Using Reverse Osmosis With Other Technologies

A reverse osmosis system is designed to remove dissolved contaminants from water.  As with all water purification devices there are a range of limits within which the system much function in order to produce a high quality product water.  For instance, reverse osmosis systems are not supposed to be used on water that is excessively hard, and they are not designed to make water that is contaminated with bacteria safe to drink.  So in many cases, reverse osmosis is combined with other water purification technologies to address a number of water issues.

Reverse Osmosis & UV

UV systems are designed to kill bacteria, viruses, and other living organisms in water but will not remove any chemical contaminants.  Reverse osmosis systems will remove chemical contaminants but are not capable of making water safe from micro-organisms.  It's no wonder that UV and Reverse Osmosis are often used together to produce water that is very clean and safe to consume.  But was is the best way to use these system together?

The most common way to use a UV system with a reverse osmosis system is to cut the line that connects the reverse osmosis system to the faucet and install an inline UV system.  Because the water flow rate through this line is low, a 1 or 2 gallon per minute UV system works nicely.  The UV system is left on all the time, and when the reverse osmosis faucet is depressed, water travels from the reverse osmosis system, through the UV system, and then to the faucet.  The result is great tasting, chemical free, safe water.

Reverse Osmosis & Water Softeners

There are limits to the amount of dissolved hardness and iron that a reverse osmosis system can remove.  If hardness and iron levels exceed the reverse osmosis systems limits, the quality of product water will decrease, and the lifespan of the reverse osmosis membrane will be greatly reduced.  When hardness levels in the raw water are very high it is advisable to soften the water before it enters the reverse osmosis system.  A water softener will not only accomplish this, but will provide soft water for the entire home.  This offers many cost saving and time saving advantages.  Water softeners will often remove a high amount of iron.  When reverse osmosis feed water is low in hardness and iron, the reverse osmosis system will produce water faster, will produce higher quality water, and will require less maintenance.