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Mar 12, 2020

Water Filter vs Reverse Osmosis

The Pure Water Systems Blog

 Healthy water comes in different forms and variations, so when looking for the best solution for your home, opt for one that suits your personal needs. One of the most commonly asked questions regarding water filtration is, “What is the difference between a water filter and a reverse osmosis system?”. We’re here to give you more information on both so you can make an informed decision.

What are the differences between water filtration and reverse osmosis purification?

When studying reverse osmosis vs filtered water, the differences are not immediately obvious and easy to determine by taste alone. Before we address the differences, it’s crucial to understand what each term means.

What is water filtration?

We’re all used to seeing bench top water filters or under sink filtration systems in modern kitchens and water filtration has become a normal part of everyday life, but what does it actually mean? In its simplest form, water filtration is the removal of impurities and contaminants from town or tank water.

The most simplistic version of this is the effect of water passing through a physical barrier that catches particles including, sediment and contaminants. 

What are the different methods for filtering water?

The method used to filter the water is determined by the requirements for that water and the volume involved. If it’s an industrial filtration system designed to supply thousands of homes with clean water, we can expect to see physical processes such as:

  • Filtration
  • Sedimentation

These are often combined with some biological processes, such as: 

  • Slow sand filters
  • Biologically active carbon

Finally, some chemical processes are part of the solution and include:

  • Flocculation
  • Chlorination
  • Electromagnetic radiation
  • Ultraviolet light

Smaller-scale, domestic usage will typically only involve one or two of these methods. This is acceptable as the filtered water has probably already been through the industrial filtration system before arriving in the home through taps.

Activated carbon filtration is most effective at removing or reducing impurities and contaminants such as chlorine, sediment, volatile organic compounds, poor taste and odour from water.

What is reverse osmosis?

Reverse osmosis purification is a popular system for purifying water and making it potable. It involves forcing pressurised water through very fine membrane filters that can remove chemical impurities and even capture particles as miniscule as bacteria.

What does reverse osmosis remove?

Reverse osmosis removes almost everything dissolved in the water produced. The result is water free of bacteria or contaminants, making it safe to drink. On the other hand, the water is also cleaned to the point where it’s stripped of its natural minerals and salts. All in all, reverse osmosis membranes can remove viruses, bacteria, parasites, TDS, heavy metals, fluoride, herbicides, pesticides, unpleasant odour and taste.

Is it possible to distinguish between osmosis and reverse osmosis?

When determining if it is possible to distinguish between osmosis and reverse osmosis, one must understand the physical differences in the way they’re produced. Osmosis occurs naturally and requires no additional energy into the system - it’s how plants transfer water molecules between cells and maintain their water content.

To reverse the osmosis process, energy is introduced as pressure, forcing the water molecules through a semipermeable membrane. This membrane does not permit the majority of dissolved salts, organics, bacteria and pyrogens to pass through and the resulting water is pure and drinkable.

Reverse osmosis vs filtered water

When comparing reverse osmosis vs filtered water, there are some differences:

  • Standard water filters will physically screen any dirt and sedimentary particles down to a size of about one micron but cannot remove dissolved chemicals.
  • Reverse osmosis filters and removes dissolved chemicals, valuable salts and minerals.

How does carbon water filtration work?

Bench Top Systems

Water filtration is reducing or removing contaminants from the water by using a filter to physically block contaminants from coming through and reducing chemicals through adsorption. Our carbon filtration method uses water pressure to force the water through an activated carbon filter, removing microorganisms, unpleasant water taste or odour and contaminants such as chlorine, helping to retain healthy minerals and effectively remove potentially harmful contaminants.

Whilst water filters may look the same, the quality of the filter you purchase and the stages and actions of filtration it provides will make a big difference in the quality of water you receive.

Our extensive range of filtration products varies from portable bench top options to under sink systems, shower and bath water filters and various cartridges to suit your filtration needs. Our systems are an environmentally friendly and economical choice for healthy, safer and great tasting water.

What contaminants do carbon water filters effectively remove?

  • Chlorine
  • Unpleasant taste and odour
  • Dirt
  • Sediment
  • Rust
  • Parasites such as giardia and cryptosporidium
  • Heavy metals
  • Arsenic
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)

How do reverse osmosis water purification systems work?

Reverse Osmosis Systems

Reverse osmosis (RO) is the ultimate in water filtration. This superior purifying process provides the highest quality water conveniently at the turn of a tap. General tap water contains volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as pesticides and herbicides, heavy metals and endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as fluoride, hormones and parasite cysts.

Using a reverse osmosis system will reduce all of these contaminants significantly, protecting your body from absorbing them and potentially vitalising your body:

  • First, the reverse osmosis water purification system filters the water through a carbon cartridge removing chlorine and sediment.
  • Next is the purification stage, where the water is pushed through a fine membrane (our Eco-Hero-50) designed to remove almost all contaminants, including lead, total dissolved solids (TDS) such as fluoride and more.
  • Finally, water flows through another carbon cartridge to polish the water before consumption, reducing 97% of all contaminants in your tap water.

The RO process removes minerals such as calcium and magnesium from the water, so replacing the nutrients for a healthy diet is important. You also have the option to add a Remineraliser Cartridge to your system.

What contaminants can our reverse osmosis systems reduce?

  • Copper 98.5%
  • Fluoride 93.6%
  • Arsenic 88.0%
  • Barium 96.3%
  • Selenium 97.9%
  • Total Dissolved Solids Reduction 90.8%
  • Cadmium 99.1%
  • Lead 98.6%
  • Chromium Cr 6 96.4%
  • Turbidity 99.1%
  • Chlorine 95%

What does Pure Water Systems offer?

  • 3 year parts and labour warranty on most products (excludes the RO-5U)
  • Pure Quality Guarantee
  • Economical alternative for healthy, great tasting water
  • Fully portable or can be plumbed directly underneath the sink
  • Superior performance specifically designed for Australian water
  • The latest in reverse osmosis membrane technology
  • High-quality parts and fittings

Our stylish, modern 3-way mixer taps and stand-alone filtered faucet range can complement the style of your kitchen, laundry or bathroom so you can enjoy filtered water at the turn of a tap.

Revolutionise your drinking water with our reverse osmosis systems

Our 4 or 5-stage Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Systems can be installed conveniently underneath your sink or in a completely portable option. Fitted with the Eco-Hero-50, this membrane has up to 300% improved water efficiency compared to older style membranes resulting in reduced waste water production.

Easy to maintain and economical, the RO systems generally require cartridge replacement every 6-12 months and membrane replacement every 2-3 years, depending on consumption and water quality.
Our friendly team can help you identify which product best suits your lifestyle, location and water type. If you still have questions about reverse osmosis, please call us on 1300 808 966 or get in touch.

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