Explaining Reverse Osmosis without the Need for a Ph.D.
We all know that water is important for our health and that we should drink about 8 glasses every day. This helps with keeping your body hydrated, which has many health benefits. When you pour a glass from your sink, it looks crystal clear. However, from the source to your body, the water can pick up all sorts of nasty stuff. That is where reverse osmosis comes in really handy.
But What is Reverse Osmosis?
You may loosely remember biology class from back in your days at school. You may have learned about what happens when you put salt on a vegetable or why water is so essential for plants and flowers. If this is bringing back bad memories of science class, don’t worry!
In fact, in this short introduction, we will try to minimize our use of scientific terms, which you might find helpful if you do a quick google search. On page one, you will be greeted with all sorts of scientific and technical jargon.
This is obviously not helpful when making decisions that may have a direct impact on your daily life. So, in this short introduction, we will try to break it down in more understandable terms.
Getting Rid of the Unnecessary
This is what reverse osmosis does. In nature, Seagulls use reverse osmosis to eliminate things they don’t want from the water they drink. They can remove dissolved salt, minerals, and other contaminants by filtering the water through a small membrane in their throats.
You can think of the membrane as a barrier that blocks salt, bacteria, and other nasty things getting into your refreshing glass of water. This is the science that is behind many of the water treatment systems on the market today and many processes in nature.
But I Have a Reliable Water Source in My House
At the moment, that may be the case. But, with the population increasing, the demand for fresh drinking water is at an all-time high. With the increase in the population, we have seen a greater level of pollution in the water table and rising temperatures throughout the Earth.
As a result, we often see hosepipe bans during the summer and hear of chronic water shortages in numerous parts of the country and elsewhere in the world.
This sounds crazy considering the Earth is seventy percent water. However, have you ever tried drinking lots of salt water? Of course not, and rightfully so. Salt water in large doses is harmful for us because of the process of osmosis.
What is Osmosis?
Osmosis occurs throughout nature as a way to regulate the amount of water in a cell. In humans, we become thirsty because there is not enough water in our bodies and the cells of our organs. After we drink fresh water, osmosis occurs where water is allowed into the cells to create balance.
However, if we did this with salt water, the cells would block the liquid from entering the cells, and the kidneys would create more waste. This would make us more dehydrated and leave us feeling sick.
OK, But Why is Reverse Osmosis Important?
In these times of shortages and water pollution, scientists have been looking for different ways to solve water problems, and they found one major solution in nature.
As mentioned earlier, seagulls and other seabirds are able to get around the process of osmosis by filtering out the salt in their mouths. This is what reverse osmosis systems do for water treatment. The process filters contaminants out of the water with the use of a semi-permeable membrane, which creates clean, safe drinking water.
In the home, reverse osmosis systems can be particularly useful in hard water areas and if someone in the family has an allergy to some of the potential contaminants in the water, such as chalk.
And that is Reverse Osmosis
As you can see, reverse osmosis can be a beneficial process that can ensure we have a clean, fresh, and plentiful water supply.
This natural process is being increasingly used in the home. As the technology improves, it is becoming possible to remove even more minerals from the water. This is just one of the many benefits of reverse osmosis systems versus traditional filtration systems.
And you don’t even need to be a doctor to understand how it works.