Archive for the ‘Reverse Osmosis’ Category

Reverse Osmosis vs Carbon Filter

Posted by Rayne Water

If you’re dealing with limey build-ups, scummy showers, and funky smells, you’re probably looking for an easy solution to your water problem. When searching for the right water filtration system, you’re almost guaranteed to come across these two popular options: reverse osmosis unit and carbon filters.

The most common types of water filters, reverse osmosis and carbon filtering both offer a way to  treat your drinking water but yield different results.

Does reverse osmosis remove minerals? The short answer is “yes.” And as for carbon filtration? Unfortunately, that’s a “no.”

However, there’s a lot more to understand when it comes to mineral filtration and reverse osmosis. In this guide, we’ll go deep into minerality, the fundamentals of filtration, and the way to determine the best drinking water systems for your situation.

The Fundamentals of Water Filtration

We’ve touched a little on water filters vs reverse osmosis, but it’s important to grasp the fundamentals of water filtration as well.

Before diving into these two methods in more detail, you need to understand some basic facts about water filters: 

These facts apply to both reverse osmosis and carbon filters.

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Reverse Osmosis 101

A reverse osmosis filter is a great option if you want to filter out every possible contaminant in your water.

While reverse osmosis certainly sounds like a topic from biology class, it’s perfectly understandable when broken down into a few steps.

Reverse Osmosis or RO is a physical filtration process involving a semipermeable membrane typically made of cellulose acetate, polysulfone, and polyamide. The reverse osmosis membranes are solvent resistant, meaning they won’t be damaged or made less effective by water. 

RO, in its simplest terms, works like this: 

In short, the reverse osmosis membrane acts like a bouncer at an exclusive club, water is the VIP, and contaminants are not on the guest list.

What Does Reverse Osmosis Remove?

The process of reverse osmosis has been popular for more than 50 years and was invented more than 100 years ago. Over the course of several decades, reverse osmosis technology has been refined to filter smaller and smaller ions—we’re talking filters with a pore size of .0001 microns.

In case you don’t know how small a micron is, the diameter of a single human hair is on average about 70 microns. So, .0001 microns is quite literally microscopic.

That means a reverse osmosis system can filter out minerals, dissolved solids, and much, much more.

A modern Reverse Osmosis filter is capable of filtering out:

Most importantly, for this guide, RO is the best way to make sure your water is mineral-free. In a 2009 study, it was shown that “Reverse Osmosis (RO) removed  more than 90-99.99% of all the contaminants including minerals from the drinking water supply.”1 

Minerals just can’t make it past the membrane.

What About Carbon Filtering?

As we mentioned earlier, you most likely stumbled across carbon filtering when researching water filtration options. You may even already own a water pitcher with a charcoal filter, or have one attached to your sink. You might be asking, is this capable of removing minerals as well

Unfortunately, the answer is no.

What you’re looking at is a carbon filter, one of the most common types of water purification and filtration systems for residential use, and likely the method you’re most familiar with. After all, carbon POU filters are affordable and can certainly improve taste.

Despite its commonality, carbon filtering is not always ideal, though it’s important to know why.

Carbon filtering involves the use of Granular Activated Carbon or GAC. GAC is made from oxygenating carbon to create a highly porous, black material with a large surface area. Water passes through the carbon particles, which filter out impurities and contaminants.2

Activated carbon filters out:

What Carbon Filters Leave Behind

Because some water may remain in the filter, GAC filters require cleaning and replacement. If left unattended, the stagnant water has the potential to grow bacteria which is not only a little gross but a potential health risk.

It’s also important to be aware of what activated carbon doesn’t filter, including:

GAC is highly effective for some materials, but smaller molecules can pass through it. While carbon filtering is a sensible choice for some filtration needs, it ultimately isn’t the best option if you’re looking to remove minerals from your drinking water. 

Hard Water, Simple Science

The facts are simple: if you want to remove minerals, only an RO water filter will do.

So, is minerality really the source of your water woes? To make a decision, you’ll need to understand water hardness.

Determining the hardness of water might sound like figuring out the wetness of sand, but don’t fret, hard water simply refers to water with a high concentration of minerals in it.

Water hardness is determined by a ratio of milligrams of calcium carbonate to liters of H20.3

If you’re staring at a glass of tap water trying to determine the level of hardness, you might have a hard time figuring it out. The mineral content of your drinking water is typically invisible to the naked eye, though sometimes you can see a slight discoloration. 

There are a few ways to test water hardness, but most often it’s easily detectable by taste, touch, or smell.

The Problem With Minerals

It’s important to note that mineral contaminants in your drinking water do not pose a serious health threat.

That said, they often do:

If these issues sound familiar, an RO filter is the best option to safeguard your water.

From Hard to Easy

If you’re tired of funny tastes, spotted silverware, and stains on your clothes and fixtures, it’s time to consider a water softener or a reverse osmosis water filtration system. Experts agree you should be drinking 2-4 liters per day, so why settle for less than excellent?4

There are certainly a lot of benefits to reverse osmosis at a personal and a commercial level, and with the right system, you could be pumping gallons of clean, great-tasting water in no time.

Rayne Water: The Bouncers For Your Personal Water Supply

Now that you know a little about Reverse Osmosis and its mineral filtration abilities, it’s time to put a plan into action, get your feet wet, and dive right in.

If you’re looking for a smart solution to your water filtration issues look no further than Rayne Water. We’ve been providing water systems to individuals and businesses for over 90 years, and can match you with your perfect system to keep unwanted particles out of your home for good. 

Contact Rayne Water today to schedule a water test. We’re here to help provide the purest water for every situation. Check out our products and services, and remember to stay hydrated!


  1. International Water Association. Reverse osmosis and the removal of minerals from drinking water.
  2. Thought Co. Activated charcoal and how it works.
  3. USGS. Hardness of water.
  4. Mayo Clinic. Water: how much should you drink every day.
  5. FDA. Reverse osmosis.
  6. International Water Association. Reverse osmosis and the removal of minerals from drinking 
  7. water.
  8. Thought Co. Activated charcoal and how it works.

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Lead?

Posted by Rayne Water

When it comes to water quality, taste and hardness may immediately come to mind as potential issues. But it’s also important to consider the safety of your home water supply.

Whether you’re already aware of high lead levels or you’re just starting to investigate water filtration options and drinking water systems, you’ve probably heard something about reverse osmosis. 

Reverse osmosis is a water purification method in which water is forced through the semipermeable membrane. Tiny pores in the RO membrane allow water to pass through, separating it from potentially harmful contaminants. 

You might be wondering “does reverse osmosis remove minerals” and “does reverse osmosis remove lead from water?” In short, yes it does. But how does it work? Continue reading to learn about the dangers of lead poisoning and how reverse osmosis can guarantee safe hydration.

The Dangers of Lead Poisoning

Lead is a heavy metal found in the earth’s crust. Although lead’s toxicity is now widely recognized, for some time lead was considered a “miracle metal”.1

That means that lead exposure can be difficult to avoid.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there is no safe level of lead exposure for children.

In children, lead exposure can cause:

Lead affects adults somewhat differently. In adults, lead exposure can cause cardiovascular effects, hypertension, and reproductive problems.2

With serious effects like these, no one should risk having lead contaminate their drinking water.

Reverse Osmosis Systems starting at only $25/mo. Try before you buy!

When Should I Be Concerned About Lead Exposure?

Regulation around lead exposure has come a long way.

But while your local water supply may be lead-free, that doesn’t mean the water that flows from your taps would test negative as well.

Assessing  Your Home

The most common way for lead to enter drinking water is through the corrosion of lead pipes and fixtures. Although human skin does not absorb lead in water, when lead is consumed, it bioaccumulates over time. 

Lead is more commonly found in older homes. If your home is 30 years old or older, it may be helpful to look into its history and the building materials used throughout its life.

Do you believe your home may have lead pipes? Luckily, there are a few ways to tell whether or not you are at risk.

Fortunately, modern water filtration methods including reverse osmosis are extremely effective at ensuring safe drinking water.

How Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Lead?

Reverse osmosis separates two liquids across a membrane. On one side of the reverse osmosis membrane, you have contaminated water, which is purified as it is pushed through to the other side. 

It may be helpful to think of a coffee filter. When you make coffee with a filter, only the liquid coffee passes through. The ground beans, meanwhile, are left behind.

Because reverse osmosis removes contaminants and impurities from the water so effectively, it’s become an increasingly popular water purification method. 

Beyond lead, reverse osmosis filtration can also remove:

The reverse osmosis systems or RO system usually have a pore size of 0.0001 micron. This means that it is highly effective at removing bacteria and viruses from your drinking water.5

Most in-home reverse osmosis systems have a pre and post water filter. 

Note that a reverse osmosis system, though efficient, will lose a small amount of water each time contaminants are separated and flushed out. This “flushing out” ensures that dangerous contaminants such as lead are not left in the water after it has been processed.

Prevent Lead Contamination with a Rayne Water System

At Rayne Water, our goal is to bring clean water to your home. Whether your concern is lead, minerals, or bacteria, our reverse osmosis systems can guarantee clean, drinkable water.

We have top-of-the-line reverse osmosis systems available. Our Rayne Clear system is a standard reverse osmosis filtration system, the Rayne Pure Plus is a four-stage reverse osmosis system, and the  Rayne Eradicator is the best and most efficient reverse osmosis system we’ve found. Which is right for you? Get in touch today to find out.

If you have any concerns about the drinkability of your water, we would love to be your solution.


  1. NPR. Before It Was Dangerous, Lead Was The Miracle Metal That We Loved
  2. EPA. Learn about Lead.
  3. EPA. Protect Your Family from Sources of Lead
  4. Accurate Plumbing. What Material Are Your Pipes Made Of?
  5. CDC. Technical Information on Home Water Treatment

Is Fluoride in Water Bad For You?

Posted by Rayne Water

Is fluoride in water bad for you? Short answer: no. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Fluoride has been regularly added to America’s public water system supplies to help strengthen teeth and prevent cavities since 1945. 

According to the CDC or Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the addition of this mineral to drinking water has been found to reduce the risk of tooth decay by up to 25% for both children and adults. 

If you have ever wondered, is fluoride in water bad for you, or does reverse osmosis remove fluoride in the water? This guide has all the answers you’ll need. We’ll outline what exactly this mineral is and explore the potential benefits and drawbacks of fluoride, how you can measure the amount of fluoride in your water, and how you can regulate your fluoride intake with home water filters or water softeners. 

What is Fluoride? 

It is a mineral that can naturally be found in your teeth and bones. It’s also found in water, soil, plants, rocks, and even air. When we talk about the human consumption of fluoride, it is generally in regard to oral health. Dentists like fluoride because it strengthens the enamel of teeth, thus preventing the risk of forming cavities. 

Outside of the dentist’s office, this mineral can also be used:

Where Does Fluoride Come From

Fluoride is a mineral that’s naturally present in the earth. Primary fluoride sources include:

The Benefits of Fluoride in Water

The primary benefit of fluoride is that it strengthens tooth enamel. This may seem like a minor detail, but in reality, maintaining healthy teeth and oral health is an important way to also maintain a healthy body. Here’s why:

Tooth enamel protects the inner layers of your tooth from acids, bacteria, and plaque, all of which can lead to more serious severe illnesses. The reason has to do with the tooth itself. The inner layers of the tooth offer a direct path to the skeletal structures of your jaw and skull, circulatory system, and nervous system. The stronger the enamel, the more these parts of your body are protected. 

Let’s look at how fluoride keeps your gnashers strong, plus other benefits of adding fluoride to water:

Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, can help prevent the loss of minerals from the tooth enamel and can also accelerate the repair process of putting minerals back into damaged enamel. Fluoride can also reduce acid production in your mouth, helping to prevent the formation of cavities in the first place.

Reverse Osmosis Systems starting at only $25/mo. Try before you buy!

The Drawbacks of Fluoride in Water  

Adding fluoride to water has proven effective when it comes to cavity reduction. But can too much fluoride ultimately cause your body harm? 

An excess intake of fluoride can cause:

This condition typically occurs during the formation of childhood teeth when children consume too much fluoride from multiple sources. This may look like a child ingesting fluoride toothpaste in large quantities, or consuming too much fluoride via fluoride supplements, plus drinking fluoridated water. 

This disease is most commonly found in countries like India and China, where there are longer periods of groundwater consumption with high levels of naturally occurring fluoride.

So should you be worried about an excess of fluoride in your tap water? Not necessarily. Some places have high levels of fluoride, which can cause health problems, as mentioned above, but typically the amount of fluoride found in groundwater is between a safe 0.01 to 0.3 parts per million. When groundwater approaches 4 parts fluoride per mission, it becomes hazardous. 

Translation? There would have to be 400 times more fluoride parts per million than the typical groundwater contains. In fact, according to a study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, the fluoride concentration in most potable water wells sampled in the county were “below the optimal concentration recommended to prevent tooth decay.” 

High amounts of fluoride in your drinking water is extremely unlikely. According to the study mentioned above, you’re more likely not to be getting enough fluoride than you are to be getting too much. 

How Much Fluoride is In Your Drinking Water? 

Just because fluoridating water is a common practice in the U.S. doesn’t mean the city you live in currently adds this mineral to its public drinking supplies. 

To see whether or not your city fluoridates its water, head to the CDC website where there is a tool that allows you to see if your city adds fluoride to water and if so, how much. From there, you can gauge if your drinking water is providing enough fluoride for your health or if you need to increase your intake of this vital mineral. 

Get the Right Amount of Fluoride with Water Filters 

So, is fluoride in water bad for you? The short answer: when consumed in safe amounts, fluoride can be highly beneficial to your overall oral health. 

The suggested fluoride intake for adults over the age of 18 is a max of 3 milligrams of the mineral per day. Most public water systems in the U.S. contain .7 parts per million of fluoride. However, your county may not be introducing enough fluoride into the drinking water to ensure maximum health benefits for you, your family, and your whole community. In cases like these, it’s always best to take control of your health. Consider investing in a home water filtration system. 

Home water filtration systems can:

Trust Rayne Water to Improve Your Water Systems

Consider investing in a home water filtration system to control how much fluoride is in your drinking water.. Rayne Water Conditioning services are based in Arizona, California, and Nevada and can help you install reverse osmosis systems that will help clear your water of excess fluoride, as well as any contaminants. 

Interested in learning more about keeping your water safe and clean for your family? Our trained experts can help you find the perfect solution for your home water systems, like a reverse osmosis water filter system, so that you can enjoy better water quality every day. Check out our services and products today!


American Dental Association. 5 Reasons Why Fluoride in Water is Good for Communities. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over 75 Years of Community Water Fluoridation 

Healthline. Fluoride: Good or Bad? 

Healthline. What Is Fluoride, and Is It Safe? 

Mayo Clinic. Oral Health: A Window to Your Overall Health. 

National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Fluoride. 

Rayne Water. Effects of Fluoridated Drinking Water. 

U.S. Department of the Interior. A Comprehensive Assessment of Fluoride in Groundwater. 

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride?

Posted by Rayne Water

Does reverse osmosis remove fluoride from drinking water? The short answer: yes, it does! But what exactly is reverse osmosis?

This brief guide will explore how reverse osmosis water filtration systems remove fluoride from drinking water. We’ll also define what fluoride is and why some people find it beneficial to absorb through their drinking waters, while others are wary about consuming too much fluoride at the risk of developing certain very rare health issues. 

So, continue reading to learn more about removing fluoride using reverse osmosis. 

What is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse osmosis (RO) is becoming an increasingly popular option for home water filtration systems. An RO filter can remove impurities, contaminants, and unwanted dissolved solids from your unfiltered water. 

One method of removing contaminants within freshwater by putting the water under pressure and pushing it through a special filter is called Reverse Osmosis. Mineral contaminants cannot go through the filter, allowing fresh water to leave behind extra substances you don’t want in your drinking water. 

This is essentially what happens when you install a Reverse Osmosis filter. The RO filter’s semi-permeable membrane thoroughly filters out contaminants and dissolved minerals like lead, arsenic, iron, mercury, sodium, and, you guessed it, fluoride. 

What is Fluoride? 

It is a mineral that is found naturally in our bones and teeth as well as air, soil, plants, rocks, freshwater, seawater, and many foods. Fluoride can be added to drinking water supplies, supplements, and dental products. 

The Benefits of Fluoride

So, is fluoride bad for you? Fluoride has been added to the country’s public drinking water for decades primarily because it has proven to be a safe, cost-effective way to prevent dental cavities and improve dental health. Fluoride helps to repair tooth enamel damaged by bacteria and can also help reduce the acid in your mouth, thus preventing cavities from forming. 

Maintaining good oral health is so important to communities that add fluoride to public water because they recognize that dental hygiene can affect every aspect of one’s life. Fluoride can prevent bacterial infections in the mouth and bone, issues in the circulatory system, nerve damage, and even malnutrition due to the weakening of teeth.

The Drawbacks of Too Much Fluoride 

There are critics of fluoridating public drinking water systems who say this is an individual decision that should not be controlled by the city in which you reside. On one hand, too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis—a kind of tooth damage—or skeletal fluorosis—a weakening of the bones.

But how much is too much, exactly?

Studies show that a fluoride content of .7 parts per million is ideal for proper health benefits. When do these levels start to become hazardous? When the fluoride content of water is at 4.0 parts per million. That means the groundwater would have to have almost 600 times the ideal fluoride content.

Luckily, it’s pretty unlikely you live in an area with exceptionally high fluoride levels in the groundwater. According to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey, most drinking water is actually below the optimal concentration for health benefits. 

Why Is Fluoride Added to Water?

Quite simply put: it’s amazing for your teeth. Adding fluoride to drinking water systems has been shown to improve the dental health of a population dramatically. That means less costly dental procedures, fewer threats to our health, and improved quality of life across the community.

In fact, researchers had begun making the connection between healthy teeth and fluoride as far back as the 1800s. After Grand Rapids, Michigan became the first city to fluoridate (add fluoride) to its public water system in 1945, many cities and towns across the country followed suit, adding this naturally occurring mineral to their own water supplies. 

Fluoride has been identified by the CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an effective method of delivering fluoride across the community regardless of age, education, or socioeconomic status. However, some individuals would rather choose their own fluoride levels for their at-home drinking water. 

Reverse Osmosis Systems starting at only $25/mo. Try before you buy!

Install a Rayne Water Reverse Osmosis System Today 

While fluoridating public water systems has been proven to effectively maintain a community’s oral health and prevent cavities, some people would still prefer to control how much fluoride they consume by sticking to dental products containing the mineral, or eating foods that naturally contain fluoride. 

If you want to say goodbye to fluoride in your tap water forever, consider installing a home filtration reverse osmosis system. 

An RO water filter can remove impurities, contaminants, and unwanted dissolved solids from your unfiltered water—this includes fluoride removal. 

Choose Rayne Water for Your Filtration Needs

At Rayne Water Conditioning, we have top-of-the-line, residential RO filtration systems available in three different units. The Clear system is a basic Reverse Osmosis filter system, the Pure Plus is a four-stage RO water filter system, and the deluxe Eradicator is the most efficient Reverse Osmosis water filter system we have available. 

Ready to learn more about how to remove fluoride and other impurities from your drinking water ? Call your local Rayne Water office today. 


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over 75 Years of Community Water Fluoridation 

Healthline. Fluoride: Good or Bad? 

Rayne Water. Effects of Fluoridated Drinking Water. 

Rayne Water. Residential Reverse Osmosis Systems. 

U.S. Department of the Interior. A Comprehensive Assessment of Fluoride in Groundwater.

Medical News Today. Why do we have fluoride in our water?

Under Sink Reverse Osmosis

Posted by Rayne Water

Are you looking for effective in-home water filtration? Reverse osmosis systems are hard to beat for great drinking water, and some of them are small enough to be installed under your sink. Understanding what reverse osmosis is, how effective it is at removing contaminants, and what you should look for in an under sink reverse osmosis system can help you narrow down your options.

What is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse osmosis is a filtration method using a specialized membrane to separate unwanted contaminants from water. In a reverse osmosis water filtration system, contaminated water is forced at high pressure through the membrane to remove contaminants. The membrane in the reverse osmosis system has tiny pores that allow water molecules to pass through but not larger contaminants.

How Effective is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse osmosis is one of the most effective water filtration methods available for residential drinking water. For people weighing reverse osmosis vs distilled and other purification methods, reverse osmosis tends to be the best choice for home use. With that being said, no filtration method is perfect for removing all contaminants. Like other water filtration methods, reverse osmosis removes some contaminants but not others. 

Reverse osmosis is effective at removing microbes. This includes protozoa such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia, bacteria like Salmonella, Shigella, and coliforms like E. coli. RO systems will also remove viruses in the water, such as Hepatitis A and Norovirus.

Reverse osmosis systems are also highly effective at removing mineral ions, metal ions, and salts. These include sodium, copper, chromium, and chloride. They will also reduce levels of the heavy metal arsenic, which is often found in private wells, as well as other heavy metals found in tap water. If you are curious about what is demineralized water, it is water with these minerals, salts, and metal ions removed. 

Reverse Osmosis Systems starting at only $25/mo. Try before you buy!

The Importance of Pre- and Post-Filters

While a reverse osmosis filter is effective on its own against a wide range of contaminants, it won’t remove all of the contaminants you may want out of your drinking water. To eliminate such contaminants, a state-of-the-art reverse osmosis unit will incorporate additional filtration methods.

Pre- and post-filters have an important role in RO systems. Pre-filters capture sediment and large particles before the water is forced through the semipermeable membrane. This pre-filtration step extends the lifespan of your RO membrane by reducing membrane fouling from large particles.

Post-filtration using activated carbon water filters will capture a wider range of contaminants than a reverse osmosis membrane alone. Granulated activated carbon (GAC) filtration is excellent at removing disinfectants used in water treatment, like chlorine, and disinfectant byproducts like chloroform. 

Post-filtration with activated carbon will also remove harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from your tap water. Many VOCs increase the risk of developing certain cancers and may contribute to organ damage.

Not sure is reverse osmosis water safe? When combined with pre- and post-filtration, reverse osmosis membrane filtration is highly effective at capturing the wide range of contaminants commonly found in tap water. Post-filtration through activated carbon will give your drinking water a clean, crisp taste by eliminating many of the odors and gases that contribute to poor tasting tap water.

Considerations for Under Sink Systems

RO systems come in two broad categories of configurations. Point-of-entry (POE) systems provide filtered water to your entire house and are installed where your water supply line comes into your home. Point-of-use (POU) systems are installed at a single faucet, usually at your kitchen sink. 

When looking for a POU under the sink reverse osmosis system, you’ll want to ensure the system can provide a sufficient amount of filtered water each day. Between 35 – 50 gallons per day (GPD) is a good figure to shoot for. Higher producing systems are also available for households with higher demand.

Ensure the under sink reverse osmosis system you choose reduces the highest amount of total dissolved solids (TDS). These include minerals, metals, and salt ions, and are a good representation of the overall filtration capacity of the system. Look for systems offering a reduction of TDS by between 93-97%. Be sure your system also includes a sediment pre-filter and an activated carbon post-filter, which will provide the greatest reduction in potential contaminants.

You should also consider having your system professionally installed. Though reverse osmosis systems are small enough to fit into tight spaces, installation can be challenging in certain circumstances. Reverse osmosis systems also produce a small amount of wastewater, so you’ll have to install a drain line as well. You’ll also need to periodically change the under sink reverse osmosis water filter, so you’ll want to be sure to allow for relatively easy access.

Closing Thoughts

Under-sink reverse osmosis filtration is a highly effective method of getting clean, filtered drinking water in your home. As a point-of-use system, under-sink reverse osmosis is used to provide drinking water at a single faucet. Though small in size, when configured with pre- and post-filtration an RO system is capable of reducing or eliminating a broad range of potentially harmful contaminants. 

If you aren’t sure which reverse osmosis under sink system is right for you, call our helpful staff at Rayne Water today. We can walk you through your options and schedule a water test, which can help guide you towards the RO system that is right for you.




Reverse Osmosis Vs Distilled

Posted by Rayne Water

If you are looking at options for purified water you have probably come across the suggestion to use a reverse osmosis water purification system. You might have also seen people recommend drinking distilled water if you are worried about organic contaminants. If you’ve ever wondered the difference between distilled and purified water, distillation is just a type of water purification. So, instead of thinking of this as purified vs distilled water, it is a better representation to think of distilled water under the umbrella of purified water.

Reverse osmosis and water distillation are common methods for water purification, but what are these differences between these two purification methods, and which is better? While water distillation is an older purification process, there are several key factors making it less desirable for home water purification. Understanding the differences between reverse osmosis vs distilled water can help you determine which water purification method is right for you.

What is Distilled Water?

Distilled water is water that has gone through the process of distillation. In order to distill water, you boil it, capture the steam that rises from the water, then allow the steam to condense and fill another container.

Put another way, the distillation process involves turning liquid water into a gas and then reforming it as a liquid again. This type of treated water requires a piece of equipment known as a still. Modern distillation units are fairly straightforward in operation by automating the process.

Distillation is used as a means of water purification. Purification is the process of removing certain contaminants from water, so distillation is a method of reducing contaminants and producing clean water. Like other methods of water filtration or purification, distillation is unable to remove all organic contaminants on its own.

Distillation is effective at removing dissolved solids in water, such as minerals and salts. These substances make water hard and lead to scaling. Distillation is also excellent at neutralizing microbes such as giardia or Legionella from water. Distillation is less effective at removing chemicals with a boiling point near water. To remove these chemicals, distilled water will need to be run through an additional filtration process.

Distilled water is necessary for the operation of certain types of equipment. You’ll see it required for use in equipment that may be damaged by mineral deposits. Distilled water is used in a residential setting for use in an electric iron or steam mop, as well as in automotive cooling systems and certain types of batteries.

What are the Disadvantages of Distillation?

Although distillation can provide some purification benefits for tap water, there are some downsides to consider as well. When comparing reverse osmosis water filter vs distilled water, the biggest disadvantages of distillation are speed and energy costs. Home distillation systems require high amounts of energy to run, resulting in higher ongoing costs when compared to alternatives like reverse osmosis.

Distillation systems are at a disadvantage for providing drinking water on demand. While the best under sink reverse osmosis system can produce up to 75 gallons of drinking water each day as needed, distillation takes time. Water must be brought to a boil, and steam must condense and collect in a storage container. 

The second disadvantage of distilled water is most people do not enjoy drinking it. Distilled water has been demineralized, and is often described as flat or bland in taste. For people wondering, “what is demineralized water?”, it is simply water with the dissolved minerals and salts removed. Minerals and salts like magnesium and calcium, which harden water, also give it some of the taste many of us have come to expect. Since distillation nearly completely removes any mineral content in water, many people find the taste strange. 

What is Reverse Osmosis Filtration?

Reverse osmosis is one of the most common water filtration systems in both residential and industrial settings. Reverse osmosis is used by millions of people to provide clean, filtered drinking water. It is also used in desalination plants to turn seawater into freshwater, in industrial agriculture to give greater control over the PH of the soil, in the production of pharmaceutical products, and in food and beverage production.

The best way to understand the reverse osmosis process is by getting a sense of how osmosis works first. Osmosis is a natural process involving the movement of solvent from a solution with a low concentration of solutes to a solution with a high concentration of solutes across a semipermeable membrane. This movement is due to a force known as osmotic pressure.

The point of reverse osmosis water is to achieve equilibrium on both sides of a membrane. When one side has a higher concentration of solutes and a lower concentration of liquid, the liquid flows from the other side until the solution on both sides of the membrane is the same.

Osmosis is how plants get nutrients from the ground. The soil is a solution with a low concentration of solutes, and the plant has a high concentration of solutes. Water flows through the semipermeable membrane of the roots into the plant.

In reverse osmosis, this entire process is reversed. Reverse osmosis starts with a solution with a high concentration of solutes. For water purification, this is water with a large number of contaminants. This contaminated water is forced at high pressure across a semipermeable membrane. The semipermeable membrane has tiny pores that allow water molecules to pass through but keep other contaminants out. 

One of the easiest ways to visualize the reverse osmosis process in action is through the desalination process. Desalination plants force seawater, which has a high concentration of salt, across a semipermeable membrane that allows water molecules to pass but keeps salt out. What’s left on the other side is, potable, fresh water.

If you are wondering, “is reverse osmosis water safe?”, the answer is reverse osmosis water has far fewer contaminants than unfiltered tap water.

Reverse osmosis as a filtration process on its own is effective at reducing or removing a number of contaminants. These include:

Reverse osmosis systems within a residential setting sometimes have pre- and post-filters as well. The pre-filter reduces any sediment in the water before it passes through the membrane. This helps extend the lifespan of the membrane. The post-filter uses granulated activated carbon (GAC), which captures some contaminants reverse osmosis systems aren’t as effective against. These include disinfectants like chlorine, disinfection byproducts, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), synthetic organic chemicals (SOCs), and other substances which alter the taste or smell of water.

There are a couple of important things to briefly note about residential reverse osmosis water filtration systems. The first is they aren’t 100% efficient. A small amount of water is flushed down the drain along with any contaminants collected during the reverse osmosis filter process. The second thing to note is you will occasionally have to replace the filters and RO membrane in the system. This is usually a simple process with minimal system downtime but is essential to ensure your system continues operating at peak performance.

When weighing the choice between reverse osmosis water filter vs distilled, keep in mind both types of systems produce some type of wastewater. In both types of systems, the contaminants and impurities collect on one side of the process and must be flushed from the system.

How are Reverse Osmosis Systems Used?

If you want clean, purified drinking water in your home then a Rayne Water reverse osmosis filtration system is the way to go. Reverse osmosis systems come in two configurations. The more common configuration is known as a point-of-use (POU) system. POU systems are designed to provide filtered water at a single tap, such as at your kitchen sink. 

Reverse osmosis purification systems tend to be ideal for this because they are small enough to be installed in tight spaces, such as under a kitchen sink. Yet these systems are still powerful enough to provide sufficient drinking water for everyone in your household. If you are weighing the advantages of reverse osmosis vs distilled, the size and on-demand power of reverse osmosis systems clearly pull ahead.

The second, less common configuration for reverse osmosis filtration is known as point-of-entry (POE) system. Otherwise known as a whole-house water treatment system, a POE reverse osmosis system is designed to provide reverse osmosis filtered water to your entire home. One of the benefits of a whole-house reverse osmosis system is having soft, clean water throughout your home. The water you shower and bathe in will also have had a wide range of contaminants and impurities removed.

However, if you want to eliminate the effects of hard water throughout your home and also have clean, purified drinking water it may be more economical to use a whole-house water softening system and a POE reverse osmosis filtration system. This setup is common because the use of water softeners eliminates the impact of hard water around your house, while the reverse osmosis system provides clean, filtered drinking water.

Closing Thoughts

Both distillation and reverse osmosis are methods of water purification, however, they function in different ways. The distillation process involves boiling water, capturing the steam produced, and condensing the steam in a different container. This process is accomplished with a specialized type of equipment known as a still. 

Though distillation is effective at removing microbes, minerals, and salts from your water supply, it leaves water tasting flat and bland. Distillation as a process is simply too slow, cumbersome, and inaccessible as a method of home water purification except in emergencies.

In contrast, a reverse osmosis water filtration system forces water containing contaminants across a specialized semi-permeable membrane at high pressure. In a reverse osmosis system, the membrane is designed to allow water molecules to pass through but not other contaminants. Combined with an activated carbon post-filter, reverse osmosis systems are capable of removing minerals, salts, and microbes from water, along with many organic and synthetic chemicals, and disinfectants, and their byproducts.

Unlike distillation, reverse osmosis is accessible for all homes. RO systems can be installed at a single tap and provide a sufficient amount of clean, fresh water for an entire family. Reverse osmosis systems are much more cost-effective than bottled water delivery services and offer a high level of protection against any unexpected rise in contaminants.

To learn more about residential filtration systems with reverse osmosis, please contact Rayne Water today. 




Is Reverse Osmosis Water Safe?

Posted by Rayne Water

Before investing in a reverse osmosis water system many people wonder, “is drinking reverse osmosis water bad for you?”. The debate over the safety of reverse osmosis water stems primarily from the belief that demineralized water poses a health risk. To help shed light on the answer to this belief we’ll outline how reverse osmosis water treatment works, what it removes, and what the impact of reverse osmosis water on your health might be.

How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?

Reverse osmosis water purification is one of the most popular methods of water purification today. Reverse osmosis is not only critical to a number of industries, including electronics manufacturing, agriculture, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and the food and beverage industry, but it is also an important residential water purification technique.

In reverse osmosis systems, a water supply containing unwanted contaminants is forced at high pressure through a specialized membrane. The membrane in a reverse osmosis system has tiny pores. The pores in the membrane allow water molecules to pass but not larger contaminants. 

The drinking water produced by reverse osmosis contains very few contaminants, while the water on the contaminated side of the barrier containing concentrated levels of contaminants is flushed down the drain. In short, reverse osmosis water treatment produces clean, safe drinking water without the use of chlorine or other cleansing agents commonly found in municipally purified water. 

What Contaminants Does Reverse Osmosis Remove?

There are many water purification methods you can use in your home, including filtration using activated carbon, distillation, and reverse osmosis. Ion-exchange units are also used to remove hard minerals from water. Each of these purification methods has advantages and disadvantages, and none of them will remove all contaminants contained in water.

Compared to other filtration methods, a residential reverse osmosis water filter can remove a wider range of commonly found contaminants. Additionally, the best under sink reverse osmosis systems incorporate a carbon post-filter that removes certain contaminants that reverse osmosis systems aren’t as effective against. These include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), disinfectants, and their byproducts. 

By layering purification methods, the best reverse osmosis filtration systems remove the widest spectrum of contaminants possible. If you are not sure is reverse osmosis safe to drink, with reverse osmosis water you will be exposed to fewer contaminants than drinking unfiltered tap water.

Reverse osmosis itself is effective at removing or reducing the following contaminants commonly found in tap water:

Reverse osmosis systems are capable of removing many more contaminants as well. Many reverse osmosis systems rate their filtration capability by expressing the reduction in total dissolved solids (TDS) the system is capable of providing. The best under sink reverse osmosis systems will reduce TDS by 93 – 97%.

Reverse Osmosis Systems starting at only $25/mo. Try before you buy!

Safety Concerns for Reverse Osmosis Water

At a minimum, reverse osmosis water has been filtered through a membrane that captures most of the dissolved solids and microbes in the water. If your reverse osmosis system has a carbon post-filter, any volatile organic compounds, disinfectants, disinfectant byproducts, and other substances which give water a bad taste and odor have been removed in the filtration process as well.

What is left is water with fewer contaminants than the tap water piped into your home. For those wondering, “is reverse osmosis water bad?”, the answer is, reverse osmosis water is actually far better than tap water. By removing a wide range of contaminants, a reverse osmosis water filter can limit your exposure to contaminants currently in your water and safeguard against any future rise in contaminants.

The core criticism leveled at reverse osmosis water is that it has been demineralized. Alongside the removal of minerals, reverse osmosis also removes the water additive fluoride which is added to water to strengthen teeth. If you are asking yourself, “what is demineralized water?”, the answer is simply water with dissolved minerals and salts removed. This softens the water, while also slightly altering the taste.

The removal of minerals from water is far less of a health concern in a developed country like the United States than it is in other parts of the world. In the United States, most people get the required minerals from their diet alone. In other parts of the world, individuals battling food insecurity and an inadequate diet may see a benefit from the mineral content in hard water. In the United States, a healthy adult with a balanced diet should not notice any negative side effects from the removal of trace hard minerals from water.

Final Thoughts

The short answer to the question, “is reverse osmosis water safe?” is that reverse osmosis water is safe to drink. Though reverse osmosis removes hard minerals from water, it also removes a wide range of other contaminants which can have a negative health impact. Exposure to common contaminants found in tap water around the United States, such as heavy metals, industrial chemicals, solvents, and pesticides poses a far greater risk to most people living in the United States.

Reverse osmosis systems are ideal for providing clean, filtered drinking water in a residential setting. Reverse osmosis systems are small enough to be installed under a sink, yet powerful enough to remove up to 97% of TDS in tap water. When comparing reverse osmosis vs distilled water or other water purification methods, reverse osmosis filtration emerges as more cost-effective and convenient.

If you aren’t sure whether a reverse osmosis system is right for you, consider starting with a water test. A water test will let you know what contaminants are currently in your tap water, which can guide you towards the most effective home filtration system for you. Our expert staff at Rayne Water can help you schedule a water test with a Rayne Water technician, and help outline reverse osmosis system options available to you. To learn more, please contact Rayne Water today.

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Who's Filtering YOUR Water?

Posted by Rayne Water

reverse osmosis system to help filter out these impurities before you take a drink. A reverse osmosis system uses a process in which water is forced through a membrane that has extremely small holes or pores. Clean water passes through to your faucet and the impurities that are too large to pass through the membrane are left behind and flushed away. Generally, the molecules of common impurities like lead, copper, arsenic, chlorine, giardia, pesticides, cysts, and nitrates are too large to pass through an RO system, so that’s a huge burden off your body’s natural filtering system. RO systems are typically installed under your kitchen sink and can save you hundreds of dollars every year because you never have to buy bottled water again. Not only is that a benefit for your wallet, it’s good for the environment – and your body!]]>

Just Because You Can’t See It, Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t There

Posted by Rayne Water

filter out this toxin for its residents? According to the US Geological Survey’s site, a range of about 0.05 – 0.30 g is considered a deadly amount if ingested daily over a period less than or equal to 14 days in a row. A single ingested amount as small as 0.13 g can be lethal to an adult. Yet, even more alarming are the numbers here in the United States. It has been estimated that more than 34 million Americans have been drinking tap water supplied by systems containing varying levels of arsenic. So what’s the big deal? Arsenic intake can result in many symptoms including chronic health effects, including organ damage, cancer, and even death. How is it getting in our water in the first place? According to the Natural Resource Defense Council, it naturally occurs in water after it has dissolved from minerals in our rocks and soil. Other times, arsenic enters our groundwater from mining, manufacturing, and pollution. While industrialization takes great pains to prevent groundwater contamination nowadays, we can’t wage war on naturally occurring processes – like minerals dissolving in rainwater. What are our options if arsenic cannot be prevented from the main source? We could buy bottled water at the grocery store each week. But, in looking at the whole picture (the cost of the water, transporting the plastic to a recycling center, the costs associated with recycling plastic and not even knowing if the bottled water is assured to be safe) still don’t have me buying in. Particularly here in California, where there are pockets of arsenic are in some places the highest in the nation, it is more appropriate to look into home water conditioning, water filtration, or reverse osmosis to rid many unwanted and unsafe toxins in drinking water. Weigh your “costs”- an affordable water filtration system, or unaffordable health risks.]]>

There's Little Water Problems – And Then There's 1000 TIMES THE LIMIT

Posted by Rayne Water

Desert Sun’s recent article about some California wells containing huge amounts of Chromium-6. In some cases, wells contained 1,000 times the amount deemed safe by the State. Hexavalent chromium is a potentially carcinogenic (cancer causing) metal that Erin Brockovich brought to the media’s attention some time ago. Because scientific studies on the contaminant are still ongoing, official maximum allowable standards have not been set, but California’s public health officials have determined a “goal” of 0.02 parts per billion that public water utilities and private wells should try to stay under. To implement and maintain a chromium-6 removal system is speculated to cost just one California water district more than $275 million and would raise water rates by approximately 74 percent. Many Californians complain that there is absolutely no room for cancer-causing agents in their drinking water. Others argue that if chromium-6 were a real problem, they would have felt the effects of it by now, since generations of people have been consuming this same water. Regardless of which way the public opinions swings, governmental regulation is a long ways off, with the EPA often taking four or more years to set limits. The solution is surprisingly easy – and affordable. While a faucet-mounted or pitcher-style water filter will not remove the contaminant, a reverse osmosis system generally can. Be sure to ask your water treatment professional for a list of contaminants their water filter can remove.  ]]>