Reverse osmosis is a water treatment method often used to desalinate salt water to make it potable. It is also used as a purification method to remove impurities and contaminants from the water caused by environmental factors.
Reverse osmosis uses membranes with tight pores to remove any dissolved solids, bacteria, chemicals, and viruses from water. It also effectively removes colors, odors, and tastes from drinking water and is used by many water bottling factories. Some of the industries utilizing reverse osmosis-treated water include the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, HVAC, semiconductor manufacturing, and metal finishing.
If you use reverse osmosis water purifiers at home, it is important to have them regularly maintained to prevent fouling or the accumulation of contaminants on the surface of the membrane. Fouling plugs the membrane resulting in a significant drop in pressure and lowered permeate flow. Given the pore size of reverse osmosis membranes, fouling will happen sooner or later but consistent maintenance and having proper water pre-treatment in place will minimize fouling-related issues in the future.
Aside from providing pure and drinking water, reverse osmosis also produces more flavorful beverages. Coffees and teas made with water purified through reverse osmosis are more flavorful since demineralized and deionized water has no aftertaste.