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Reverse Osmosis

Two of the most cost effective ways to enjoy great tasting drinking water in your home are with a bottled water cooler or with a home reverse osmosis system (RO system).

In simple terms, reverse osmosis is the process by which water molecules are forced through a semi-permeable membrane under pressure. The membrane in a Culligan system filters out any impurities smaller than one micron. Reverse osmosis systems provide filtered water everywhere, from homes and commercial applications like restaurants and hotels, to breweries and car washes, and even the space shuttle!

Household RO systems typically filter water using the following steps:

  1. Raw tap water first flows through a sediment filter to remove dirt, rust and other solid objects.
  2. The water then flows into a carbon filter that takes out 98% of the chlorine and organic chemicals.
  3. The next stage is where the ro systems membrane separates 70-99% of the dissolved contaminants from the water molecules. These removed impurities are rinsed down the drain producing the final product, "pure water".
  4. This water is stored in a reservoir tank typically located underneath the kitchen sink and is accessed with a separate faucet.
  5. When you open the valve your drinking water is filtered one last time with a carbon block "polishing filter" right before it reaches your glass.

A Reverse Osmosis system generally removes a more diverse list of contaminants than other carbon, faucet or pitcher systems. RO can remove nitrates, sodium, and other dissolved inorganic and organic compounds.

A Culligan® drinking water system puts clean, refreshing water right in your kitchen. With a range of compact and attractive designs, our systems fit conveniently in out-of-the-way places.

Using reverse osmosis for water softening:

Is there such a thing as a reverse osmosis water softening system? A common question surrounding reverse osmosis systems is whether they can be used for the dual purpose of both filtering and softening water. The answer is technically 'yes', but it is strongly advised against for the reasons discussed below.

Home reverse osmosis systems are technically capable of removing the minerals responsible for hard water, as well as 95% of all other dissolved contaminants. So in this sense, they can be used to soften water. However, in cases where water is hard, using reverse osmosis (RO) as an all-in-one filter and water softening system isn’t recommended.

RO systems rely on a tightly wound filtration membrane that is specifically designed to remove particulates down to .0001 microns in size. The membrane of a reverse osmosis water softening system will require more frequent replacement when used to filter the larger calcium and magnesium deposits present in hard water. For this reason, it is generally best to pair a water softener with a reverse osmosis system when hard water is present.

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