system, like a water softener is. Usually, you have a special tap/spigot that the RO water comes out of. These are examples of some in-home RO systems are by Watco.

If you want your family to be drinking water in its purest form, call Godby and have us install a reverse osmosis system in your home today! For all of your plumbing needs, remember, “It’s Gotta be Godby.”

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