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Reverse osmosis: advantages and disadvantages

Reversā osmoze: priekšrocības un trūkumi

There are many different opinions about the water treatment technologies, their need, advantages and disadvantages. This week we’ll talk about why people are interested in water purification, take a closer look at reverse osmosis technology as well as look at some of the arguments for and against reverse osmosis.

What’s wrong with the water?

It is no secret that tap water can be called drinkable only formally. There are several threats affecting its quality due to deterioration of water sources and deterioration of pipelines. One of the main threats is infectious diseases that occur due to insufficient chlorination or emergency situations, more specifically, water mixing with sewage as a result of broken pipes. Another danger is related to the increased content of organochlorine substances, these substances are recognized as carcinogens (more typical for surface water). In addition, the water also contains specific pollutants such as aluminum, heavy metals, organic substances, iron and manganese that affects the water properties (taste, smell, color, appearance) and quality.

Reverse osmosis

Reverse osmosis technology for purification and desalination of drinking water has been used since the 70s, obtaining ultra-pure water for medicine, industry and other needs. Later it started to be used for the preparation of drinking water for food companies and for desalination of sea water in places where there is a lack of surface and underground water resources. Today reverse osmosis for water treatment has become the most common water treatment technology in all fields, especially in bottled water production.

Reverse osmosis is a process when the water at a certain pressure passes through a semi-permeable membrane from a more concentrated to a less concentrated solution (in the opposite direction to osmosis). The water passes through the membrane but it does not pass most of the substances dissolved in the water. The size of the particles to be removed is 0.001-0.0001 μm, thus 99.8% of impurities (including hardness and heavy metal salts, nitrates, pesticides and even the smallest virus particles) are removed from the water.

The working principle of a reverse osmosis membrane is shown in the figure below.

Reverse osmosis: advantages and disadvantages

Reverse osmosis filter membranes are made of polymer fiber which is a chemically inert and food-safe material.

More information about reverse osmosis filters can be viewed in the video material here.

Is reverse osmosis harmful?


The reverse osmosis filter membrane actually removes most of the mineral impurities from the water. This applies both to the harmful substances listed above and to minerals that can be useful to humans. However, there is no reason to worry because the World Health Organization has recognized demineralized water as potable which does not pose a threat to human health. In addition, modern mineralization technologies make it possible to obtain water saturated with useful minerals.

Water indicators for Ecosoft filters:

Type of mineralizer

Calcium, mg/l Magnesium, mg/l Sodium+Potassium, mg/l

P’URE AquaCalcium

10–15 <1


P’URE Balance / Sense

10–15 4–6


Standart/Absolute with mineralization

<10 <1


Standart/Absolute without mineralization <2 <1



The exchange of salts in the body is a very complex process, some minerals are incorporated into protein structures while some are in the blood to maintain the shape of the cells due to the osmotic effect. Water crosses many physiological barriers and removes salts that the body does not need. On the contrary, our body system is unable to remove salts due to lack of water, excessive consumption of certain products or malfunctions of organs and systems. As a result, edema, hypertensive crises and other problems are observed. The water purified by reverse osmosis does not pose a threat to the exchange of salts in the body.


There is no scientific basis for this argument. If we rely on the above fact of salts being flushed out of the body due to purified water, one could assume this, but it is not possible. Another argument is the damage to tooth enamel due to the low acidity of osmotic water. The pH level of reverse osmosis filter water is around 6 (close to neutral) which is equivalent to the pH level of most food products (e.g. fruit, vegetables, prepared meat).


Water is an inorganic substance and all salts dissolved in it are safe for humans. It is not logical to compare tap water with a huge number of potentially toxic components as well as well and spring water with a systemic excess of nitrates and microorganisms. As for bottled water (both in stores and by delivery), it is most often obtained using reverse osmosis.

What are the disadvantages of reverse osmosis?

Like any other household appliance, reverse osmosis water filters have their drawbacks related to water consumption, cost and installation.


For one liter of clean water 1-7 liters of tap water goes down the drain. Water consumption depends on the configuration of the filter, the pressure in the pipeline, the operating time of the membrane element since the last replacement, the quality of the source water, etc. factors. At low water pressure water is pushed less efficiently through the membrane so the solution is to install an RO filter with a pump. In addition, water consumption can be reduced by timely replacement of filter cartridges as well as by choosing more ecological technological solutions such as the P’URE Balance system.


The simplest reverse osmosis filter model costs around 150 euros and replacing the filter elements (cartridges, post-filter and membrane) creates additional costs. However, comparing the cost of filtered water to bottled water in the long run is lower. In addition, the replacement of elements does not require the presence of an experienced specialist.

More information about replacing reverse osmosis filter elements can be viewed in the video material here.


Before installing a reverse osmosis filter, it is necessary to understand where it can be placed. The figure below shows the dimensions for placing the filter in a standard kitchen closet. If necessary, the tank can be installed in another place.

Reversā osmoze: priekšrocības un trūkumi

Read also: How to choose Ecosoft reverse osmosis filter?

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