Clean and safe drinking water is quite necessary for both homes and offices. In addition to safe drinking water, you also need soft water for washing dishes and clothes. The application of reverse osmosis (RO) and use of water softeners are the common methods of getting clean water for overall domestic use.
Definitions for Reverse Osmosis and Water Softening
Reverse osmosis is the system of pushing water through a series of membranes to get rid of impurities, while water softening is the process of removing minerals from water through ion-exchange by use of a cation exchange unit.
The two water treatment methods are effective and practical for use in offices and homes. In this article, we are going to highlight the types and benefits of reverse osmosis and water softeners for domestic water treatment.
Types of Reverse Osmosis Systems for Domestic Water Treatment
Traditional Tank System
Traditional tank system utilizes a series of membranes and filters through which tap water is pushed. The water is cleaned by removing the minerals with larger molecules than water molecules, and then the filtered water is stored in a separate tank ready for consumption. A unit is installed under the sink so that it can use the tap water directly from a separate sink faucet that is specifically used for dispensing the water.
There are different tank system units in the market, but it is advisable to buy a model with an automatic shut-off valve. When the storage tank is full of filtered water, the valve stops water flow to prevent wastage through the overflow outlet.
Tank –Less System
Unlike the traditional tank system, these ones do not store filtered water in a tank. The unit is connected directly to the tap faucet so that it dispenses water whenever it is required. You don’t need a room for the cabinet because no storage tank to occupy the space. These units are more improved and can dispense huge volumes of water through different sink faucets.
The tankless model is suitable for offices with many people where drinking water is in a higher demand. It is more expensive than tank system, and actually, more filters will be required when it comes to replacing the old ones. Where the water pressure is very low, you will probably need a pressure booster to keep the water flow consistent.
Benefits of RO System
Some contaminants such as heavy metals like lead are harmful to body health. Tap water may contain such metals, and reverse osmosis helps in removing them. If metallic water pipes are rusty, the oxides wear off and then carried by the water flowing water. Intake of these oxides can cause severe health disorders. Therefore, reverse osmosis filters out such metallic compounds in water, making the water safer for drinking.
Municipal water may contain some chemical compounds such as nitrates and sulfur that give water an unpleasant taste. These compounds are difficult to eliminate in the municipal water treatment plants, and therefore reverse osmosis becomes a better final treatment method. Those compounds are responsible for the bad taste of tap water, but reverse osmosis eliminates it through filtering out the compounds.
Types of Water Softeners
Salt-Based Ion Exchange Water Softener
It uses two tanks; one tank contains particular resin beads while the other is filled with brine. The principle of ion exchange is applied through substituting sodium for other hard minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and iron.
Salt-Free Water Softener
This kind of softener substitutes the potassium chloride salt instead of sodium. Therefore, it is suitable for people with concerns about sodium intake. It prevents minerals from building up in water-using appliances rather than reducing the minerals.
Dual-Tank Water Softener
The unit disconnects during the recharging time, meaning that the system is not at work for a while. The cycle is set to restore later at night. It is ideal if there is no water required at night. However, those living in areas with hard water supply throughout, a dual-tank water unit with double resin tanks can be reliable. The two tanks alternate such that when one is in use, the other tank is regenerating. This ensures a constant supply of soft water.
Benefits of Water Softeners
Soft water is perfect for cleaning clothes and dishes without leaving soap residues on your hands and skin. Also, the amount of soap required for washing is less compared to hard water. If you use washing machines, hard water tends to leave residues inside the appliances. Generally, continuous use of hard water can lower the lifespan of your appliances that use water.