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What is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse Osmosis membranes have a pore size around 0.0001 microns.

Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a membrane separation process in which water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane. Reverse osmosis was developed in the 1950s as a method of desalinating sea water. RO is highly effective in removing many impurities from water, including total dissolved solids (TDS), turbidity, asbestos, radium, lead and other toxic heavy metals. In addition RO reduces microbes and virtually all dissolved substances, as well as many organic chemicals.

Today, Reverse Osmosis is used in numerous applications that require ultra-refined water as well as to provide water in homes and offices for drinking. RO water is considered to be the most convenient and thorough method of membrane filtration.

How it Works

Osmosis is the process by which water molecules pass through a semi-permeable membrane, flowing from the side of low solute concentration to the side of high solute concentration. By applying an external pressure to the side of higher concentration this flow is reversed and Reverse Osmosis is achieved.

The membrane is the workhorse of the RO system. It is responsible for rejecting up to 98 percent of the total dissolved solids in water. Reverse osmosis is only one stage of a typical RO system. Sediment and carbon pre or post filtration are normally included with an RO system to help address additional contaminants. The effectiveness of an RO system depends on the initial levels of substances that cause water supplies to be unhealthy or unappealing (foul tastes, smells or colors). RO also reduces many additional contaminants, which if left untreated can add to adverse health effects or decreased desirability.

What type of contaminants will reverse osmosis remove?

Contaminant Normal Rejection % Contaminant Normal Rejection %
Aluminum 96-98 Ammonium 80-90
Arsemoc 96-98 Borate 30-50
Bacteria 99+ Bromide 90-95
Boron 50-70 Calcium 93-98
Cadium 93-97 Chromate 85-95
Chloride 92-95 Cyanide 85-95
Copper 96-98 Ca, Mg (Hard.) 93-97
Fluoride 92-95 Lead 95-98
Iron 96-98 Magnesium 93-98
Manganese 96-98 Nickel 96-98
Mercury 94-97 Orthophosphate 96-98
Nitrate 90-95 Polyphosphate 96-98
Phosphate 95-98 Radioactivity 93-97
Potassium 93-97 Silicate< 92-95
Silica 80-90 Sodium 92-98
Silver 93-96 Sulfate 96-98
Zinc 96-98 Thiosulfate 96-98

Atlantic Filter’s reverse osmosis systems are available in many different configurations. Choose an Atlantic Filter Reverse Osmosis System to fit your specific needs.