How does reverse osmosis work?
The purification system uses a membrane that has pores small enough to capture contaminants. This way the water is purified. These systems also come with self-cleaning mechanisms that push contaminants away from the membrane.
Advantages of reverse osmosis
It is one of the most efficient filtration systems available. It can get rid of arsenic, selenium, silver, barium, cadmium, radium, mercury, lead, viruses, bacteria. It can eliminate bad taste and also smell.
It is one of the cheapest to maintain and operate. It will cost you 5 cents per gallon.
The system is not designed to contain organic compounds. It needs to operate in combination with another filtration system, like ultraviolet filters and carbon filters.
The process is very slow, and a home system can produce 15 gallons of filtered water. It also wastes a lot of water. For every gallon filtered, there are wasted 3 to 10 gallons. The membrane is very fragile and will get damaged over time.
Types of reverse osmosis membranes
There are two main types of membranes, Cellulose Triacetate (CTA) and Composite of Thin Film (TFC). TFC membranes are more effective at catching dangerous organisms, but they get damaged faster.