Reverse Osmosis Question
Hi, I´ve read that when water is filtered by RO it cleans out the electrolytes and minerals, making the water acid and thus damaging to our health. Do you know if this is true? I was also informed that RO is not recommended for small children. Is RO the best way to go on filters, or is there something better and more complete? Any information on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
RO and children
Reverse Osmosis removes TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) from your water. This includes things like Fluoride which cities add to municipal water supplies because it is generally thought of as promoting healthy teeth and gums, especially in children. So, if you've heard RO water or bottled water isn't good for children that would be the reason why--because it takes out the Flouride and other additives the city puts in.
As for RO water not being healthy for you, I've never heard that. I have however heard from customers who have specific illnesses that they need certain minerals, ect. that RO's take out and therefore they cannot use an RO system. Generally speaking though, for the average household RO water would be considered some of the best drinking water you could provide for your family. Hope this helps.
I have to say that if you do some reading on the web, you can certainly find information that says that RO water isn't an ideal choice. The argument is that being stripped of minerals, the water becomes acidic. When cooking/soaking foods, it would take the minerals and suck them out of your food. Much other information that really has me unsure if an RO system is really the best choice. My girlfriend has one because it's about the only thing to remove fluoride. I tested the water's pH with litmus paper and found it to be a little acidic, but so far almost all water I've tested comes out about the same.
I'm wondering if anyone knows of any quality, sure-fire ways to re-constitute RO water? That is, use RO to totally strip the water of all contaminants, then add minerals back to bring it back to life so to speak. Is this something anyone is doing?
Reverse Osmosis is NOT the best choice.
I have done some extensive research on reverse osmosis and water purification.
What I have discovered is that reverse osmosis wastes water. It takes anywhere from 2 - 4 gallons of water to get just one gallon of clean water.
Most reverse osmosis systems are tested using a water temperature of 77 degrees. Based on this temperature, a flow rate is determined. For every degree less than this, flow rates across the membrane decrease by 1 to 2 percent.
So if the temperature of the water is 60 degrees, the unit will produce water at about 15% - 25% less than rated and produce about 15% - 20% more waste water.
Secondly, reverse osmosis does strip water of its trace minerals. A study was
done in South Africa to purify brackish groundwater. Brackish water has a salinityof .5 - 35 parts per thousand, which makes it unfit for human consumption.
The researchers used nanofiltration and reverse osmosis to convert it to fresh
water, which has a salinity of < .5 parts per thousand. As expected, the
water was stripped of it trace minerals. The researchers had to add back the trace minerals to the water so that it would meet the standards of the World
So, instead of looking for a way to add back trace minerals, I would recommend that you consider a high quality carbon water filter system. Make sure that the system has been tested to remove synthetic organic compounds.
The reason why this is important is that the Associated Press recently reported that pharmaceutical drugs where found in the drinking water of 28 major cities. Carbon water filters with coconut shell carbon can serve as an
effective way to remove pharmaceuticals from your water.
Good luck to you.
thanks for the info, John. i have been looking into a good NSF certified and tested carbon-based filter for a while, but the one and only problem with those is they won't remove fluoride. unfortunately, if you read up on it, there's a difference between natural healthy fluoride that exists in most any water and there's the waste byproduct fluoride that companies need to get rid of, and they do so by putting it in our water supply. the latter is much more harmful and sadly, carbon-based filters aren't able to filter it out...though they do leave all the other healthy minerals in your water. hence the reason my girlfriend went RO, but to me, the lack of minerals and water waste as John mentioned just aren't worth it.
I guess there is no ~perfect~ filter out there! Sadly
Water should be considered a transporter of nutrients, not a supplier. Get the nutrients you need from a proper diet and supplements. Many of these so-called 'trace' minerals are just that, so minute and so insignificant that anyone that depends on their drinking water for nutrition is missing the boat.
Furthermore, aren't these minerals found in ground water inorganic rather than organic? How do inorganic minerals metabolize with the cells of your body? The calcium from the dissolved rock is not the same as from milk, cheese and other food sources.
There is one RO company that does have a post calcium filter that adds organic calcium back into the water at a regulated rate. This is mostly for taste rather than nutrition.
Fluoride is a-whole-nother animal. It was never intended to be ingested but rather as a treatment for teeth in children. There is much controversy as to whether it is at all needed. Any research will find a great number of dissenters and studies that show it is not needed to be added to public water supplies. There is far greater damage to teeth by eating sweets, lack of brushing and other daily dental care. Do a Google on fluoride / risks / benefits.
I worked in Kenya for three years in remote locations with no public water, no dentists and no candy and nearly every local had wonderfully bright and strong teeth. Go figure.
RO will increase with use as time goes on and water conditions become more critical. RO water production is convenient, consistent, of high quality and relatively cheap. Get the facts and avoid sensationalism.
Andy Christensen, CWS-II