If you have spent any time researching water quality and water purification systems, you have probably come across the term reverse osmosis. Still, you may not be really sure exactly what this means and why it is important to our water supply.
Reverse osmosis is an important way to treat water so its uses can be extended. This quick guide will provide you with some basic information on the reverse osmosis process.
What Is Reverse Osmosis?
This term refers to a process that helps in the desalination of water. Salinized water is water that has salt or sodium present. Salinized water cannot be used in the same way as fresh water. Most notably, salinized water cannot be used for drinking water.
Having the ability to desalinate water makes a larger amount of water available for more uses. Reverse osmosis is used to recycle wastewater, and in some cases, it is also used to produce energy.
Why Is Reverse Osmosis Important?
As our population on the earth grows, water availability continues to be a critical issue. Climate changes are creating problems with water availability as flooding can compromise the usability of water supplies. While flooding is a problem in some parts of the world, droughts affect others. The increasing amount of pollution on the planet is a threat to our water supplies.
Reverse osmosis technology can be used to help address these and other water supply issues.
For example, in Perth, Australia, 17% of the area’s drinking water is desalinated ocean water that was treated through reverse osmosis.
Other uses for reverse osmosis include removing other minerals or chemicals from a water supply. For instance, so water has high levels of fluoridation. This process can be used to remove fluoride from the water along with other contaminants.
Reverse osmosis isn’t just for water though. The maple syrup industry also uses reverse osmosis to separate the sugar concentrate from the water found in maple sap. The dairy industry also uses this process to filter milk from milk.
How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?
During the reverse osmosis process, saltwater flows into one side of the tank. On the other side, you will have pure water. Between is a semi-permeable membrane. The saltwater is pushed through the filter. The salt is left on one side of the tank, and the water molecules are pushed into the fresh water side.
Can Reverse Osmosis Help Me?
Homeowners who live in areas that have a high saline content in their water can use a reverse osmosis system to keep water tasting fresh. This is often a problem for residents who live near oceans or other bodies of salt water. Regardless of how the water is treated, there is often still a taste that many people in these areas find distasteful. This process can be used to keep household drinking water tasting great. This can save families money because they will not be obligated to buy bottled water but rather can use their own city water for drinking and cooking.
Categorised in: Osmosis
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