Reverse osmosis removes the contaminants from the unfiltered water when the pressure forces the water to pass through the semi-permeable membrane. Here, the water will flow from the more concentrated medium of the RO membrane to the less concentrated side where the contaminants are less. It is done for providing clean water to the user. The freshwater that is produced by this system is called permeate. The concentrated water that is left over is called brine. 

Here, the semi-permeable membrane that is being used in the process has small pores that actually block the contaminants but only allow water molecules to flow through. In general osmosis, water becomes concentrated as it passes through the membrane for obtaining balance on both sides. On the other side, reverse osmosis blocks the contaminants from entering the less concentrated medium of the membrane. For instance, when the pressure is given to a certain volume of saltwater during the reverse osmosis, the salt stays behind, and only the clean water is flown through it. 

How Does The Reverse Osmosis Works?

In the reverse osmosis system, the unit helps remove the sediment and the chlorine from the water with the help of the prefilter before it enables the water to force and pass through the semi-permeable membrane removing the dissolved particles. As the water left the RO membrane, it passes through the pro filter for polishing the water before it again enters into the dedicated faucet. Reverse osmosis water filter systems have various stages depending upon the number and types of prefilters and filters used. 

Stages of the Reverse Osmosis System

The membrane is the main point of the reverse osmosis system. But this unit also has other types of filtration techniques. These filters contain at least 3-4 stages of filtration. Most of the RO filters have sediment and carbon filters apart from the RO membrane. These filters are either called the pro or prefilters, depending upon their functions. As a whole, each type of RO unit contains three types of filters-

  1. Sediment filter- it helps in reducing the particles like dust, rust and dirt from water
  2. Carbon filter- it helps in reducing the volatile organic compounds, contaminants like chlorine and so on. 
  3. Semi-permeable membrane- this membrane helps in removing 97% of the TDS or total dissolved solids present in the water. 

As the water enters the RO system, it first goes through the pre-filtration process. This process includes a carbon filter and the sediment filter for removing the sediment and chlorine from the water. Next, the water passes through the reverse osmosis membrane, where the dissolved particles get removed; even the smallest particles are removed easily. 

After the filtration is done, water flows to the storage tank, stored until needed. The RO system continues to filter water until the storage is full. Once the drinking water faucet is turned on, water comes through the post filter for polishing the water before drinking. 

Hence, from the above points, it is clear that reverse osmosis water filter systems are highly effective to purify the water in different stages. 

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