Reverse Osmosis

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Access to clean and pure water is a right of every human on the earth. There may be abundant water sources around you, including well water, ponds, streams, rivers, and other water bodies. However, water from these sources is unsuitable to use due to contamination and several reasons. Water may contain dissolved solids, microbes, and several other contaminants, which if left unaddressed may harm humans and equipment through which they are transported to your homes or facilities where they may be used. To avoid this, the dissolved solids in water is removed using RO filters. At Intec-America, we provide whole house and under sink reverse osmosis water treatment systems. Our Nelsen Commercial Series of Reverse Osmosis Systems and Watts – R4x40 RO Series have been successfully installed in hundreds of homes and commercial facilities across the US. Get in touch with our team to discuss your water treatment requirements!

What is a Reverse Osmosis System?

Reverse osmosis is the opposite of osmosis, which is why the name. Osmosis is a process where the solvent is made to pass through a semipermeable membrane from low to high solute concentration, however, reverse osmosis is quite the opposite. In later, water moves from the region of high to low solute concentration.

Generally, a reverse osmosis water filtration system features a fine semipermeable membrane with a dense filter layer. Water is pushed through this membrane at a certain pressure and the filter holds back salts and impurities. The water pressure is set to overcome the osmotic pressure induced by solvents. Reverse osmosis helps remove dissolved ions such as chlorides, sodium, as well as metal ions up to 0.001 microns. This process usually differs from the regular filtration process, where the filters collect the impurities. In this, the impurities are held back and clear water flows to the storage tank. Then, the contaminants are flushed to the drain using water.

What are the important types of reverse osmosis water treatment systems used today?

There are two important types of reverse osmosis water treatment systems used today and they are:
  • Point of Use (PoU) Systems:

These systems are generally connected to only one faucet in your house. They are installed under the sink, thus, the name. These systems use incoming water pressure to push water through the membrane. Although the membranes can remove inorganic solids, it is recommended to remove any harsh sediments and hard minerals from the water before feeding to the membrane. This would help improve the life of the membrane. Sometimes water may become sour or acidic due to the mineral removal and this is where the acid neutralization may be needed. Today, you can find a 4-stage RO system, which features sediment, pre-carbon, RO membrane, and post carbon TCR filter. This means that water passes through 4 stages before getting collected in the tank. In the first stage, the first filter removes sediment and dirt, which may affect the system. The carbon filter removes chlorine, which may attack the system, whereas the RO membrane will remove 95% to 98% of impurities in the water. The TCR filter will help remove remaining impurities from water, thereby improving its taste and aesthetic appeal.

These systems are designed to support a large number of faucets in your home or commercial facilities and have large membranes than PoU systems. Whole house RO systems feature large membranes, and use a booster pump to increase the water pressure needed for the process. The pumps rush the water the membrane. Unlike PoU systems, the whole house systems require large investments. You would require a storage tank to store the treated water. Sometimes, an additional booster pump may be required. Many whole house or point of entry systems are designed to reduce the rejected water produced during the process. They feature advanced water recovery features to minimize water waste.

What types of contaminants are removed by reverse osmosis water filters?

Reverse osmosis water filters are known to tackle the following types of contaminants:

  • Lead
  • High Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) – Mainly salts such as sodium and chlorides
  • Fluoride
  • Pesticides
  • Chlorine and chloramine
  • Sulfates and nitrates
  • Detergents

What are the applications of reverse osmosis water filtration systems?

  • Reverse osmosis water filtration systems are used in homes and commercial establishments. Although these systems are now used in many homes and commercial establishments, they have been around for a while. Reverse osmosis water filters were first used to desalinate ocean water in 1950. However, the reverse osmosis desalination plant became a reality in 1965. Since then, large RO desalination plants have been installed in various countries.
  • Reverse osmosis filters have been used in metal recycling plants for a long time. Various types of chemicals are used for recycling metals, and they produce toxic wastewater. The filters help produce drinkable water, which is why they have been tried in many developing countries to produce potable water.
  • Reverse osmosis water filtration systems are also used in food industries. They are used during maple syrup production. In the wine industry, these filtration systems help remove smoke, acidic particles, and other components from water.
  • Commercial reverse osmosis water filters may be used in animal farms.
  • They are also used in many green farming applications such as hydroponics, aquaculture, irrigation, agriculture, etc.

What are the benefits of reverse osmosis water filtration systems?

Reverse osmosis water filtration systems are beneficial for the following reasons.
  • Impurity Removal: Water may contain impurities as small as 0.001 microns. If left unattended these impurities may harm us in a big way. The filtration systems are designed to effectively remove impurities such as sulfates, nitrates, arsenic, and much more. Many leading organizations, including EPA have acknowledged the effectiveness of these systems in removing toxic components and disease causing microbes from water.
  • Improves Taste: If your water tastes pungent, sour, or salty, perhaps it is laden with heavy minerals, which are known to alter the taste. RO filtration systems will help improve odor, taste, and water appearance by removing the minerals present in them. This is the reason why many commercial kitchens have started using RO systems.
  • Helps Save Money and Protect the Environment: These systems help you save money and protect the environment when compared with bottled water. Many bottled water companies avoid advertising water purity or mislead users with unverified claims about water from being free of certain minerals. While using the RO systems you can be assured of the type of minerals they remove. When you filter water in huge volumes, you have to pay just a few pennies for a gallon. However, bottled water systems are expensive in the long run. Also, by choosing these systems, you can be assured that no plastic waste will be created.
  • Easy Maintenance: RO systems have easy maintenance schedules. They have few moving parts, which makes them easy to service and clean.

Do Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration Systems Remove Important Minerals Required for Human Consumption?

Water sourced from city water systems and wells may be laden with inorganic minerals that can affect the smell and taste of water. These systems are designed to remove inorganic matter from the water and improve the taste of water. Our body cannot digest inorganic matter. Thus, removing inorganic matter will not harm us in any way. Although water may be one of the sources of minerals, it is not enough. Food is the source of minerals in our body and they help us stay healthy.

How to Choose the Right Reverse Osmosis Filtration System?

There are various types of reverse osmosis water systems available in the market, which makes the selection difficult. However, the following tips will ease the selection.
  • Water Demand: Reverse osmosis water filters are available in different volume sizes. You can choose the best filter size depending on your daily needs. You will require water for drinking, cooking, and equipment uses. Many equipment such as refrigerators, ice machines, and others require water.
  • Source of Water: In every home, the water may be drawn from wells and other city sources. Generally, municipal or city water is treated for bacteria and contamination before sending to your homes. However, they may contain inorganic dissolved salts and solids, which can be easily removed using reverse osmosis filtration systems. However, well water drawn from the backyard or nearby area must be treated for bacteria and particles before being directed to your home. If they hit the RO system without treatment, particles may clog the membrane, thereby requiring immediate removal and repair. If your well water contains heavy metals, you may require a UV system to treat them.
  • Acid Neutralization: Reverse osmosis systems are designed to remove all types of solids dissolved in water. Many times, this solid removal may lead to a low pH value, which makes water a little acidic, and makes it corrosive. To avoid this, many filters may comprise additional acid neutralizing filters. These filters help improve the pH value of water, and reduce the chances of scaling on water filters.
  • Budget: Like any other water treatment investment, the budget can be a big concern when choosing reverse osmosis water treatment systems. Many people focus on only the equipment costs when choosing these filters. However, that is not enough. You need to focus on its operational costs, maintenance, repairs, and filter change frequency and so on. The prices of these filters would vary depending on the whole house or under-the-sink designs. Under-the-sink filtration systems are easy to install and are less expensive than whole house ones. However, the costs may differ if you use additional accessories such as permeate pumps, booster pumps, storage tanks, and so on.

How to Care for Your Reverse Osmosis Water Filters?

Generally, a RO membrane in the reverse osmosis water filter may last 2 to 5 years, depending on the brand and other factors. In some cases, it may wear out little after a year of use, depending on the type of particles removed by these filters. You can easily extend the use of membrane by cleaning it timely. The following pointers will help you identify the right time for cleaning.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, then it is time to clean the membrane:
  • There is a 5% to 10% pressure drop
  • The flow has dropped by 10%
  • There is a 5% to 10% increase in the salt passage to water
You can clean membranes through the acidic or alkaline wash. Most components of these filters can withstand acid washes with pH 1 and alkaline chemicals with pH 12.

What factors affect the performance of RO water filtration system?

The performance of any RO system may be affected by the following factors.
  • Pressure of water
  • Temperature of water
  • Types of solids dissolved in water
  • Quality of membranes and components of the RO system

What are the components of a RO system?

  • Cold Water Line Valve: As the name suggests, the valve is used on a cold water line that supplies water to the RO system. There is a tube in the valve, which is attached to the pre-filter inlet.
  • Reverse Osmosis Membrane: This is the type of semipermeable membrane, which filters many types of small and large contaminants that are known to impact water aesthetically, alter its taste, and jeopardize its health benefits. The water is directed into a storage tank after passing the membrane.
  • Pre-Filters: The reverse osmosis water filtration systems may use one or two pre-filters. A carbon filter and sediment filter are two important types of pre-filters used. The water from the cold water line is directed to these pre-filters to remove dirt, sand silt, and various contaminants, which if allowed to pass through, can affect the membrane. Most city water resources may comprise chlorine, which is used as a sanitizing agent. The chlorine particles if not pre-filtered may damage the filter membrane.
  • Post Filters: This is an additional stage of filtration where the water from the RO storage tank is filtered again to remove any remaining odors or tastes before sending to the faucet. Generally, a carbon filter is used for this purpose. Owing to its purpose, this type of filter is also known as a polishing filter.
  • Automatic Shut Off Valves: The RO system is fitted with a shut-off valve, which helps to conserve water. This valve works when the storage tank is full. It prevents the water from flowing back to the membrane or the drain. The pressure in the tank will drop when the water is drawn through the faucet. The shut-off valve will open and guide the drinking water through the membrane. During this time, the contaminated wastewater flows to the drain.
  • Check Valve: This is generally located towards the outlet end of the enclosure of the RO membrane. This helps prevent the backward flow of water that has been treated and stored in the storage tank. Any backward water flow can easily rupture the RO membrane.
  • Flow Restrictor: A flow restrictor helps regulate water flowing through the membrane. It helps maintain the required pressure on the membrane side. If this component is not used, then very little drinking water will be produced. All water will flow into the drain. Generally, the flow restrictor is positioned in the drain line tubing of the RO.
  • Storage Tank: It features a bladder, which helps maintain the water pressure in the tank at its fullest capacity. In standard models, the storage tanks possess 2-6 gallon capacity.
  • Faucet: This is one of the important components of a RO filtration system. It is usually installed at the kitchen sink or other areas wherever you wish to draw water from. You can choose between the air gap and non-air gap models. There are designer faucets also available for your consideration.
  • Drain Line: This is usually located towards the outlet end of the RO membrane going to the drain. The drain line features tubing, which carries contaminants and wastewater filtered by the RO membrane.
Feel free to contact us today to learn more about reverse osmosis filters today. Our experts would be happy to answer your queries and help you with the right selection.


Whole House Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment System

What is Whole House Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System? A whole house reverse osmosis system (Point-of-entry, POE) provides the best water quality to every faucet in a home. Reverse osmosis is a mechanical filtration method that is used to remove impurities and the ionic level and other molecules from water. This method utilizes pressure to force a solution through a semipermeable membrane. Larger molecules are rejected resulting in the highest quality water entering your home.  Keep in mind, a whole house RO is far more than just a reverse osmosis system.  It is complete system which may include pretreatment, a reverse osmosis system, post treatment, sanitation, and finally water storage with a booster pump.   Generally, a whole house reverse osmosis system is positioned at the entry point of pipe that supplies water to your home. The RO system itself is comprised of a booster pump, pre-filter,  vessel(s) that contain the reverse osmosis membrane(s), solenoids, and a control panel.  The reverse osmosis membrane is made of tightly wound sheets containing small microscopic pores.  These small openings reject approximately 98% of the dissolved inorganic and organic matter and is responsible for its high filtration capability. This makes it capable of filtering contaminants like copper, chromium, uranium, boron, arsenic, lead, silver, nitrates, and sodium. Although many of these metals are beneficial for human body, when in excess they can cause severe harm. There are very few filtration techniques as efficient as a RO system that can eliminate these ions completely. Owing to its high purification capabilities, whole home reverse osmosis systems are becoming a favored choice over distillation and deionization techniques for water purification.   POE or whole house water osmosis systems (700 GPD to 3,600 GPD on average) are mainly used for residential water purification applications. These are actually small commercial...


Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment System

  Many of the homes being built today come with an under sink water filtration system. However, not all under sink water filters are the same. Most will improve the taste of the water or perhaps remove chemicals such as chlorine. However, simple under sink water filters will not remove toxins such as arsenic, lead, perchlorates, and trihalomethanes. An under sink reverse osmosis water filter system is a low-cost option that can effectively remove 95% – 98% of contaminants found in water. Under Sink Reverse Osmosis System offered by Intec America Intec offers many options for under sink reverse osmosis systems. These point-of-use (POU) systems are generally installed inside a cabinet or basement where it is out of site and come with a dedicate faucet that provides highly purified water for drinking and cooking purposes. An under sink reverse osmosis system is very popular because they are easy to install, maintain, and they are highly effective purification system. Benefits of an Under Sink Reverse Osmosis System Include: Toxin removal Improved taste of drinking water Improved taste of any food prepared with water Cost savings over bottled water Your under sink RO system can provide treated water to a refrigerator or icemaker Under Sink RO System Installation Guide This under-sink water purification system uses the incoming water pressure to push water through the reverse osmosis membrane. Before the water enters the membrane, the process requires the removal of sediment and oxidants to increase its life. Under sink home reverse osmosis system(s) generally have 2, 3, 4, or 5 stage options. Meaning, 1 stage includes the membrane and the remaining stages indicate the number of under sink water filters(s). Intec recommends a minimal of a sediment (stage 1) and carbon (stage 2) filter before the membrane (stage 3) and a post carbon...