If you’re trying to live a healthy active lifestyle it starts with what you eat and drink. Everything you eat has to be washed in water, have water added to it, or be cooked in water so water is a huge part of your healthy life. It has to be.
The water treatment systems in America’s cities and towns are the safest in the world, but even here there are problems from time to time; just ask the people in Flint, Michigan.
When that happens you and your families (neighbors, friends, etc.) will be exposed to a whole alphabet soup of bacteria and pathogens; E. coli, Giardia intestinalis, Hepatitis A and others. When all the water coming into your house is contaminated or unsafe, what do you do?
Household-wide health hazards, such as mold, require household-wide treatments. Contaminated water is no different. You need to treat all the water coming into your house. Many companies have exactly that kind of solution with something called whole house reverse osmosis systems.
These systems treat all the water coming into your house before it gets to any of your faucets, the ice maker in the refrigerator, the dishwasher, the bathtubs, or showers. That sounds great, but a little explanation would probably be better, so keep reading.
Reverse osmosis is a water purification method that removes ions and molecules from water by using pressure. Water is forced through a membrane or filter that catches larger molecules but allows water molecules to pass through. The large molecules, bacteria, and particulate matter are trapped on one side of the filter while water makes it through to the other side.
Without the pressure being applied, normal osmosis would take place with water moving from the freshwater side (where water concentration is high) over to the contaminated side (where water concentration is lower). Reverse osmosis literally reverses this normal process by using pressure to move the concentration of water uphill to a region of higher water concentration.
Reverse osmosis, also known as RO, can be applied to the water supply for the entire house.
The Water Geeks have several RO systems that deserve a good look. They produce a minimum of 300 gallons of purified water a day. One produces 500 gallons a day and a third one, an industrial model for businesses, produces 1000 gallons a day of clean, purified water.
They have to be attached to the incoming water line, using the pressure from the city water line to power the reverse osmosis process. When you turn the water on in the kitchen or bathroom, water flowing out of the faucet lowers the pressure on the freshwater side of the membrane filter. Pressure from the city line pushes water through the filter, trapping the particulates, bacteria, and other contaminants on the other side.
The various filters in the system have to be changed about once every six months. Some RO systems also include charcoal filtration to improve the taste of the water in addition to removing contaminants. The charcoal filter will also have to be changed every six months.
The water pressure coming into your house from the RO system will be a direct result of how many gallons per minute it can produce. Since all the water has to come through the RO, a system that produces 10 gallons per minute should be sufficient for a small household.
If you have a larger house or a large family that uses a lot of water, you might need a larger system. You’ll also need to concern yourself with something called the Waste Water Ratio.
The wastewater ratio is a measure of how much water the RO system wastes as it does its work. A ratio of 2:1 would mean it wastes, or flushes away, two gallons of water for every one gallon of pure water that it produces.
If your house uses 200 gallons of water a day, it means another 400 gallons will be wastewater. To the city though, all they’ll see is that your house is using 600 gallons of water a day, and you’ll be billed accordingly.
A 2:1 ratio is an exceedingly good ratio, so if you’re using a reverse osmosis system with a 2:1 ratio your monthly water bill will be doubled. How much is the health of you and your family worth to you? Most people would say their health is priceless.