What is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a separation process which employs pressure to force water through a semi-permeable membrane (a membrane which will only allow water to pass) that retains the salts on one side and allows the pure water to pass to the other side. The water with the salt concentration is discarded while the purified water is collected in a tank. The pore size of the reverse osmosis membrane is 0.0001 micron or 0.000 0001 mm, which makes reverse osmosis the finest form of water filtration known to man.

Reverse osmosis has also become the water purification method of choice for drinking water in many households and bottling plants throughout the world. No wonder, as reverse osmosis is the best and most efficient method to purify polluted and undesirable water into pure and tasty water.

Why purify water?

Children and adults need to drink water. In his book The Seven Pillars of Health Dr Don Colbert warns that we need to drink the right kind of water which is purified water. Dr Christiaan quotes a study done by the University of the Witwatersrand in his book Gesond vir ‘n Leeftyd (Healthy for a Lifetime), where the importance for children to drink purified water is emphasized. The study suggests that a child should drink two glasses of water per day, plus one glass for every 10kg he or she weighs. Because they are growing, children are constantly and naturally dehydrated. Parents should become aware of the volume of water their children drink and educate them about the importance of water. Caffeine in cool drinks may cause attention deficit disorder.

Dr Christiaan warns: “Water is water is water” is wrong. The quality of water is very important and this depends on the dissolved and undissolved solids in water. Unpurified water can also transmit diseases. To chlorinate potable water is the most effective and inexpensive method to disinfect water. But chlorine is also a known poison and for health and environmental reasons should be removed from water before it is consumed.

In his informative book New Nutrition, Dr Willem Serfontein cautions: Heavy metals, like lead, mercury and cadmium in drinking water is another source of contamination that should be avoided as much as possible by using only suitably purified drinking water. The subject of chemical pollution from the environment and its health consequences is a vast one and not many of us appreciate its significance. He continues: We must assume that all drinking water is contaminated and therefore the use of a good water filter is a necessity.

What about minerals?

Some people are under the impression that water supplies the body with essential minerals. This is a misconception. We get our minerals from the healthy food we eat and not from water. According to the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) supplied by Dr. Willem Serfontein in the above mentioned book our bodies need 800 mg of calcium and 300 mg of magnesium daily. These quantities of calcium and magnesium are not found in tap water and most mineral waters. About 5% of minerals in water are useful to the body, but in such low concentrations that you will need to drink a tub full of water to achieve the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)! This means that 95% of these minerals are useless and place the body under stress. Tap water doesn’t contain any vitamins either. Nutrients taken up from food should be transported through the body in pure water. Nature supplies us with water with low mineral content: It is called rain.

What about reverse osmosis water wastage?

Crossflow membrane technology – the technology which reverse osmosis employs – separates an influent stream into two effluent streams known as the permeate and the concentrate. The permeate is the portion of the fluid that has passed through the semi-permeable membrane and is the purified water. The concentrate stream contains the constituents that have been rejected by the membrane. This water is sent to waste. A reverse osmosis system removes what is already in the water. However, this waste water can be utilized for other needs, such as watering plants, flushing toilets, etc. One should keep in mind that the wastage of a reverse osmosis system is much less than flushing a toilet 3 or 4 times a day.

Nobody would argue that the rinsing of veggies before cooking is a waste of water.

The same with showering, doing the dishes and laundry. Even watering the garden is not a waste in areas that are not drought stricken.

To drink purified water is a necessity, not a luxury. Your and your family’s health may be at risk.