WHAT TYPE OF WATER DO YOU NEED BEFORE YOU USE A BASIC RESIDENTIAL REVERSE OSMOSIS SYSTEM?


        First, you need potable water, i.e., fit for drinking.  Although the pores of a membrane are smaller than micro-organisms, there is a small possibility that the water will leak through a defect in the system.  Therefore, if your water source is not potable, it is necessary to disinfect it before drinking it.  This can be done with chlorination, ozonation, and ultraviolet light.  If your water is not potable, please contact us for possible solutions.

        Secondly, if your water has a normal amount of Total Dissolved Solids (i.e., 500 or less), you need at least 40 p.s.i. of water pressure.  Most homes on municipal water systems will have adequate pressure.  If your shower water seems normal (when compared to hotels, your previous homes, your friends' homes, etc.), you probably have sufficient pressure.  If you are doubtful about your pressure, you can buy a water pressure gauge at your local hardware store and measure the pressure.  On the other hand, if your water has a high amount of Total Dissolved Solids (i.e., over 1500), you should probably have at least 60 p.s.i. of water pressure.  If the TDS of your water is over 2000, then you should probably have at least 65 p.s.i. of water pressure. If you don't have enough pressure, you can buy a Booster Pump for your R.O. system, a Pressurizer for your whole house, or possibly just run your R.O. system without a tank (the bladder in a tank creates back-pressure which has to be overcome). Please note that your pressure should not exceed 100 psi.

        Thirdly, your water should have pH between 4 and 13.

        Fourthly, your water should have less than 2 ppm of iron. If you have excessive iron, please look at this page.

        Fifthly, your water temperature should be above freezing but not higher than 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

        Finally, you may need water that is not too hard.  If your water is hard, it may be necessary for you to soften it first, so please contact us for possible solutions.  The U.S. Department of the Interior has established levels for the classification of hardness based on the grains per gallon (gpg) concentration of these minerals.  To put grains per gallon in perspective, a typical aspirin contains about 5 grains of material.  Were this to be dissolved in a gallon of water, it would add 5 gpg of material to the water.  The EPA categorizes "Hardness" as follows:

Grains per Gallon Milligrams per Liter Parts Per Million Category

Less than 1

Less than 17.1

Less than 17.1

Soft
1 - 3.5 17.1 - 60 17.1 - 60 Slightly Hard
3.5 - 7 60 - 120 60 - 120 Moderately Hard
7 - 10.5 120 - 180 120 - 180 Hard
10.5 + 180 + 180 + Very Hard

If you have water which is over 5 grains of hardness, many experts recommend that you soften it before running it through a reverse osmosis system.  Otherwise, it may reduce the purity of your water and shorten the life of your R.O. membrane.  However, our residential customers have never complained of a problem in this regard.  Thus, if you are not interested in purchasing a water softener, your residential R.O. system should be able to significantly improve the quality of your water.  If your water turns out to be so hard that it reduces the capability of your membrane, you can then install the water softener and buy a new membrane.