Reverse osmosis, or RO, is one of the most misunderstood forms of water treatments out there. It has great uses and everyone thought it would make great drinking water, but time will usually tell whether an idea "holds water" so to speak. This idea is not your best idea for drinking water, although it's a good one. Remember, we said it's not the "best" idea.
Reverse osmosis was designed to desalinate or remove salt from sea water. Of course it removes other minerals too, and as we've stated elsewhere, we NEED minerals in our drinking water. Years of data collected from all over the world verify this fact much later than we should have realized.
RO is not a filtration process. Instead it is a membrane process where different forces are used to separate solutes (the solid particles dissolved in a solution) from solvents (pure water in this case). This idea can be used for many types of solutions, but for simplicity of explanation we will refer only to those involving water.
Osmosis is a process where a semipermeable (microscopically porous) membrane separates pure water from a solution in water. A solution can have sugar, salt, minerals, or other ions dissolved in it. Water that comes from most natural sources is a solution, not pure water.
The pores of the membrane allow only pure water to get through so the pure water on one side keeps growing in volume, while the solvent side reduces in volume but greatly increases in concentration of solid materials dissolved in it.
Reverse osmosis adds pressure to the system to help in this process. It removes the pure water from all the minerals that are dissolved in it.
That's great for machines like steamers or irons because we don't want mineral deposits plugging up the fine pours.
However, RO is not good for humans or animals that require minerals. If RO would only remove some of the minerals and leave remaining the ones our bodies need, that would be great.
Unfortunately, that's not what happens. RO is one of those hyperfiltration methods that the World Health Organization recommends against and is associated with heart problems.
Moreover, RO water would have to be remineralized in order to be optimized. Some systems do that, but it seems a bit circular.
Reverse osmosis is one of the more wasteful methods of water treatment. It varies, but approximately 3 gallons of water are used to create 1 gallon of RO water.
Most bottled water is simply hyperfiltered water from municipal sources, and much of it is done with Reverse Osmosis techniques. They even advertise this in many cases for those who read the labels.
Do you wonder what the RO in HydRO above might mean?
If you really wanted RO water, it would be far less expensive to buy your own RO unit for the house than paying for bottled water.
But now that you know what the World Health Organization says about how it can affect your heart, our suggestion is that you look toward optimization techniques rather than reverse osmosis for obtaining the best drinking water.