RO is commonly known as Reverse osmosis and is used for detaching containments from the water that is unfiltered when pressure is forced via the semipermeable membrane. The water flows from the more concentrated sides, i.e., more containments, to the less concentrated sides, i.e., few containments. After that, the freshwater that is produced is called permeate. The leftover water (waste) is called brine.
Water softeners are responsible for removing hardness, which is one of the major problems a homeowner encounters—hard water results in the destruction of appliances leaving scum across bathrooms and kitchens. Investing in water softeners protects your time and energy and also protects your home and property.
Reverse Osmosis filter removes the sediments and chlorine from the water before the water forces through a semipermeable membrane to remove the remaining ingredients.
Prior to this, the water flows from the RO membrane and passes through a filter to smoothen the water that is drinkable before entering the pipe. Working of the water softeners is via a process named ion exchange which eliminates calcium and magnesium.
Whenever the water that is hard tends to enter the mineral tank, it goes through spherical resin beads. The resin beds have a negative charge, whereas magnesium and calcium have a positive charge, and the opposites attract.
Whenever hard water passes through the resin, the beads grab the mineral and remove them
from the water. Whenever the bead seizes the mineral, an ingredient named sodium is liberated.
All the hardness flows through the mineral tanks, and the water reaches your home.
Reverse osmosis is becoming more popular amongst homeowners who are looking for a better and healthier taste. The most commonly used in households is reverse osmosis, and they are trusted more. Below listed are the few benefits of using a reverse osmosis system in your daily lives-
- A better taste of water
- Soft water
- Removes colors, odors, and impurities
Water softeners use a well-known process called ionization to remove magnesium and calcium from the water. Hard water has a high level of minerals like magnesium and calcium. A water softener is used to soften the water by detaching the minerals with less concentrated minerals that are sodium. Below are some benefits of using water softeners in your daily chores-
- The natural taste of water
- Brighter laundry
- Shining and spotless dishes
- Longer lasting appliances
- Soft skin and hair
Myths and Facts related to reverse osmosis and water softeners
- Myth- RO will attract a human body- RO purified water is so pure that it reaches and attacks the membranes and mucous. The water is also described as low TDS. Total dissolved solids mean total dissolved salts, and probably the whole salt concentration is stated as mg/L. In 2017 the document by the World health organization stated that the water palatability with the whole dissolving solids level of less than about 600 mg/L is good.
- Myth- other technologies are effective- There are some technologies that can be used as an alternative, such as natural zeolites, CDI, etc., which are likely to treat water at the same time and retain its natural minerals present.
- Fact- It really becomes important to remember that water is served as the solvent and is responsible for transporting ingredients and waste to and from the cells through the body.
- Myth-RO wastes water- It is the most common criticism heard that the RO technology wastes water. The technology that is designed to remove a contaminant from the water has to be separated and collected. Ion exchange and activated carbon exchange the contaminants, but still, they have to be removed by generating the waste or by discarding the resins themselves.
- Myth- water that is bottled is better than Reverse osmosis water- Many customers trust the bottled water and rely on consuming it. But it is because of the lack of confidence in the quality of water that is provided by the municipal corporation.
Types of Water softeners
- Salt base (ion exchange) Water softener- This is the traditional type of water softener that many people are accustomed to. They are responsible for supplying soft water to households and at a high rate of flow. This softener might require regular maintenance since regeneration will occur once a week. It has a really long time span and removes hard water minerals.
- Salt-free softeners- These don’t require the continual upkeep that usually ion exchange systems do since they don’t need regeneration or salt. It doesn’t require maintenance and doesn’t add sodium to the water. They can filter the impurities easily.
- Portable water softeners- It makes the water softer wherever they go. They are perfect for travel trailers and are compact. They don’t usually have the same level of water flow that you’ll get from an ordinary water softener. They are much less expensive than the others.
- Shower water softeners- These are designed a little costly since they are designed to supply the whole house. For many people, these are good for investment. These would make your skin and hair look healthy and hydrated.
- Magnetic water softeners- These are pretty new in the market. These are advertised and marketed as water softener alternatives as they don’t usually remove the hard minerals. They are usually easier to install. Moreover, you don’t have to cut pipes and turn off the water.
Types of reverse osmosis filters
- Desalination system- It is used to desalinate water for consumption and irrigation
- Brackish water system- It is used to clean the high salinity water
- Water treatment plants- It is used to clean large water surface like seawater or brackish
Both reverse osmosis system and water softener are recommended; it all depends on the cost, need, and space. As above listed are some of the water softeners. Some might condition your whole house, while some might water a single shower or a faucet. Reverse osmosis is an effective, proven technology and is required for many industrial applications.
Proper pretreatment and monitoring of RO become necessary to prevent some major costly repairs. It is relatively new in the market but is the effective application of the scientific process. It becomes necessary to remove radionuclides, heavy metals, and other metals.