What is Reverse Osmosis Filtered Water and Why Do People Like it?

If you’ve ever researched water purification techniques or even purchases purified water in the past, you’ve probably heard of reverse osmosis and wondered “Just what is reverse osmosis, and why should I even care?” That’s a pretty good question if you’re interested in water quality or having control over what is in your water. Reverse osmosis is a filtration technique that pulls nearly everything out of the water that is passed through the system. A reverse osmosis system utilizes high-pressure levels to press water through a very fine mesh screen, and all the extras in the water get rejected and pushed back away from the final water. All the leftover stuff is sent away from your drinking water in a concentrated stream that’s wastewater. This leaves you with top quality drinking water that has little else in it. So the next time you wonder what is reverse osmosis filtered water, just know that it’s carefully processed water that has been screened at a really fine level. That’s the simple and quick answer to what is reverse osmosis but there’s more to it than that that we’ll get into down below to hopefully answer most of your reverse osmosis questions.

What Does Reverse Osmosis Remove?

A key concern when trying to figure out what is reverse osmosis is what does reverse osmosis remove when water passes through that specialized screen. These tiny screens have holes about 0.02 microns in size or smaller. The system will remove bacteria and viruses effectively because both are much too large to fit through the screens in the system. That means things like salmonella, E. coli, fecal bacteria, and others will all be taken out of your water before you drink it if you have a good reverse osmosis system installed.

It will remove sodium from your water, which makes it the perfect addon to a water softener that adds salt to your water. It can remove all sorts of other compounds and contaminants such as lead, mercury, nickel, copper, chromate, cadmium, Barium and most other metals. The screen in a reverse osmosis system generally won’t take out chlorine from the water, which is a major concern for most homeowners, but that doesn’t mean the system overall can’t help you with that. Most systems come with activated carbon filters as well as the RO screen, and they are very good at removing chlorine and other ions from water.

Reverse osmosis is also very good at removing fluoride if that’s a concern of yours. In fact, it’s so effective at removing fluoride we put together a complete article that focuses on that question specifically. If you want to know how well a reverse osmosis system removes fluoride from your drinking water, take a look at our article to learn more about how the system works and how it can give you control over the total fluoride in your drinking water.

The one downside to the question of what does reverse osmosis remove is that it can remove beneficial minerals as well. The system will often take out beneficial minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc from your water. That’s why the very best systems have a remineralization filter at the end that puts those helpful minerals back into your water again. This also restores the taste of the water in the end.

Reverse osmosis is a reliable tool for cleaning water and making it more pleasant to drink, but it’s not the right solution for everyone. Users that want to keep drinking minerals from their water supply will have to look for other solutions besides for reverse osmosis, or they will have to add a mineral recharge filter to the system as well.