No matter what manufacturers do to reduce the footprint, bottled water negatively impacts the environment. In addition to providing excess waste from your household that ends up in landfills, bottled water hits your grocery bill--hard. According to information from the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), in 2012, bottled water sales soared to $11.8 billion. Are you thinking about cutting your grocery bill and nixing the bottled water? Read on to learn how home reverse osmosis systems work and the pros and cons to using these water purification systems.
How it Works
Reverse osmosis is a common water purification technique used by both treatment plants and bottled water companies. It involves the "diffusion of water or other solvents through a semipermeable membrane". This membrane works as a blockage to stop dissolved solutes from passing through. Simply put, reverse osmosis uses pressure to filter out larger contaminants, leaving behind purified drinking water. Of course, how pure this water becomes depends on the quality system that is used.
Pros and Cons of At-Home Reverse Osmosis Systems
- Professional-grade reverse osmosis systems remove as much as 99% of contaminants
- Removes impurities such as arsenic, copper, lead, radium, turbidity, asbestos, total dissolved solids, dissolved organics, and many other toxic heavy metals
- Effective technique for purifying tap water for drinking and cooking purposes
- Can be used with minimal maintenance
- Saves money over the cost of bottled water
- Reduces environmental footprint
- Convenient. Comes in various forms such as faucet attachment or tabletop version
- The process of reverse osmosis removes essential minerals from drinking water (this problem can be overcome by adding liquid trace minerals to improve taste and healthfulness)
- All contaminant are not removed. Reverse osmosis systems can only filter out contaminants that are larger than water molecules. Smaller contaminants that are found in municipal water such as chlorine, synthetic chemicals, and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) are not removed
- Requires high pressure water for the system to work
- The resulting water is acidic
While reverse osmosis removes both harmful and beneficial minerals from tap water, this issue can easily be offset by re-mineralizing your water prior to drinking. Regardless, the benefits of these systems far outweigh the disadvantages. This water purification technique can reduce the damage done to the environment by plastic water bottles and decrease your grocery bill. Overall, if you are considering nixing bottled water in favor of a reverse osmosis system, you are making a smart, economical decision.
For more information, contact a company such as Chambliss Plumbing Company.