Reverse osmosis is a process in which dissolved inorganic solids (such as salts) are removed from a solution (such as water). This is accomplished by household water pressure pushing the tap water through a semi permeable membrane. The membrane (which is about as thick as cellophane) allows only the water to pass through, not the impurities or contaminates. These impurities and contaminates are flushed down the drain.
Factors that affect the performance of a reverse osmosis system and the type that will be needed for your house are:
Incoming water pressure
Type and number of total dissolved solids (TDS) in the supply water
Aqua North Water Systems Ltd offers many types of reverse osmosis drinking water system, from a generic system that uses your household pressure to boosted units and whole house units for more extreme cases. Whatever your needs are we have the expertise to build and install the right system for your home.
Commercial and Industrial
Reverse osmosis (RO) is an effective and proven technology to produce water that is suitable for many industrial applications that require demineralized or deionized water. Proper pre-treatment and monitoring of an RO system is crucial to preventing costly repairs and unscheduled maintenance. With the correct system design, maintenance program, and experienced service support, your RO system should provide many years of high purity water.
Our systems have been used to supply water in the following areas:
Bottle water depots
Industrial & remote camp applications
Hotels & remote lodges
Industrial boiler feed water
What Is Reverse Osmosis and How Does It Work?
Reverse osmosis is the process of osmosis in reverse. Whereas Osmosis occurs naturally without energy required, to reverse the process of osmosis you need to apply energy to the more saline solution. A reverse osmosis membrane is a semi-permeable membrane that allows the passage of water molecules but not the majority of dissolved salts, organics, bacteria, and pyrogens. However, you need to 'push' the water through the reverse osmosis membrane by applying pressure that is greater than the naturally occurring osmotic pressure in order to desalinate (demineralize or deionize) water in the process, allowing pure water through while holding back a majority of contaminants.
Reverse osmosis works by using a high pressure pump to increase the pressure on the salt side of the RO and force the water across the semi-permeable RO membrane, leaving almost all (around 95% to 99%) of dissolved salts behind in the reject stream. The amount of pressure required depends on the salt concentration of the feed water. The more concentrated the feed water, the more pressure is required to overcome the osmotic pressure. The desalinated water that is demineralized or deionized, is called permeate (or product) water. The water stream that carries the concentrated contaminants that did not pass through the RO membrane is called the reject or wastewater stream.
As the feed water enters the RO membrane under pressure (enough pressure to overcome osmotic pressure) the water molecules pass through the semi-permeable membrane and the salts and other contaminants are not allowed to pass and are discharged through the reject stream which goes to drain or can be fed back into the feed water supply in some circumstances to be recycled through the RO system to save water. The water that makes it through the RO membrane is called permeate or product water and usually has around 95% to 99% of the dissolved salts removed from it.
It is important to understand that an RO system employs cross filtration rather than standard filtration where the contaminants are collected within the filter media. With cross filtration, the solution passes through the filter, or crosses the filter, with two outlets: the filtered water goes one way and the contaminated water goes another way. To avoid build-up of contaminants, cross flow filtration allows water to sweep away contaminant build up and also allow enough turbulence to keep the membrane surface clean.