When it comes to providing water for your business equipment, you can’t take any chances. More often than not, waste products, chemicals, and runoff all wind up in streams, lakes, wells, dams, and reservoirs, filling them with toxic materials. They can come in various forms, like bacteria, parasites, and other harmful substances that cause serious damage, such as rusting and breaking. Your employees and clients may also contract health issues, including diarrhea, gastrointestinal problems, and clinical infections, if they accidentally consume or make contact with contaminated content.
Luckily, there are several ways you can avoid these problems. A good example is reverse osmosis, a method that’s often suggested by industrial testing laboratory services when they find that a water source is tainted.
What Reverse Osmosis Is
As you might remember in science class, osmosis refers to the passage of water (and its solvents, if there are any) through a semipermeable membrane. To be more specific, it’s the natural redirection of liquid from a diluted solution to a more concentrated one to achieve equilibrium. You’ll notice this process in plants that “drink up” all the fluid in a vase and fingertips that get wrinkled after being submerged.
But, if you force the liquid to move from a more concentrated side to a diluted one, that refers to reverse osmosis (RO). This process leaves you with water that’s fresh and contains little to no contaminants, called permeate. In most cases, this product is even safe enough to drink.
How It Works
Reverse osmosis is done with a specially designed system of pipes, membranes, and housings typically installed under the sink or in the basement. The liquid first flows from the cold line valve and to the pre-filter, where sand, silt, dirt, and other sediments are sifted out. Also removed during this stage are contaminants, such as chlorine and volatile organic compounds.
Once the fluid is free of fine grains and substances that give it a distinct odor and taste, it’s pushed through the semipermeable RO membrane with pressure. This separates up to 98% of the smallest molecules or dissolved particles from the water. Depending on the model you have installed, the water may go through more filters or stages.
The treated fluid is then kept in a pressurized storage tank until you turn on the faucet. But, before it flows out of the system, it passes through a post or “polishing” filter that gets rid of any remaining odors or flavors. This elaborate scheme guarantees that you’ll receive and use only the cleanest and safest, purified water. As for the collected waste products, or “brine,” they’re sent down a line that runs from the RO membrane housing to the drain.
Why It’s Necessary
What makes an RO filtration system a crucial technology is its ability to remove a slew of contaminants from fluid. Its sediment, carbon, and semipermeable membranes can get rid of all traces of toxic substances like arsenic, fluoride, salt, herbicides, and pesticides. This leaves you with water that’s free of materials that can potentially damage your equipment. Another great thing about this device is that it’s easy to install and maintain, so you won’t have to worry about the complex processes related to those aspects. With proper care, it’ll last for 10 to 15 years.
Its Industrial Applications
A reverse osmosis filtration system can be used for various applications in many industries such as food and beverage processing, pharmaceutical and cosmetics manufacturing, and industrial boiler operation. Brackish and seawater desalination, ultrapure water production, and wastewater treatment all use this device, as well.
Get in touch with Environmental Testing and Research Laboratories, Inc. for services on industrial testing. Their in-house experts will help you know if your business or plant’s water is safe for use or needs to be treated with a reverse osmosis filtration system.