Many households are considering a reverse osmosis system for their water filtration needs. However, they have come across conflicting information on how healthy or safe consuming RO water is. Perhaps, they are worried about the “acidity” or the lack of healthy minerals.

However, RO water consumption doesn’t pose serious adverse side effects. If anything, the reverse osmosis process protects you and your household from the definite adverse influence of water-borne contaminants.

Is Water Produced through the Reverse Osmosis System Acidic?

Yes, drinking water treated through reverse osmosis water filters is more acidic than natural water. While the pH level of reverse osmosis water ranges between 6 and 6.5, the pH of pure water ranges between 7 and 7.5.

Round PH alkaline and acidic indicators scale

So would you conclude that the acidic pH of RO water makes it unsafe to consume? If you think so, you should agree that milk, tea, fruit juice, coffee, and carbonated drinks should also be declared unfit for human consumption. These drinks have a lower pH than reverse osmosis water. Does that still make reverse osmosis water bad?

RO water is very safe to consume. This is backed up by the Environmental Protection Agency, which stated that water with a pH ranging from 6.5 to 8.5 is healthy and safe to consume.

The only exception is for those suffering from conditions such as gastric and duodenal ulcers and acid reflux.

We recommend they avoid drinking water produced through RO systems because it’s low-mineral water. Consuming mineralized water is recommended for this category of people.

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Healthy Minerals From Drinking water?

To answer this, you must know how reverse osmosis works. The RO filter uses the reverse osmosis membrane to enhance water quality and treat unfiltered tap water to produce purified water.

RO filters remove unwanted contaminants from your drinking water during the filtration process. These contaminants include total dissolved solids, which comprise all the minerals in your tap water. Among these minerals (calcium and magnesium, for instance) are beneficial minerals for the human body.

Yet, you must know that reduced mineral intake from your water has no significant effect on your body system. In the same way, minerals consumed through water have no considerable effect. You don’t need water to boost your daily mineral intake. You get enough minerals, vitamins, and other essential elements from consuming healthy food.

Many choose to focus on the dissolved minerals that reverse osmosis systems remove. But it’s also important to recognize that reverse osmosis removes harmful chemicals and other contaminants such as chloride, fluoride, etc., to produce pure water for your household.

The consumption of these contaminants through untreated tap water can trigger serious health complications such as kidney failure and so many others.

To fully grasp if water from reverse osmosis filters is bad for us or not, let’s delve into the benefits and drawbacks.

Benefits of Reverse Osmosis Water

Drinking water from the reverse osmosis water filter comes with certain perks.

Water Is Safe to Drink

Though there have been reports regarding the concern of the World Health Organization, drinking RO water is very safe. Freshwater filtered through a reverse osmosis unit may be free of essential minerals, but they are also free of harmful contaminants and other substances. This means no toxic substance will enter your body system through the water you drink.

The RO system uses the sediment filter, activated carbon filter, semi-permeable membrane, and a post-filter to get rid of water impurities. This is why it’s a relevant system in the water treatment industry. The RO system removes a wide range of contaminants such as dissolved solids and heavy metals.

This protects your household from various health complaints suggestive of water contamination.

Saves You the Cost of Bottled Water

Though the initial purchase cost of RO units may be high, it helps you save money in the long run. An alternative to using a water filter is water consumption in plastic water bottles. Aside from the environmental waste these plastic bottles create, you’ll have to keep buying them to stay hydrated. That can cost you hundreds of dollars monthly. Now, multiply that by a year.

With RO units, you won’t have to spend money on purchasing water. This will save you lots of money, and there will also be less environmental waste.

Softer Water

Magnesium and possibly calcium ions harden water, which can severely affect your plumbing system and appliances. RO filtration can reduce water hardness, protecting your pipes. In addition, unlike the water softener, it softens your water without adding sodium to it.

Drawbacks of Reverse Osmosis Water

Demineralized Water

RO filtration removes both essential minerals and harmful contaminants from your water. These essential nutrients play crucial roles in the body, such as improved dental health and blood regulation. This benefits both human and animal organisms.

However, this drawback is not a big deal because you can get sufficient mineral content from your food.

Expensive to Buy and Maintain

While reverse osmosis water has no real drawback, RO systems that produce it are not affordable for everyone. Aside from the high upfront purchase cost, you’ll need to maintain each filter that makes up RO systems.

This maintenance involves replacing these filters once or twice yearly. As for the RO membrane, you’ll need to replace it every couple of years.

Wastewater

RO filtration is wasteful during its production of pure water. For every gallon of treated water, 4 gallons of wastewater go down the drain. You can’t help this. That’s how the system works. However, there are ways to reduce the amount of water it wastes.

For instance, ensuring the RO unit has a permeate pump, and an automatic shut-off valve is one way to lessen water wastage.

About the Author

Lucas Greer

Lucas vs. Wild - Lucas is a true nature lover and survivalist. When he's not teaching science at school, he can be found in nature, hiking, climbing, camping, and rafting. He knows all the tricks and DIYs for making unclean water drinkable with simple means in an emergency. At school, his students love him for his exciting water filtration projects.

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