Reverse Osmosis

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse Osmosis is one of the 13 processes we use to make your water the best tasting in San Diego. Revrse Osmosis also referred to as RO is a Membrane Technology that became commercialized in the United States in the 1960’s for desalting water and then in the 1980’s for drinking water when the EPA required safer drinking water and enacted the “Safe Drinking Water Act” or  “SDWA” for short.

Their are five membrane processes commonly used in the production of drinking water  they are RO, NF, ultrafiltration (UF), microfiltration (MF), and electrodialysis/electrodialysis reversal (ED/EDR). We use RO of course in our store which is the best membrane process for drinking water. The other processes are used for water softeners, or to just remove certain contaminants or odors.

The first RO membranes were developed at the University of California at Los Angeles in the early 1960s by Loeb and Sourirajan, who produced a membrane to generate drinking water from seawater.

The two basic types of membranes currently used are asymmetric homogeneous and composite. A wide variety of materials are used, including cellulose acetate and polymers such as aromatic polyamides. RO membranes are semipermeable thus they are not porous, and have the ability to screen microorganisms and particulate matter in the source water. We use the highest quality.0002 micron semi-permeable membrane that only allows pure water molecules to pass with trace minerals.

Reverse Osmosis is essentially:

The transport of water from a solution having a high salt concentration to one having a low salt concentration through a membrane against the natural osmotic gradient by applying pressure to the more concentrated solution.

What Can Reverse Osmosis Do?

In reverse osmosis, the flow of water through the semipermeable membrane is reversed by applying external pressure to offset the hydrostatic pressure. This results in a concentration of minerals on one side of the membrane and pure water on the other side. Reverse osmosis can treat for a wide variety of health and aesthetic contaminants in water. Effectively designed, reverse osmosis equipment can treat aesthetic contaminants that cause unpleasant taste, color, and odor problems, such as a salty or soda taste caused by chlorides or sulfates.

Reverse osmosis can also be effective for treating arsenic, asbestos, atrazine, fluoride, lead, mercury, nitrate, and radium. When used with appropriate carbon pre-filtering, additional treatment can also be provided for such “volatile” contaminants as benzene, trichloroethylene trihalomethanes, and radon. Some reverse osmosis equipment is also capable of treating for Cryptosporidium. Reverse osmosis can be expected to play a major role in water treatment for years to come.

reverse osmosis

Our Reverse Osmosis membranes and processing system.

Reverse osmosis (also called ultrafiltration) is the most common process for reducing the salinity of brackish groundwater. In operation, a semipermeable membrane (the most essential element in the reverse osmosis method of demineralization) separates salty water of two different concentrations. Concentrations have a natural tendency to become equalized by a flow of water from the dilute side to the concentrated side (osmosis). But high pressure applied to the high concentration side of the membrane can reverse this direction of flow.

Freshwater diffuses through the membrane, leaving a more concentrated salt solution behind. The performance of reverse osmosis units is highly dependent on a number of water quality parameters. Suspended solids, dissolved organics, hydrogen sulfide, iron, and strong oxidizing agents (chlorine, ozone, and permanganate) are harmful to membranes.

This is why our entire 13 stage process is designed and calibrated for the water we receive at our location from the City of San Diego. Many water stores just purchase a system without calibrating it for the water entering their building which in return results in poor quality drinking water.


You can read more about our 13 stage system right HERE!