Reverse osmosis (RO) is one of the most popular methods for purifying water in homes and businesses. It uses pressure to force water through a semipermeable membrane, which filters out contaminants like metals, minerals, chemicals and bacteria.
While reverse osmosis is excellent at removing impurities, it also strips water of beneficial minerals. This has raised concerns about whether drinking demineralized RO water is healthy in the long run.
Below we'll explore the pros and cons of reverse osmosis water specifically for residents of Tampa Bay, Florida who get their water from the Floridan Aquifer.
Pros of Drinking Reverse Osmosis Water
There are several advantages to drinking reverse osmosis purified water:
Removes Harmful Contaminants
RO effectively removes many dangerous contaminants common in groundwater supplies like the Floridan Aquifer, including:
Bacteria and viruses - Disease-causing pathogens like E. coli, rotavirus and hepatitis A virus are blocked by the RO membrane. An AquaGuard UV SYSTEM provides extra protection.
Heavy metals - Lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium and aluminum are filtered out. An HydroClear Ozone Generator also helps remove heavy metals.
Fluoride - While low levels of fluoride help prevent tooth decay, too much can harm health. RO removes excess fluoride.
Radon - This radioactive gas dissolved in groundwater is removed by RO filtration.
Pesticides, herbicides and VOCs - Industrial chemicals like solvents, degreasers, and gasoline additives are effectively filtered out. An AquaBlue Whole House Filter provides additional VOC removal.
Nitrates - RO filters out these fertilizer residues found at unsafe levels in some Floridan Aquifer wells. Nitrates can cause blue baby syndrome in infants.
Improves Taste and Odor
Reverse osmosis improves water's taste, smell and appearance by removing chlorine disinfectant, sulfur compounds, organic matter, color and turbidity. An AquaCarbonGuard Catalytic Carbon Filter polishes water for premium quality.
Softens Hard Water
RO significantly reduces water hardness and problematic scale-forming minerals like calcium and magnesium. An AquaLux Water Softener provides additional softening.
Better for Sensitive Skin
The health effects of hard water on skin can be problematic. RO water lacks irritating minerals and chemicals, making it gentler on sensitive skin.
Cons of Drinking Reverse Osmosis Water
While effective at removing contaminants, RO also filters out beneficial minerals. Drinking demineralized water has some drawbacks:
Lacks Essential Minerals
Reverse osmosis removes calcium, magnesium and other essential minerals. Long-term consumption of low-mineral water may have negative health effects. However, mineral deficiencies are unlikely with a varied diet.
RO water has a slightly lower pH since it lacks dissolved buffers like carbonates. The acidity may leach metals like lead from pipes. However, most RO systems recarbonate water which raises its pH to an optimal level.
Demineralized water is hungry for minerals. It may leach metals like copper, iron and lead from pipes and fixtures as it remineralizes. Older homes are most at risk. Adding a phosphate feed or neutralizer reduces corrosion.
To some people, completely purified water tastes flat or bland. The addition of a calcite or magnesium post-filter improves taste by adding back some healthy minerals.
Reverse osmosis is an inefficient process, wasting 2-10 gallons of water for every purified gallon produced. However, new more efficient RO membranes reduce waste significantly.
Reverse osmosis systems require a substantial upfront investment and ongoing filter changes. However, better health and benefits like soap/detergent savings help offset costs.
Is Reverse Osmosis Water Safe to Drink?
While low mineral content is a potential concern, RO water is very safe to drink in most cases. The removal of harmful contaminants outweighs the loss of beneficial minerals. For those on low-sodium diets, RO provides the healthiest hydration without sodium additions.
The ideal solution is blending purified RO water with filtered tap water to remineralize it. A whole house system like the HydroTech Pro allows perfect customization of water for multiple uses. An AquaRevive Reverse Osmosis System produces pure water for drinking and cooking, while bypassing the RO filter for appliances provides some minerals.
Ensure You Have Clean, Safe Water
Tampa Bay residents deserve peace of mind that their water is free of Aquifer contaminants but still healthy to drink. That's why Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Solutions offers customized whole home and point-of-use reverse osmosis systems for both residential and commercial settings.
Discounts, Promotions, and Financing Options
Receive a 10% discount on any new reverse osmosis or whole house water treatment system. 0% APR financing also available with approved credit.
Schedule Your FREE Water Test Today: 727-236-7161 or visit https://www.aqua-wise.com/book-online-free-water-test to request an appointment with one of our water quality experts. Get peace of mind knowing your water is safe.
References and Resources:
Environmental Protection Agency - Drinking Water Contaminants - www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/national-primary-drinking-water-regulations
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Household Water Treatment - www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/home-water-treatment/household_water_treatment.html