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Nature's Beverage :: RO FAQ

RO FAQ  
 

Q.  WHAT IS REVERSE OSMOSIS (RO)?

Q.  WHAT IS AN RO SYSTEM?

Q.  FACTORS AFFECTING AN RO SYSTEM

Q.  DOES AN RO SYSTEM DISINFECT WATER?

Q.  HOW DOES AN RO SYSTEM KNOW WHEN TO PRODUCE WATER?

Q.  WHAT DOES  A TYPICAL RO TAKE OUT OF WATER?

GLOSSARY OF TERMS


REVERSE OSMOSIS INFORMATION

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WHAT IS REVERSE OSMOSIS (RO)?

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a water treatment process that removes undesirable materials from water by using pressure to force the water molecules through a semi-permeable membrane. This process is called "Reverse" Osmosis because a concentrated water solution (raw) is forced under pressure through a membrane to yield a diluted water solution (treated) for consumption. This treated water does not contain contaminants such as; chemicals, ionized salts, heavy metals, collides and organic molecules. The RO reduces the molecules down to a molecular weight of 100 and the rejection of dissolved salts is typically 95% to greater than 99%. Reverse Osmosis is the finest level of filtration available.

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WHAT IS AN RO SYSTEM?

A typical  system consists of:

  1. One or more Pre-filters to remove silt, iron, chlorine or other particulate matter.

  2. A membrane to remove raw water contaminates.

  3. A pressure sensitive hydraulic on/off pressure valve to send pre-filtered water to the membrane to make treated water for storage.

  4. A small storage tank for treated water.

  5. May includea post-filter to polish stored water and to maximize its taste just prior to consumption.

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FACTORS AFFECTING AN RO SYSTEM

Permeate flux and salt rejection are the key performance parameters of the reverse osmosis process. They are mainly influenced by variable parameters such as; pressure, temperature, recovery, and feed water salt concentration.

Pressure

Increased feed water pressure will increase permeate flux and decrease the permeate TDS. With excessive pressure the membrane may become deformed or compacted and a decrease in product flow will result.

Temperature

Increased temperature will increase permeate flux, which increases salt passage. It is also important to note that every unit is rated for a product flow temperature of 77°F (25°C). With a temperature decrease, the product flow will decrease. On average the membranes lose about 2% production for every degree below 77°F.

Recovery

The recovery is the ratio of the permeate flow to the feed flow. When recovery is increased, the permeate flux will decrease and the salt passage will increase.

Feed water Concentration

Increased TDS or salt concentrations will decrease permeate flux and increase salt passage. This can also lead to surface coating or fouling by the salt.

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DOES A  RO SYSTEM DISINFECT WATER?

While the membrane used in an RO system will physically screen out and remove many microorganisms in water, including pathogenic bacteria, the system must not be relied upon to make a biologically questionable water supply safe and potable for consumption. Membrane imperfections or faulty water seals in the system could allow untreated water to pass through and over time bacteria could grow on or through the membrane.  Be sure the raw water source for your RO system is safe and potable for consumption by having a sample tested by a certified water testing facility. If you want guaranteed disinfected water Nature’s Beverage sells a RO System that has a UV generator unit that system water passes through before going to an RO faucet.

 

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HOW DOES AN  RO SYSTEM KNOW WHEN TO PRODUCE WATER?

A standard RO System has a  hydraulic on/off pressure valve which is controlled by source water pressure to send pre-filtered water to the membrane to make water for storage. 

 

When water pressure in the storage tank builds up to 90% of the incoming line pressure, the standard hydraulic on/off pressure valve shuts off the flow of water to the system, stopping treated water production. When you open the RO faucet, system pressure drops as treated water exits the tank. The standard hydraulic on/off pressure valve turns on when the tank pressure is less than the source water pressure and treated water is produced through the RO system. The cycle repeats itself.

 

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WHAT DOES A TYPICAL RO TAKE OUT OF WATER?

CHEMICALS

REDUCES BY

OTHER COMTAMINENTS

REDUCES BY
THMs (chloroform) 95% barium 97%
benzene 83% bicarbonate 94%
carbon tetrachloride 87% cadmium 97%
p-dichlorobenzene 93% calcium 97%
TCE (trichloroethylene) 98% chromate 92%
1, 1-dichloroethylene 86% copper 97%
1, 1, 1-trichloroethane 93% detergents 97%
1, 2-dichloropropene 95% fluoride 90%
cis-1,3-dichloropropene 95% lead 97%
chlorobenzene 95% magnesium 97%
ethylbenzene 95% nickel 97%
hexachlorobutadiene 95% nitrates 80%
ortho-xylene 95% total dissolved solids 95%
PCE (tetrachloroethylene 95% potassium 92%
toluene 95% radium 97%
trans-1, 2-dichloroethene 95% selenium 97%
1, 1, 2, 2-tetrachloroethane 95% silicate 96%
1, 2-dichlorobenzene 95% silver 85%
1, 2-dichloropropane 95% sodium 92%
1, 1-dichloroethane 95% strontium 97%
chlorine 99% sulfate 97%
EDB 99% PCB's 97%
DBCP 99% insecticides 97%
Atrazine 97% herbicides 97%

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GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Absorbate:

Material to be removed from solution.

Absorbent:

Material on which absorption will occur.

Air Gap:

A clear vertical space between the end of the RO drainline and the flood level rim of the house sanitary drain system connection point.

Concentrate/Reject:

The portion of water that does not pass through the membrane and goes to the drain.

Feed Water:

An incoming water source to the RO system.

Flux:

The rate of transfer of fluid, particles, or energy across a given surface.

GAC: Granular Activated Carbon is regarded as one of the most effective water treatment materials in absorbing many types of soluble organic materials found in water.  
Membrane:

A thin layer that forms a barrier, selective to the passage of chemicals.

Permeate: 

Portion of the raw source water, which passes through the membrane. RO system treated water for consumption.

Reverse Osmosis:

The movement of raw source water through a semi-permeable membrane when pressure is applied to yield treated water.

Surface Area:

The surface of a material available for absorption to take place.

Thin FilmComposite 

(TFC):

Thin membrane bonded to an anisotropic support layer. Synthetic fabric supports this composite. Thin film offers highest degree of selectivity, flux, and chemical stability.

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS):

Total amount of dissolved solids/salts in raw/treated

(TDS) water.

Ultraviolet (UV) Light:

Radiation (Light) having a wavelength between 100-3900 angstroms.

UV Germicidal Light: UV light that peaks at 2,537 angstrom wavelength and is in a wavelength that lies between 200-300 nanometers which kills all disease causing micro organisms.

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