Reverse osmosis: the harm and benefits of membrane purification of tap water
Are you familiar with the situation when an unclear liquid of dubious composition runs from the tap, which is also not very pleasant? The problem of high-quality purification of tap water is now becoming increasingly important. Agree, risking your health with tap water is unreasonably expensive. And buying bottles of drinking water daily is an expensive activity that takes up a lot of useful time.
To solve the problem, many different filters have been developed. Reverse osmosis plants are in high demand. But at the same time, such systems are shrouded in a series of myths and prejudices. Surely you, like many potential buyers, are concerned about the question of how reverse osmosis works: will harm or benefit to the body be from the use of a “perfectly cleaned” liquid?
We will help you deal with the intricacies of membrane cleaning and find out if pure water is really so harmful, as they say. The article contains the most popular arguments in favor of and against reverse osmosis, provides visual photos and videos to help evaluate the real advantages of purified water in front of tap water.
The content of the article:
The principle of reverse osmosis
The ability of filters that perform water purification by reverse osmosis principle, completely rid water of impurities, which is interpreted by specialists not only as a virtue, but also as a disadvantage.
Reverse osmosis as an industrial method of water treatment has been used since the 70s of the last century. First, seawater was desalinated with it.
Thanks to technology improvements, it has become possible to use reverse osmosis filters at home.
The resulting water has a unique degree of purification, in many respects its properties are close to melt. But it is meltwater of glaciers that is considered the most useful and environmentally friendly.
In the process of reverse osmosis, water is separated from the substances dissolved in it at the molecular level.
A semi-permeable membrane through which liquid passes under pressure passes only water molecules (as well as other particles of equal or smaller size), and the vast majority of impurities traps.
Thus, on one side of the membrane, almost “crystalline” water accumulates.
Reverse osmosis provides a much higher degree of purification of liquids from contaminants than most popular common filtering methods.
Special membranes used in reverse osmosis filters trap mineral and organic impurities, viruses, bacteria, iron, heavy metals, hardness salts, etc.
Being a "molecular sieve", they protect the consumer from all kinds of unpleasant surprises associated with the deterioration of the chemical and organoleptic properties of water.
Filter design and specifications
Household reverse osmosis unit usually includes these key components:
- prefilters (one or multistage preliminary cleaning);
- membrane reverse osmosis;
- post filters (finishing cleaning);
- storage tank.
The preliminary cleaning stage allows removing mechanical impurities, chlorine, and a number of organic compounds from water. This allows you to maximize the life of the "heart of the system" - a membrane that performs the main fine water purification.
The standard equipment of the reverse osmosis installation will be presented by the photo gallery:
Post-filters are installed for additional deep clarification of the liquid, ionization, improvement of its taste.
Fully “treated” water enters the storage tank, from where it is supplied through a special separate tap for clean water. Typically, a crane is also included with the equipment.
For a reverse osmosis filter to work for a long time, productively and efficiently, a certain amount of water pressure. From 2.8 to 6 atm is optimal.
If the pressure is too low, you need pressure boosting pump, in the opposite situation, care should be taken to install a pressure relief valve.
A properly installed high-quality device has been working properly for many years - without breakdowns, leaks, malfunctions. All that is required of the user is a timely change of cartridges.
The reverse osmosis membrane needs to be changed approximately every 2-4 years. Pre-filters - once every six months, finishing filters - once a year. You can do this work yourself.
Harm and cons of installing the system
Together with well-deserved praise, reverse osmosis filters are often subjected to devastating criticism. This method of cleaning, according to many, personifies the saying "the best is the enemy of the good."
One of the key disadvantages of the plants is their low productivity. Filters are very "meticulous" in cleaning - about 1 liter of "initial liquid" leaves for 1 liter of "good" water.
Also among the minuses of the devices are:
- high cost;
- additional costs for the system with "incorrect" pressure in the water supply.
But the main "defect" of the installations is their possible harm to health. This fact worries the minds of consumers the most.
It is known that water that underwent reverse osmosis becomes almost a distillate. The conclusions of specialists regarding the harm and benefits of such a liquid have always been and still are.
Soviet scientists adhered to the position that natural mineral substances must be contained in water - otherwise harm to health cannot be avoided.
The usefulness of the distillate can only be said if it is used for a short time. The fact that it is good for research and medical purposes does not make it such for the human body.
Regular consumption of water passing through the reverse osmosis membrane can lead to a violation of the salt balance, which is one of the most important metabolic processes in the body.
He is responsible for the correct combination of the quality and quantity of salts in all anatomical and physiological structures.
Violation of this balance to the greater side threatens the deposition of salts, to a lesser extent - thinning and malfunctioning of tissues.The reverse osmosis membrane is an obstacle for salt ions and other trace elements required by the body.
Lack of salts leads to thinning of bone tissue, resulting in bones becoming fragile. Cartilage tissue is also thinning, cartilage becomes less elastic, painful sensations occur when walking and any movements. Arthrosis may develop.
A lack of magnesium can cause arrhythmias, muscle cramps, periodontal disease, and hypertension. The low content or absence of mineral substances in the water adversely affects the condition of tooth enamel.
Reverse osmosis water is far from ideal; Being crystallized, it does not make any contribution to the total amount of nutrients (nutrients) required by the body. This is confirmed by many modern studies.
Enough authoritative data have been collected to claim that a deficiency of calcium and magnesium does not pass without a trace. The risk of not only cardiovascular disease, but also sudden death is increased.
Some scientists argue that the constant use of the so-called soft water with a low Ca content leads to fractures in children, pregnancy complications (preeclampsia), and neurodegenerative changes.
The design of the reverse osmosis unit may include a mineralizer that makes up for “important losses”.
But the fact is that the mineralization of already purified water will not provide the harmonious combination of microelements that was originally present in the liquid.
Probably, none of the existing methods of water enrichment in the world is optimal, saturating it with really all important substances.
Some experts consider it more rational to use those water purification systems that do not require any additional measures to improve the quality and taste of the liquid.
The real benefits of membrane cleaning
Despite a number of disadvantages of reverse osmosis, its advantages cannot be belittled. It is a truly effective water treatment system that can handle even the most dangerous pollution.
Water, wherever we take it - city water, open water, wells or wells - contains a large number of harmful and dangerous elements.
Inconsistency of the consumed fluid with sanitary-chemical and sanitary-biological standards has an extremely negative effect on well-being and human health.
The main sources of water pollution are:
- municipal drains;
- municipal waste;
- drains of industrial enterprises;
- industrial waste.
They are saturated with its various chemical and microbiological contaminants.
Bacteria and viruses that multiply in municipal wastewater can cause many different serious diseases, including:
- bacterial rubella;
- typhoid and paratyphoid;
Contaminated drinking water may contain toxic substances, worm eggs, nitrites, nitrates.
Stocks of industrial enterprises are "full of" almost the entire periodic table. Formaldehyde, phenol, heavy metals, organic solvents contained in them can cause genetic mutations and cancerous tumors, have a teratogenic effect on the fetus.
Mercury, copper, and lead affect the kidneys. Nickel, zinc and cobalt have a negative effect on the liver. They have a huge negative effect on the cardiovascular system.
Needless to say, the constant use of water with such a “rich composition” is extremely detrimental to the human body? Therefore, the use of domestic water treatment plants is not a whim, but a necessity.
Conventional flow-type filters, nozzles, jugs reduce the amount of harmful impurities in the water, reduce their concentration. The taste of the liquid becomes more pleasant, the smell and color disappear.
But to cope 100% with all the pollution with their help, unfortunately, will not succeed. Only a household reverse osmosis filter can help.
Devices with a reverse osmosis system are some of the best systems for treating household water. They "cope" with more than 98% of harmful impurities. None other filter for home use not capable of this.
Real high efficiency makes this equipment more and more popular. People refuse to freeze and boil water in his favor.
Despite its impressive size, the reverse osmosis installation is completely invisible in the kitchen, as it is installed wash filter.
The only detail indicating its presence is a separate chrome plated spout for supplying purified liquid. This faucet is mounted either on the countertop or directly in the sink.
Osmosis filters - equipment that works for the benefit of the whole family. Adults, children and elderly people can without hesitation drink the water that has passed through the treatment system. On it you can safely cook, breed with it mixes for newborns.
Reverse osmosis water is also good for washing, bathing babies in it. It does not cause irritation and allergies, great for sensitive skin prone to rashes.
The purified liquid extends the life of household appliances (irons, coffee machines, etc.).
Reverse osmosis systems remove components from the liquid that interfere with the disclosure of the true taste of dishes. And especially drinks. The purified water produces a very aromatic coffee, excellent cocktails.
Reverse osmosis water provides an impeccable quality in alcoholic beverages, packaged juices, etc.
The absolute safety of the purified liquid is a key advantage of reverse osmosis plants. This is an important acquisition for a healthy life.
Many reputable sources argue that with the proper full-fledged, varied diet, you should not worry about the low mineralization of the liquid. After all, the “lion's share” of useful substances enters the body precisely from food, and not from water.
The subtleties of mounting reverse osmosis
In order for the fluid filtration to be really high-quality, the choice of system must be approached very responsibly.
A selection of photos will familiarize you with the standard stages of assembling the reverse osmosis system:
An important factor is the composition of the raw materials used for the manufacture of the plastic body of the product. The appearance of the structure should "inspire confidence", from it in no case should come from an unpleasant chemical smell.
A filter made of second-rate raw materials is microcracks, splits, souring inside the case and no health benefits.
Be sure to pay attention to the quality of connections and fittings - the reliability and durability of the equipment largely depend on them. The best manufacturers of these components are Johnguest and Organic.
The membrane - a key component of the installation - must certainly be very good. The better it is, the higher the degree of purification of the liquid and the safer its composition.
The best deals on the market are membranes. Filmtec (expensive, but with a large resource) and Tfc (optimal ratio of price and reliability). Their service life can reach 5 years.
Products of Chinese manufacturers usually "do not reach" even to an average level of quality, being extremely short-lived.
The filter life is usually 4-15 thousand liters, the average daily output is 170-250 liters. Devices with a resource of 5000 liters will last for a family of 3-4 people for about 2 years.
Few people know that a reverse osmosis system can be done independently. Step-by-step instruction can be found in this stuff.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
Comparative analysis of the effectiveness of flow filters and reverse osmosis plants:
There is no consensus on the dangers and benefits of reverse osmosis. Even competent specialists disagree. But still you should not be afraid of “like fire” reverse osmosis filters, because the pollution contained in tap water is much more dangerous than the imbalance of its mineral composition.
And with the removal of hazardous substances, the devices do really well. And this is a powerful argument in favor of their acquisition.
Thinking of purchasing a reverse osmosis filter? Or do you already have experience using reverse osmosis plants and would you like to share it? Please leave comments at the bottom of the article. You can also ask a question about the topic of the article.