Emergency Services

Is Reverse Osmosis Water Safe to Drink?

When it comes to your water you want it to be safe. Safe for your family, safe for your pets, and safe for yourself. If you’re doing your research you may have asked yourself if reverse osmosis purified water is safe to drink, and the answer is yes. To state the obvious, we all need to be drinking two liters of water a day, so why not make sure it’s pure?

A reverse osmosis (RO) system removes protozoa, bacteria, viruses and chemical contaminants including:

  • Crypto
  • Giardia
  • Salmonella
  • E. coli
  • Hep. A
  • Rotavirus
  • Sodium
  • Chloride
  • Copper
  • Lead
  • Fluoride
  • Radium
  • Sulfate
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Nitrate
  • Phosphorus

What is Reverse Osmosis Water Purification?

reverse osmosis system
Reverse osmosis might seem a little intimidating. If you don’t already know what it means we can break it down for you. Essentially, osmosis is when a weaker saline solution is absorbed into a stronger saline solution after passing through a permeable membrane. Think of when you water a plant. The amount of water in the soil is greater than the amount inside the plant. The excess pressure from the water triggers the plant to start absorbing water through its roots. That’s osmosis!

So what is reverse osmosis? Reverse osmosis is when you take the stronger saline solution and apply extreme pressure to the water and force it through a semipermeable membrane to the weaker saline solution. In a reverse osmosis water purifier, impure water flows through the semipermeable membrane, leaving 95%-99% of contaminants behind. Pretty great, right?

Why Would You Need an RO System?

An RO system is able to extract most of the contaminants in your water to provide you and your family with clean water. Water treatment plants are only able to partially remove contaminants and leave many undesirable particles behind that come out of our faucets. That’s where a personal RO filtration system that can go easily under your kitchen sink is very useful. It provides simple and inexpensive access to healthy water that you don’t have to worry about ingesting.

Benefits of Purified Water

clean drinking water from faucet

There are many benefits to having purified water in your home including:

  • Clear ice cubes
  • Better taste
  • Water used in cooking creates healthier food
  • Healthier for your body
  • Free of contaminants
  • Saves on cost of purchasing bottled water

How Can I Find Out What’s in My Water?

If you’re someone who’s worried about what’s in your water, you can review Utah’s water quality reports to have the information for yourself. Check out our blog on Utah’s hard water problem to learn how to run your Utah city’s drinking water report. You’ll also learn how to figure out what the report means for you and your home.

Do RO Systems Remove Good Things Too?

Yes they do, but the good minerals removed like potassium, calcium, and magnesium can easily be found in the food we eat. We don’t drink water for specific minerals, we drink water to stay hydrated and keep our bodies functioning and feeling well. Water is supposed to flush toxins from our bodies, not introduce more.

Are Other Purifier Options Healthy?

bottled water

Some other common purified water options are opting for bottled water, using UV purification or perhaps distilled water. There are pros and cons to each, and a good source to learn more about them is attached here, but here is a quick overview

Bottled Water

While bottled water is safe to drink, it is often expensive and not environmentally friendly. Though it may taste good, you don’t necessarily have control of what’s in your bottled water.

UV Purification

UV purification is when water is purified with ultraviolet light. While this method is effective to kill protozoa, bacteria, and viruses, it does not remove them. UV purification is unable to remove
chemicals, too. This purification method is useful when camping but is not convenient or necessary for home use.

Distilled Water

Distilled water is water that was turned into water vapor that was then collected (distilled). Water that has been distilled has most contaminants removed, including protozoa, bacteria, viruses, and chemicals, much like a reverse osmosis system. However, this purification method requires a higher amount of energy to produce and it is not practical for homes.

Is Softened Water Safe to Drink?

little boy drinking water

When it comes to water purification, the next big question is whether or not softened water is safe. A water softener doesn’t actually purify your water, but it is safe to drink. Water softeners are intended more for filtering water used in your entire home. Softened water used when showering keeps your skin and hair soft, and prevents hard water stains. It helps your water-using appliances last longer and stops mineral buildup in pipes.

If you want the best water in your home, you would install a water softener and a reverse osmosis purifier. That way whether you are drinking the water or using it to wash your dishes you’ve covered all of your bases. Refer to the chart below to see what a water purifier and water softener each have to offer you and why they are best combined.

water softener chart

Check Out Our Water Softener Services

Want More Info?

If you would like more information on reverse osmosis filtration systems or would like an estimate give Shamrock Plumbing a call at 801-505-9505. Our team will be more than happy any questions you may have and help you assess your water purification options.

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