Reverse osmosis home systems are impractical for a number of reasons. Yes, I know that Tiger Woods has one, but he can afford it. Most people simply do not need the added expense.
Of course, the type of water purification system that you need depends on the quality of your source. Wells and springs must be tested. Homes around the country serviced by treatment facilities have specific needs.
Reveres osmosis home systems may be necessary for some people, but it is unlikely that they are of any value to the majority of homeowners. Unless you have specific problems, they are an unnecessary expense. Well water that has high sodium content may need reverse osmosis home systems, but targeted ion particle exchange may be just as effective and less expensive.
There are advantages and disadvantages of the process. Most of the advantages apply to industrial applications, but most treatment facilities include it as one step in the complete process.
If you are serviced by a public provider, reverse osmosis home systems would be redundant, because your water has already undergone this process, sometimes several times. They are used both at sewage treatment and groundwater treatment facilities. Some, companies use several RO steps with progressively smaller membranes to remove as many contaminants as possible.
The disadvantages lie in the things that reverse osmosis home systems will not remove. Chemicals lighter than a water-molecule, such as herbicides, pesticides and dioxins, will pass through. Bacteria, parasites, protozoa and other illness causing microorganisms will not be removed.
So, the homeowner who chooses to purchase reverse osmosis home systems must use additional steps to purify, just as a treatment facility would not and could not rely solely on RO to purify the water.
In order to remove chemical contaminants, carbon filtration and targeted multi-media blocks must be used. In order to remove bacteria, a disinfection step must be used, unless you are serviced by a public utility.
The facilities cover disinfection pretty well, though there are some microbial cysts that are resistant to chemical disinfection methods. All you really need, if you water comes from a facility, is a micron filter, no additional disinfection is required, but of course you still need the carbon and multi-media blocks to remove chemicals.
One of the big disadvantages of reverse osmosis home systems has to do with wastewater created and back flushing required. The wastewater and the back flushing put additional stress on septic systems. If you have public sewage treatment, you may be looking at additional fees, but you should consider the stress that you are adding to the public system.
For every 1 gallon that passes through reverse osmosis home systems, at least a half gallon of wastewater is discharged. And, that small amount only applies to the reverse osmosis home systems that cost in excess of $10,000. Some of the less expensive units create as much as five gallons of wastewater for every gallon cleaned.
In a typical day, the average household uses about five gallons of water for showering, flushing, drinking, etc. If you have automatic sprinklers for your yard, you use even more. But, at the average of five gallons, the less expensive system would create 25 gallons of wastewater. That’s just too much from an environmental standpoint, if nothing else.
There are other disadvantages to reverse osmosis home systems. The subject is too big to cover completely here in this article. Try to find another solution.