Are you worried that the water you are drinking may contain contaminants and harmful chemicals? If this is your concern, a reverse osmosis (RO) system may solve the problem. Installing an RO unit in your home gives you access to purified drinking water. An RO system is useful especially in places where tap water is known to be contaminated or in areas where there is abundance of sea water rather than fresh water.
While an RO system has many benefits, it also has drawbacks. It is non-selective so it also removes minerals such as calcium and magnesium which the body needs. This leads to discussions or a debate on whether RO water is good to drink or not.
Advantages of RO Water
The filtering system of the reverse osmosis process effectively removes lead. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, lead may enter the drinking water when the pipes that contain lead corrode. Even a small amount of lead in the blood may cause learning and behavioral problems, repressed growth, anemia and lower IQ among others.
2. Safe Option for Cancer Patients
According to Medline Plus, cancer patients can drink RO water during and after cancer treatment. Cancer patients have weakened immune system and drinking untreated water that contains microorganisms may cause infection. Because RO water is purified, it is a safe option for cancer patients.
3. Free from Cryptosporidium
Cryptosporidium is a parasite that thrives in contaminated water. Once you drink the water, it will live in the small intestines, causing fever, diarrhea and stomach cramps. The reverse osmosis process filters this type of parasite.
4. Does Not Contain Sodium Molecules
Large sodium molecules cannot pass through the RO membrane. A water that has no sodium content benefits people who have sodium restrictions and people suffering from kidney and liver diseases.
5. Does Not Contain Other Harmful Chemicals
Most reverse osmosis systems are capable of filtering harmful chemicals such as arsenic, copper, chromium, nitrates, nitrites, selenium, barium, radium and total dissolved solids (TDS) among others.
6. RO Water Helps You Save Money in the Long Run
If you are concerned about what might be in your tap water, chances are you’ll buy bottled water more frequently. According to Beverage Marketing Corp, a research and consulting firm, bottled water surpasses the consumption of carbonated drinks in the US in 2016.
Bottled water is expensive while many of those plastic bottles go unrecycled, leaving a significant environmental impact.
Disadvantages of RO Water
1. RO Water Is Demineralized.
During the process of reverse osmosis, all mineral particles that are larger than the water molecules cannot pass through the membrane. These include minerals such as sodium, magnesium, iron and calcium. These minerals that are important for our overall health are no longer present in an RO water.
2. RO Water Is Tasteless.
A water that does not contain any trace of minerals is tasteless, and this is true for RO water.
3. RO Water Is Normally Acidic.
Pure water is typically neutral, with a pH level of 7.0. However, when exposed to air, the pH level of the RO water drops down to acidic level. The average pH of RO water is between 5.0 and 6.0. An acidic water causes the body to have mineral imbalance. Adding back minerals to the RO water will raise its pH level higher, making it neutral.
Video: Alkaline vs acidic water
4. Some Contaminants May Still Be Present in the RO Water.
Some RO systems can only filter large molecules but can’t filter volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) as well as chloramines, chlorine and other synthetic chemicals that can be found in municipal water. However, more advanced RO systems now feature multi-stage filtration media that can remove pesticides and chlorine.
RO water has both advantages and disadvantages. If you already installed a reverse osmosis system, you can easily improve the quality of RO water.
Improving RO Water
Despite the known disadvantages of RO water, many people still install RO units and consume purified drinking water. That is because there are also ways to remineralize RO water.
One common option is to install an add-on remineralization cartridge to an existing system. With a remineralization cartridge, you can add back minerals such as calcium and magnesium to the RO water.
If the add-on cartridge is too costly for you, an alternative is to add a pinch of Himalayan salt to a glass of RO water. Video: Adding Himalayan salt to water . There are also other options available such as adding mineral tablets or using RO water to prepare spa water among others.
Is RO water good for you?
Generally, yes. If the water supply in your area is subpar or known to be contaminated with toxic substances, a reverse osmosis system works best in filtering tap water and making it safe for drinking. Here at purewatefy we are 100% committed to your health. However, you’ll benefit more if you add back essential minerals to the RO water such as calcium and magnesium. It will make your water taste better and healthier.