It is difficult to see or believe that there are contaminants in water at first check. However, scientific evidence shows there are tons of harmful pollutants in tap water that make it unfit for drinking. The water from your municipal treatment plan is suitable for other household needs – washing, bathing, or gardening. The only way to make it fit for drinking is to filter out these contaminants.
There are many methods of water filtration. Likewise, there are tons of water filter systems out there. But the most used option is the reverse osmosis water filtration systems, due to its efficient and advanced filtration system. Newer smart tankless RO systems produce even better results, thanks to their tech-backed features. They are also suitable for small spaces, considering they do not come with tanks for water storage.
Deciding on the best water filtration system is complicated, considering the unending options in the market. This article discusses all you need to know about the best home water filtration systems and how to pick them out from the crowd of water filtration systems out there.
Why should people not drink tap water?
Tap water seems harmless. But then again, looks can be deceiving. If we have to rely on the only water source in our homes for our drinking water, then we will be putting ourselves in harm’s way. Why? Tap water coming from the municipal water plant contains several health-threatening contaminants. These contaminants, which are not visible to the ordinary eyes, are known causes of severe diseases and health conditions.
Although tap water is unfit for drinking, our body needs sufficient water to perform as expected. Without enough water in the system, we all are at risk of dehydration. So, we either find a safe alternative to tap water (which will be expensive) or find a way to make tap water fit for drinking (relatively affordable). Over the years, homeowners have always chosen the latter – filtering tap water to remove contaminants and make it safe for drinking.
There are several options to choose from regarding water purification. From distillation to ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis, homeowners have used different purification methods to get results. However, out of all the water purification solutions available, reverse osmosis systems are the most preferred due to its higher efficiency and ease-of-use.
Let’s find out what reverse osmosis is all about and why it is the homeowner’s favorite.
What is Reverse Osmosis (RO)?
To effectively answer the question of what is reverse osmosis, we must first talk about osmosis. Osmosis is just the movement of a weaker saline solution to a stronger solution. Osmosis happens everywhere around us. For instance, it is the principle driving the absorption of water from the blood by our kidneys. It is also the principle behind the absorption of nutrients into the plant system by the roots.
Reverse osmosis (RO), on the other hand, is osmosis happening in the reverse direction. Like every anti-clockwise reaction, it relies on energy (in the form of pressure) to drive itself. It is the forced movement of molecules of a more saline solution to a less saline solution through a semipermeable membrane. The pressure is necessary to ensure that the molecules pass through the tons of pores or holes on the semipermeable membrane, where the contaminants are withheld and the water molecules allowed to pass.
Reverse osmosis systems operate on the principles of reverse osmosis. These water filtration systems are designed to demineralize or deionize water by pressurizing it through the semipermeable RO membrane.
How does a RO water filter system work?
In addition to the osmosis definition, we already know what reverse osmosis is and what reverse osmosis water filtration systems do. Let’s take a look at how they do it.
What the reverse osmosis water filter systems do is clear: remove contaminants from tap water and make it suitable for drinking. But this process is in no way simple. The RO water purifiers are fitted with the necessary filters and RO membranes to ensure an efficient multi-stage filtration process.
For instance, there is a special filter that removes chlorine, sediments, and heavy metal at the first stage of filtration. Then the semipermeable membrane kicks in, removing the dissolved solids from the prefiltered water. The third stage is the post-filtration stage, where the post-filters polish the water to improve the taste and odor before storing it in the designated tank or releasing it to the end-user through the faucets.
Storage is only possible on the traditional reverse osmosis systems with tanks. In smart, tankless reverse osmosis home water filtration systems, the filtered water is not stored. Instead, it is released through the faucets immediately after filtration.
We have mentioned that tap water contains contaminants, and RO water purifiers are designed to remove them. How about we discuss what these specific contaminants are?
What does Reverse Osmosis remove from water?
One would think, “but tap water is already treated at the municipal water plant, why the need for an extra filtration?” Yes, tap water has already been purified, but it still contains tons of contaminants. This is why we rely on RO water purifiers to do the hard job of getting these contaminants out.
Interestingly, the reverse osmosis under-sink water filter units are effective against contaminants, irrespective of the water source. So, even if your household water is not from the municipal plant (tap water), the RO water systems will still take care of the contaminants in it.
Let’s start with the usual culprits – chlorine, sediments, debris, dirt, and bad taste and odor. There are other not-so-common contaminants, such as the heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), and the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Reverse Osmosis water purification systems can effectively remove 99% of such contaminants from tap water, leaving you with clean, pure, and great-tasting water for drinking.
We should also mention that RO water purifiers may be less effective against pesticides, herbicides, and chlorine. However, this only happens when the internal filters are worn out.
Reverse Osmosis and Ultrafiltration Systems – any link?
Discussions on reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration systems are not new and will not be ending soon. People tend to mix them up or treat them as the same. However, they are clearly different, as we will see.
The end result of both the reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration systems is the same – purified, contaminant-free water safe for drinking. The difference is in the way they make this happen. While ultrafiltration systems rely on their hollow fiber membrane as the porous media for the job, the reverse osmosis systems rely on spiral wound semipermeable membranes.
The nature of the membrane influences the type of filtration in both water filtration solutions. For RO systems, filtration is done outside in, while the ultrafiltration systems follow an inside-out pattern.
Another notable difference here is the pore sizes of the membranes in both systems. For ultrafiltration systems, the filtration is mild. It occurs only on the surface, thanks to the bigger pore sizes of its membrane. Conversely, the tiny pore sizes in the RO membrane ensures an advanced and more in-depth filtration process.
So, if you want filtered water with some water minerals like chlorine and dissolved salts in it, ultrafiltration systems will make that happen. Conversely, if you want even the faintest hint of contaminants out of your drinking water, the RO systems are your best bet. The membranes in RO systems have significant resistance to chlorine and remove it more effectively than the ultrafiltration water purifiers.
Reverse Osmosis and Bottled Water – which is better?
Bottled water is considered the best form of drinkable water in recent days. This is understandable. The water in these plastic water bottles has been adequately purified using the best water filtration systems out there. But the question is, is this better than the household drinking water from reverse osmosis systems?
While the purified water is fit for drinking after purification, it undergoes secondary pollution when stored for a very long period. The essence of filling plastic water bottles with water is to store them for a long time. This contradicts the very first essence of keeping our clean water clean and pure for drinking.
On the other hand, reverse Osmosis under-sink water filters deliver filtered water immediately after purification and ready for drinking. All you have to do is place your cup under the tankless reverse osmosis system faucets, fill it up, and drink. There is no storage in the equation. Hence, there are zero risks of second-hand pollution.
Likewise, bottled water will cost you more over a long time. Reverse Osmosis house water filters are cost-effective methods of getting drinkable water. Perhaps, the most interesting angle to this conversation is the environmental impact. Plastic waste is on the rise, and used plastic bottles are the leading cause. The more bottled water you buy, the more you contribute to this menace. So, you can protect the environment by trusting your water filtration needs to RO water purifiers.
What are the capabilities of a smart Reverse Osmosis system?
Smart Reverse Osmosis systems are significant upgrades to the traditional tanked RO systems. The word “smart” means these innovative RO systems are backed with technology to make filtration even more efficient. The overall unit is seamless to use for the homeowners.
More people are joining the smart, tankless Reverse Osmosis train, considering its vast benefits over the tanked models. What are these benefits? We have listed them below:
• Tankless Design
This is the most significant difference between tanked and smart tankless RO systems. Instead of storing filtered water in a tank until required (which might be a very long time), the tankless reverse osmosis systems delay purification until you turn on the faucet and deliver filtered water in seconds. The tankless design also means that you require little space to fit an under-sink water filter in your kitchen.
• Advanced Multi-stage Filtration
As mentioned in the previous sections of this discussion, the filtration in reverse osmosis home water filtration systems is the most advanced around. There are multiple filters dedicated to different stages of filtration. You can rest assured of the purest and great-tasting drinking water at all times.
• Real-time TDS Reading
Always have your water quality displayed on the smart TDS monitoring panel. The real-time TDS reading is a measure of your water purity level.
• Smart Faucets
With smart faucets fitted with your smart RO systems, it is more convenient and seamless to get your filtered whenever thirst knocks.
• Smart Replacement Notice
One challenge that comes with owning an RO water purifier is knowing when to replace the filters. The smart replacement notice solves this by automatically notifying you when your smart tankless reverse osmosis system’s filters are due for replacement.
• Self-Clean Feature
This feature means the smart RO systems can clean themselves whenever they are due for one, without your input. You can invest your time in other important domestic works.
Should you buy a smart tankless RO system?
If you are going to remove purifies from your tap water, you should do it the right way. So, by all means, yes, get yourself a smart tankless RO system.
The benefits that come with owning a RO system are numerous. It gets even better when you opt for the smart, tankless reverse osmosis systems over the traditional, tanked models. These newer models are more efficient at filtering off contaminants, effective against more impurities, and leverages tech to make the user experience even better.
Waterdrop is a giant in the water purification industry. Over the years, the company has developed several water purification solutions, each offering a unique solution to your water filtration needs. Their newest introductions are the smart, tankless RO systems designed to provide you with and your household clean, pure, and great-tasting water at all times.
With tech-centered features and human-friendly capabilities, Waterdrop smart reverse osmosis water purification systems are fast becoming homeowners’ favorites in the market. Features like a smart replacement notice, a real-time TDS reading, smart faucets, and self-clean components are some of the reasons you should consider these smart tankless RO systems over others.
So, if people are in the market for the best Waterdrop smart tankless RO systems for their home, they should check the Waterdrop TSU 0.01μm Ultra-Filtration Under Sink Water Filter System, and other Waterdrop Tankless Reverse Osmosis Systems.