Emergency Services

Water Purification: Reverse Osmosis vs. Ultraviolet

Two of the most popular methods of water purification are reverse osmosis and ultraviolet (UV) purification. When it comes to choosing your method it’s important to look at the advantages and disadvantages of both systems. By doing so, you can make an educated decision that’s best for your area and your home. Let’s take a look at them both.

water purification chart

What is Reverse Osmosis (RO) Purification?

woman holding a water cup under filtered water
This method of water purification is when water is forced through a membrane with tiny holes in it. Reverse osmosis filters out particles based on their size and the amount of contaminants in the water. When the molecules are larger than the water molecules that will be filtered out, those that are smaller can potentially slip through the purification process.

Reverse Osmosis Purification Advantages

-One of the advantages of RO water is that it effectively removes all types of contaminants to some degree such as particles,microorganisms, pyrogens, colloids, and other dissolved inorganics. When it comes to health, RO water can be beneficial because the harmful contaminants can be removed. To find out more about what’s in your water, check out our Hard Water Tool.

Another benefit of a reverse osmosis water system is that it requires very minimal maintenance. Typically, the filter needs to be changed every six months but this depends on how contaminated your water is. The more contaminates the more likely you will need to change the filter sooner.

Reverse Osmosis Purification Disadvantages

One of the disadvantages to removing all impurities in water through reverse osmosis is the elimination of essential minerals that can be beneficial to our health. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t safe to drink. Even tap water that has no filtration system doesn’t have all the minerals our body needs, so it’s important to know what you need specifically and get it from other sources.

Another disadvantage has to do with the flow rate. In a reverse osmosis system you can be limited per day or per gallons, so when you run out you have to wait until the RO water is built back up. This doesn’t mean your whole water system runs out. It’s just the RO water.

What is Ultraviolet purification?

pouring water into glass on a table outside

Another method of large and small scale water treatment is through ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, or UVGI, is a method of disinfection that uses short wavelengths of UV light to kill microorganisms, like pathogens, viruses, and molds. This is a chemical free process of sterilizing water, though the UV light does not break down or eliminate organic or inorganic compounds or particulate matter in the water. Pre-filters, however, can be used in conjunction with the UV treatment to improve the clarity of the water for more optimal UV treatment and better taste.

Ultraviolet Purification Advantages

When it comes to advantages, the ultraviolet purification method is a very effective sanitizing treatment destroying up to 99.9% of contaminates, and it doesn’t introduce chemicals into the water during treatment. This method is also a cost effective form of purification in that its a lower cost to install and also care for. Sometimes it only needs to be changed once a year. The water production is a high rate as well compared to RO production.

Ultraviolet Purification Disadvantages

One of the main drawbacks to ultraviolet purification is that it doesn’t remove metals nor the ions, particles, or colloids found in the water. This can cause health problems or causes you to need other filtration methods on top of UV. This method also requires electric power to run so if you’re electricity ever goes out , you won’t have a source of purified water.

Choose Shamrock Plumbing For Your Water Purification Needs

Shamrock Plumbing understands how important good, clean water to drink. We’re here to help you with your water purification needs and questions. Give us a call at 801-505-9505 if you have any questions and/or are looking for an installation or repair. We’re happy to serve you!

Water Purification

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