use reverse osmosis(R/O) systems represent a rapidly growing segment
of the home water treatment industry. R/O systems are convenient
and easy to use and they provide a moderately good quality of drinking
water when incoming tap water does not contain an excessive amount
water conditioning industry has popularized this type of water treatment
device by combining it with water conditioners(softeners) and marketing
what is called a "Whole House"
water treatment solution.
reverse osmosis systems are sold through direct sales operations
into homes with elaborate presentations, water tests etc. and invariably
tend to be highly overrated and over marketed compared to their
osmosis is not for every household, particularly situations where
it is important that bacteria or other microbiological problems
require removal. Contrary to what some salespersons tend to call
a reverse osmosis system, it is NOT a "purifier". Purification
requires the destruction and removal of bacteria, something which
R/O does not accomplish.
in-home medical studies of hundreds of systems in Canada have clearly
demonstrated that reverse osmosis can increase
bacteria levels in the treated water to levels which are thousands
of times higher than occur in the incoming tap water, leading to
exceptionally high incidences of gastrointestinal disorders.
US reverse osmosis has understandably been strangely quiet about
these problems which have been openly published in Canadian medical
journals, particularly in light of the growing number of illnesses
being attributed to bacterial problems in municipal and rural water
systems in the United States.
water cleanliness with respect to bacteria is unimportant
to you, reverse osmosis will provide you with good tasting water
under most tap water conditions, provided regular maintenance is
performed on the membrane and filter components.
maintenance will normally amount to $125 to $150 in new membranes
and filters on a yearly basis. Divide these typical numbers by the
number of gallons of water you plan to use during a year and you
will probably find that the cost per gallon approaches 50 cents.
the other hand, if biological impurities are of concern to you or
your family(children, pregnant wife, immune system problem, elderly)
then you should consider a home water system system such as steam
distillation which removes these potentially dangerous contaminants
in their entirety. See System
you decide to purchase a reverse osmosis system, remember that irrespective
of the supposed quality of the output water produced by these units,
their cost of manufacture is extremely low due to the use of plastics
and other inexpensive components.
you can find units in "big box" and discount stores for
as low as $150 which will give you acceptable performance for a
few months to perhaps a year or so. After that, the complete system
is essentially useless.
a few hundred dollars more(perhaps $400 to $600) one can purchase
a terrific R/O system with built in water quality monitors, etc.
Such units are displayed on our Shopping
be perfectly honest, it is a complete and total waste of money to
spend more than $600 on a top of the line home use reverse osmosis
unit, regardless of marketing claims. Above that cost point, it
is virtually impossible to improve on water quality or performance
unless one goes to commercial systems costing several thousand dollars.