Is Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Safe to Drink?
The short answer is yes. However, the process of reverse osmosis also removes beneficial minerals, such as iron, potassium, calcium, cobalt, and manganese.
With so many options for filtering and purifying your water, it is important to know the good and bad of the water you are drinking. After all, it is the most crucial aspect of life. Finding clean, healthy, purified water can be harder than it sounds. Let us examine the positive and negatives of one of the more popular water purifying treatments around today, the Reverse Osmosis water filter system, or RO for short.
What Is Reverse Osmosis Water?
Reverse Osmosis is the process of forcing water across a semi-permeable membrane using a high-pressure pump. The result is pure water with no chemicals, bacteria, or minerals. While this may sound like an advantage, it can also be a disadvantage. While removing the bad from your water, you are also removing the good. Beneficial minerals such as Iron, Potassium, Calcium, Cobalt, and Manganese are now nonexistent. If the consumer does not have a well-rounded diet and does not re-mineralize the water, they are at an increased risk of vitamin and mineral deficiency. A study done by The World Health Organization has found that if RO water is used for cooking it caused a substantial loss of all essential elements in foods like vegetables and meat. This can be a reduction as much as 60% for Magnesium and Calcium, 66% for Copper, 70% for Manganese, and 86% for Cobalt.
Another perceived plus for Reverse Osmosis systems is the environmental impact it has by lessening the use of bottled water, creating less plastic waste. As stated before, there is also a negative to this as well. Reverse Osmosis system is separating the pure water from the contaminated water, creating an excessive amount of wasted water that is disposed of into the septic system. For the average household system, it may take as much as 4-7 gallons of municipal water to create 1 gallon of purified water. Discarding as much as 86% of the water into the septic is a huge waste and counterproductive to all of the good it is doing.
What is a Good Alternative to Reverse Osmosis?
Berkey water filters systems are a fantastic alternative to a reverse osmosis system. There are a few key reasons as to why we recommend using a Berkey, the first being the quality of the water. As Berkey purifies, it removes over 99.99% of viruses, pathogenic bacteria, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and countless more contaminants, all while, leaving in the minerals that your body needs. The purification elements that are used in systems like our Big Berkey and Royal Berkey models are equally as effective as Reverse Osmosis Systems. This is due to its unique structure. The purification elements are comprised of microscopic pores, which trap harmful contaminants. The filters contain a revolutionary material with adsorption and ion exchange properties that attract molecules and viruses. The Black Berkey elements have been tested by third-party, state and EPA accredited laboratories to remove contaminants exceeding NSF standards.
An additional consideration is the taste of Berkey filtered water. Many describe Berkey filtered water as having a sweet taste that is far more palatable than any other water they've ever tasted. This is due to the removal of chlorine, and other chemicals used to clean municipal water sources all the while leaving the same amount of minerals. A common complaint that users of RO systems express is that their water has a flat taste to it, a common trait of dead water.
Another advantage of using a Berkey is the longevity and cost comparison to Reverse Osmosis Systems. On average each Black Berkey purification element will last for 3,000 gallons. Each unit comes equipped with two Black Berkey elements, which means that you can get up to 6,000 gallons of purified filtered water. That equates to less than two cents per gallon of water. Compare that to the RO systems, which on average will cost about 25 cents per gallon if done at home with an under the counter system. That is more than 12x the cost of using a Berkey Water Filter! Also, when you pour one gallon of water into the top chamber, you get one gallon of water in the bottom chamber. There is no wasted water in order to purify the water. The Berkey water filter system is so powerful it is classified as a purifier. The portable Berkey can be used to filter non-potable or unhealthy water. For normal everyday water from your faucet or for challenging environments like wells, rivers, and lakes. It also does not remove the beneficial minerals found in water--unlike some systems. Berkey is the most flexible and adaptable filtering system available. The Berkey systems come in a variety of sizes to suit you and your family. Combining the cost per gallon, the longevity of the system, and the vast list of contaminants removed, the Berkey system is sure to provide an economical solution to all your water purification needs.