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Health & Medicine

Can Reverse Osmosis Water Harm Your Health?

— September 23, 2022

The reverse osmosis water system offers an excellent alternative to many people who seek to give their families pure and safe drinking water.

Access to water is a universal human right. But it’s genuinely depressing to know that there are still 2 billion people in the world that lack access to safely managed drinking water. Just as the world is covered by 71% water, most of it isn’t safe to drink.  

Today, contaminated water is a huge issue and has been a concern because of its high death toll. Every year, around 829,000 people die because of dehydration due to diarrhea from contaminated water. Municipal water can be contaminated with biological, physical, or chemical contaminants, and all of these have harmful effects on one’s body. 

In recent years, reverse osmosis water systems have been used in many homes worldwide to make the water at home safe for drinking. 

What Is Reverse Osmosis Water System? 

Reverse osmosis is widely used in homes, health institutions, and commercial and leisure facilities because it’s considered the most effective water filtration method. It produces clean, great-tasting water free of impurities, so you can be sure that your family or business patrons will be safe and protected.  If you’re considering adding a layer of protection to the water you drink at home, reverse osmosis is worth looking at. 

History Of Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System 

In the 18th century, the idea of reverse osmosis was first observed in the laboratory by using a pig’s bladder as a membrane by French scientist Jean-Antoine Nollet. But the technology came into fruition out of necessity to remove salt from seawater during the war.  

This is particularly important for the survival of soldiers operating submarines with very little space and no water source under the ocean. Since then, it has become a viable source of clean and pure water for many people.  

How Does It Work? 

It allows water to pass through several filters depending on the type of water in your area. The first stage is through a sediment filter, which removes physical contaminants like dirt, dust, and rust. The second stage is through the carbon filter, which eliminates VOCs or volatile organic compounds, which are the stuff that sometimes gives municipal water a bad taste and odor.

Water pouring over a light bulb; image by Sharon Pittaway, via
Water pouring over a light bulb; image by Sharon Pittaway, via

After removing the VOCs, the water will pass through the semi-permeable reverse osmosis membrane via high pressure to remove 98% of TDS or total dissolved solids. At this stage, the tiny dissolved particles that even a microscope can’t view and that the sediment filter didn’t capture will be removed. 

All the water that passes through the last filter will be stored inside the storage tank, suitable for use by anyone. When the tank gets full. The system will automatically shut off and will resume filtering water when the water in the tank is utilized. 

The Benefits Of Reverse Osmosis 

  • Effective in removing contaminants including sodium, sulfate, mercury, lead, arsenic, chloride, and fluoride.
  • It’s energy-efficient unlike other water systems that require heat and electricity, it relies on your home’s water pressure alone to function.  
  • It’ll save you money. You don’t need to spend money buying bottled water or mineral water by gallons.  
  • It’s very sustainable. Since it doesn’t use electricity, your carbon footprint will be low, and since you’re going to eliminate bottled water, you won’t have to throw plastic bottles in the trash that will eventually be dumped in landfills.  
  • It’ll result in better-tasting food. Most of the time, the minerals and chemicals in municipal water alter the taste of the food you cook for your family. With reverse osmosis, you get clean and great-tasting water that won’t harm the food you prepare.  

The Disadvantages Of Reverse Osmosis 

  • It requires maintenance. The filters need to be replaced to ensure you’re always getting clean water. Ideally, filters need to be changed every 12 months to reach optimal effectiveness of your water filtration system.
  • The taste requires getting used to it. If you’re used to drinking filtered or mineralized water, you may find the taste of reverse osmosis water unusual as many people will describe it as flat-tasting. 
  • You may need to wait for it. The reverse osmosis process is slow compared to other water systems; that’s why there’s a tank for storing water. If you consume water fast, there might be periods when you need to wait for the drinking water supply.  

Can It Harm Your Health? 

Since reverse osmosis removes most contaminants in the water, including all the essential minerals like calcium and magnesium, people are questioning its effectiveness. But many minerals in water are also present in the food you eat. So, if you feel like you’re lacking in calcium, then dose up on supplements and drink your milk. Eating a balanced diet will solve that, but getting sick from contaminated water may be more challenging, not to mention expensive.  


The reverse osmosis water system offers an excellent alternative to many people who seek to give their families pure and safe drinking water. If you think it could be unsafe for your family, think of the many restaurants in the world operating with the reverse osmosis water system and no harm befalling their patrons. 

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