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Water Quality and Reverse Osmosis Systems

water quality
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Water quality is vital to your quality of life. We all need clean water to drink, to cook with, and to use in our homes and gardens. Poor quality water can cause any number of short-term and long-term issues, including stomach, liver, and immune system problems, as well as exposure to heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals.

Did you know that Floridians have some of the worst drinking water in the country? A study from the Natural Resources Defense Council ranks the Sunshine State as second in the nation for violating the Safe Drinking Water Act. As of 2015, there were 7.5 million Floridians receiving water from utilities centers that had violated the act. The study identified the presence of disinfection byproducts, coliform (fecal) bacteria, pathogens, lead and copper, and nitrates and nitrites as the main pollutants in our water.

If these statistics have you worried about your drinking water, it may be time to invest in a reverse osmosis system to improve your home’s water quality.

What is Reverse Osmosis?

Osmosis is the natural phenomenon where weaker saline solutions will “migrate” towards stronger saline solutions through a semi-permeable membrane, thereby equalizing the saline saturation of the liquid. This happens when tree roots absorb water, or when our kidneys absorb water from our blood, for example.

Reverse osmosis, then, is the opposite (or reverse) of this process – in other words, separating salts and other dissolved compounds from the water molecules. By pushing water through a reverse osmosis membrane, the larger particles remain behind while clean, fresh water is pushed through.

Most home reverse osmosis systems make use of three-, four- or five-filter stages to ensure the best water quality.

What are the Benefits?

Reverse osmosis removes roughly 99% of impurities and solvents from your water. This includes the contaminants mentioned above, as well as arsenic, asbestos, pesticides, chlorine, and a number of other soluble metals and ions.

The reverse osmosis process improves your water quality, leaving you with water that tastes great and is less harmful to your skin and hair. It can also improve the flavor of foods prepared or cooked in water.

If you’re already purchasing bottled water for home consumption, installing a reverse osmosis system will help you save money in the long-term. Most reverse osmosis filters and membranes have a lifespan of 2 – 3 years (depending on water conditions and usage), so it’s simple to have them checked and replaced during your preventative maintenance inspections.

Reverse osmosis systems are beneficial to everyone, but can be especially useful for people living with compromised immune systems.

What Kind of System Do I Need?

There are two main types of residential reverse osmosis systems on the market:

  • A point-of-use filter is a smaller model that is installed under your kitchen sink, or connected to the pipes that feed your refrigerator and ice machine. This produces clean water in your kitchen, but not at the other faucets in your house.
  • A point-of-entry filter is connected to the main water line entering your home (usually installed in the garage), and provides clean water to the whole house.

Finding a system that works for you depends on your needs, budget, the size of your home, and the number of occupants. For more information about how reverse osmosis can improve your home’s water quality, contact Art Plumbing, AC and Electric to learn more about our water filtration services.

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