Reverse Osmosis Filters At Home Are Wasting Our Precious Water Resources
When reverse osmosis water filters were developed in the late 1950s, it made perfect sense to use this technology in the home. Today, however, we have to do everything we can to conserve water. And reverse osmosis filters discard most of the water that passes through the system. Even the best systems discard four gallons of water for every gallon of drinking water produced. Why pay to dump water down the drain?
In 1959, scientists at the University of California were the first to show that the reverse osmosis process could be used to remove salt and produce clean water. This technology was actively promoted during the Kennedy administration. The slogan: “To the moon and let the desert bloom.” With government support, a breakthrough was made in the production of reverse osmosis water filters with a polymeric cellulose acetate membrane.
The next step was to put these new RO Plant Price in Pakistan into practice. The city of Coalinga, California, was chosen as the location for the first commercial plant where the process was refined. The plant was commissioned in 1965 and produced 6,000 gallons per day from locally produced brackish water.
This was a big improvement for residents because before the plant was built, drinking water had to be brought in by truck. Seawater is about ten times more salty than brackish groundwater. A power plant was then built in La Jolla to solve the problems of converting seawater to freshwater.
The discovery of reverse osmosis filters had an impact around the world. In the Middle East and North Africa, desalination plants produce trillions of liters of purified water every day. The process is also used to desalinate water in the home.
There are two types of membranes for household reverse osmosis filters. These are the cellulose triacetate membrane (CTA) and the thin film composite membrane (TFC). When deciding which of the two membranes to use, filtration efficiency and chlorine resistance must be considered. The CTA membrane is more resistant to chlorine, but only rejects 93% of the contaminants.
TFC/TFM membranes reject 98% of contaminants, but can only be used with chlorine-free water. Most public water supplies are chlorinated. Reverse osmosis filter membranes can be manufactured in a variety of geometric configurations. Water pressure pushes water molecules through the membrane, leaving impurities behind. These impurities, now more concentrated, are discharged into the drainage system.
The medium reverse osmosis system consists of a pre-filter to remove chlorine and sludge, a reverse osmosis membrane, a storage tank and activated carbon after the filter.
Research is continuing to improve desalination membranes, as well as membranes for water regeneration and hazardous waste recovery. This technology is certainly needed.
However, for domestic use, a system that does not waste water is preferable. Advances in water filtration technology have made reverse osmosis water filters obsolete. Do your research, there are much cheaper and environmentally friendly alternatives.
Renee Smallwood has worked in health care for more than 30 years. She knows firsthand the health effects of proper hydration. Learn more about what you can do to ensure you have the best water for a healthy lifestyle,