Reverse Osmosis

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Clean drinking water is an essential requirement for humans and livestock. Apart from this, clean water is also necessary for irrigation purposes. Although our planet is surrounded by more than 70% water, not all of them may be fit for consumption, due to various reasons. This is where reverse osmosis helps, which is one of the successful methods for producing pure water.

What is Reverse Osmosis?

Osmosis is a natural process, where a solvent passes through a semipermeable membrane from the region of low solute concentration to the region of high solute concentration. However, reverse osmosis water filtration is a process, which is created artificially using pressure. In this, the water is made to pass from the area of high solute concentration to the area of low solute concentration.

The water is pushed through a fine semipermeable membrane at a certain pressure. The semipermeable membrane features a dense layer that allows only water to pass, whereas salts and other impurities are seperated. This pressure helps overcome the osmotic pressure induced by chemical solvents. Reverse osmosis is effective at removing impurities at the ionic level such as dissolved sodium, chlorides, and metal ions down to 0.001 microns. Unlike other water treatment technologies, a large portion of the water is rejected and sent to waste (25%-50%)

Types of Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Systems in Use

The following are the important types of reverse osmosis water treatment systems used in the US today.

  • POU Systems: Point-of-use (POU) systems are generally installed under the sink and would use the incoming water pressure to push water through the membrane. The RO process requires the removal of sediment, hardness minerals, and oxidants before the membrane to increase its life. Since the water may taste stale and be aggressive after being treated with the RO membranes, post treatment may also follow. A 4-stage RO system may consist of a sediment, precarbon, RO membrane, and post carbon TCR filter. The first filter removes dirt and sediment that could foul the membrane. The carbon filter removes chlorine which would attack the membrane. The RO membrane does the bulk of the work removing 95-98% of the impurities found in the water. The TCR filter is used to improve the taste and provides the final polish and provides the crisp, clean taste.
  • Whole House Reverse Osmosis Systems: Whole house RO systems (Point-of entry, POE) utilize much larger membranes and cannot rely on the incoming water pressure for process. These systems are equipped with a booster pump to push the water through the membrane. These RO membranes are much larger than the POU systems mentioned above and have a peak effective flow rate of around 1 GPM each. Point-of-entry ROs are not “on-demand” systems and a storage tank is required to hold the treated product water. A separate booster pump is then utilized to supply the water to the residence. Many of these systems have the ability to recapture a portion of the reject water and process it again to reduce the amount of water the systems send to waste making it more efficient (recovery).

Pretreatment is often not taken into consideration when pricing a POE reverse osmosis system. The membranes are quite expensive, and one would not want to replace these often. However, membranes can last for years if they are properly cared for. Pretreatment would include addressing sediments, metals, oxidants, hardness, and organic or biological contaminants if present. Most POE systems come equipped with a cartridge sediment filter as standard. If the system is located on a private well, an iron filter may be required before the RO. If the system is located on a municipal system, a carbon pretreat filter may be required before the RO. Hardness, which can be found in well and municipal water, can be addresses with a water softener, water conditioner (SP3, OneFlow for example) or antiscalant chemical injection. All pretreatment options have their advantages and disadvantages so discuss these options with a water treatment professional.

Applications of Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Systems

Intec prides itself in working with troubled water and has sold reverse osmosis for residential, commercial and industrial applications. We regularly provide whole house RO systems and POU systems to our clients across industries. The following has been a few important deliveries that we made over the years:

  • Commercial reverse osmosis water filters for cattle, dairy, chicken, pig, fish, and horse farms
  • Commercial reverse osmosis water filters for greenhouses, hydroponics, agriculture, irrigation, aquaculture, and livestock drinking water
  • Reverse osmosis under the sink POU systems for residential applications

At Intec America, we are committed to deliver environment-friendly water treatment technologies. We can assist in consulting, system design, pretreatment options, or sourcing all components for a custom build.

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Whole House

What is Whole House Reverse Osmosis System? A whole house reverse osmosis system (Point-of entry, POE) provides the very best water quality to every faucet in a home. Reverse osmosis is a mechanical filtration method to remove ions and molecules by utilizing pressure to force a solution through a semipermeable membrane. Larger molecules are rejected resulting in the highest quality water entering your home. How does your whole house RO system work? Unlike the under-the-sink systems, whole house RO systems utilize much larger membranes and cannot rely on the incoming water pressure for process. These systems are equipped with a booster pump to push the water through the membrane. The size of these membranes can be 2.5” x 40” (producing 700 GPD or 0.5 GPM) or 4” x 40” (producing 1400 GPD or 1 GPM) and a typical whole-house reverse osmosis membrane system contains one or two membranes. The actual water production is dependent upon many variables. What to consider before installing a whole house reverse osmosis system A whole house water filtration system does provide the best water quality compared with competing technologies. However, there are many things that one needs to consider before even requesting a quote. A short list may include the following: Necessary space, Pre-treatment, Post-treatment, Electrical and rerouting plumbing. To keep it simple, a whole house reverse osmosis system is not an “on-demand” system and a large storage tank is required to hold the treated product water as well as a separate booster pump to supply the treated water into the residence.   Pretreatment is often not taken into consideration when is pricing a POE reverse osmosis system. The membranes are quite expensive, and one would not want to replace these often. However, membranes can last for years if they are properly cared for. Pretreatment...

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Under-the-sink

  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 at 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...