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Top 7 Differences Between Reverse Osmosis and Tap Water

Top 7 Differences Between Reverse Osmosis and Tap Water

Alice L |

There are some key differences between reverse osmosis and tap water that are important to understand. RO and tap water both go through separate filtration steps that leave them with unique qualities.

In this blog post, we will cover the top 7 differences between reverse osmosis and tap water. We will cover the key distinction between RO and tap water, from the filtration process to environmental impact.

Also, read our blog post about The Future of Clean Water is RO Filtration

Top 7 Differences Between Reverse Osmosis and Tap Water

Below are the seven major differences between reverse osmosis and regular water.

1. The Filtration Process

The way reverse osmosis and tap water are filtered makes them different. Reverse osmosis uses a special kind of filter called a semi-permeable membrane. This tightly filters water to remove things dissolved in it, like salts and heavy metals.

Tap water is treated at city water plants, but not as thoroughly. Those treatment plants filter out some bad things from tap water, but not everything like the membrane does for RO water.

2. Effectiveness Comparison

Reverse osmosis does a better job of removing unwanted things. Its filter membrane blocks around 99% of dissolved salts, metals, and other gunk from the water. Tap water goes through treatment at the city's water plant.

This gets rid of some junk but not as much as RO. A tiny amount of chemicals, particles, or tiny organisms could still be in tap water after its treatment. RO filters out more contaminants than regular tap water.

3. Contaminant Removal Analysis

Both RO water and tap water can filter out harmful things in water. RO does a better job, though. It removes almost all dissolved stuff like salts, metals, and tiny plastics. RO also blocks man-made chemicals from farming and some medicines.

Tap water is treated in the city but not as thoroughly as RO. Tap water may still contain small amounts of natural minerals and traces of chemicals used to clean it that weren't taken out. RO uses special filters that get the water cleaner than what tap water treatment can do.

4. Filtration Rate Facts

The reverse osmosis process takes more time than treating tap water. This is because RO uses a membrane to filter water at a molecular level, allowing only H2O molecules to pass through. All other particles like salts, metals, and chemicals are left behind in the wastewater.

This meticulous filtering happens slowly, taking several hours to produce 1 gallon of water. Meanwhile, tap water undergoes quicker treatments at water facilities, where large amounts of water can be processed within minutes.

However, RO produces the highest quality water by blocking 99% of contaminants, while tap water still contains some substances after treatment. So filtration rate is slower for RO but it ensures the cleanest water.

5. Taste and Odor Testing

Many people think RO water tastes better than tap. Since RO takes out dissolved things that change the flavor, like salts and minerals, it usually has a fresher, crisper taste described as pure. Tap water may have a tiny metallic or chlorine taste from its cleaning at the plant.

RO makes odorless water where you can taste just the H2O. Of course, what you like is personal. But RO filtering makes sure chemicals don't impact the taste of natural water. It lets you enjoy the water in its purest form, making it a good choice for those who want pure-tasting water.

6. Cost and Convenience Contrast

Tap water is cheaper to use every day. We all share the costs of treating city water through water bills. But RO needs to buy filters, which gets pricey over time. Some think clean water without chemicals is worth it.

Others like RO water right there at the sink. Both have positives. It depends on your priorities and budget for water. If you want the best quality, RO may be better. If saving money matters most, tap water works well. In any case, both will quench your thirst!

7. Environmental Impact

Tap and RO water impacts the earth in different ways. Treating city water at plants uses power but comes from long-term water sources. RO uses less power per gallon but makes wastewater with junk from the original water. Newer systems waste only 10%, though.

Their effects depend on local conditions and available water. Both work if we don't use too much. Choosing what fits your area and conserving helps the earth the most. With care, tap and RO water can both keep our communities thriving without hurting the planet too much.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the main difference between tap and RO water?

Tap water and reverse osmosis (RO) water both provide drinking water but go through different filtration steps.

Tap water gets treated at municipal plants, while RO uses special membrane filters that remove more contaminants, like salts and heavy metals. This leaves RO water cleaner and purer tasting than tap water, which may retain traces of what was filtered out during treatment.

Which type of water removes more contaminants - reverse osmosis or tap water?

When it comes to removing contaminants, reverse osmosis is very effective at filtering out more substances compared to regular tap water. Reverse osmosis is said to block up to 99% of dissolved solids like salts and heavy metals from passing through its membrane filter.

Tap water removes some contaminants during the treatment process at water plants, but some small amounts of chemicals, particles or microbes may still remain in tap water after treatment.

How does the filtration process differ between reverse osmosis and tap water?

The filtration process is what largely determines the difference between reverse osmosis and tap water.RO uses selective membranes to block salts and metals, while tap water faces less thorough treatment at city plants, leaving some particles behind.

Final Words:

Both reverse osmosis and tap water have their pros and cons when it comes to filtration, contaminants removed, taste, cost, and environmental impact. By learning the differences, you can choose what matters most for your needs and local conditions. With care and conservation, either can provide clean water for healthy communities.