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About Reverse Osmosis Systems

WaterFilterExchange.com can provide you with the latest news on the Reverse Osmosis Water Purification industry or with specifications on your RO Membrane or Filters. Large or small, we strive to maintain the finest stock of products to keep your water supply healthy and safe. Here are some tips on understanding your Reverse Osmosis System and the filters and RO Membranes it's using.


Reverse Osmosis has been a scientific laboratory concept since 1748 but 200 years had to pass before a group of UCLA scientists began to experiment with desalinating seawater using the process.

The first large-scale Reverse Osmosis plant for desalinization went to work in 1962 courtesy of the US government. It processed about 1000 gallons of water daily. And though today more large-scale desalinization is done in Multi-Stage Flash Plants (which pressurize, boil and then condense water), Reverse Osmosis caught on for lighter-duty volumes and for the more than 3000 large Reverse Osmosis water treatment plants around the world today.


A simple filter excludes particles from passage based on their size, in effect though, a filter is always permeable. On the other a high quality Reverse Osmosis membrane is only "semi-permeable." Water may pass through but most dissolved particles are prevented from passing – in most cases that means as much as 98% of all the things that aren’t water.

Osmosis depends upon a scientific principle by which two solutions or concentrations of liquids in the same container try to reach equilibrium, or an equal mix of solution within the water. When a membrane separates the two solutions only pure water will pass through in an attempt to equalize the distribution of the solution. This is the basic principle of OSMOSIS.


Reverse Osmosis uses water pressure to reverse the natural direction when the water is flowing towards Osmosis. Rather than dilute a solution, as under natural Osmosis, a Reverse Osmosis purification system actually separates pure water from salts or many, many other contaminants commonly found in water supplies. The application of pressure on one side of the membrane produces the phenomenon of REVERSE OSMOSIS.

The contaminants do need to be removed from the membrane where they are trapped similar to a regular water filter. In most commercially available systems the membranes or some simple plumbing will split the flow of water into two streams so that one is flowing through the membrane and is thus purified, while the other is continually rinsing the trapped particles from the membrane.

Because all Reverse Osmosis membranes are ultra-fine they are also ultra-sensitive and require pre-filtering to remove sediment and especially chlorine. Chlorine will damage any Reverse Osmosis Membrane.

1. Most commercially available units use a 10 micron carbon filter to remove all chlorine before it gets to the sensitive Reverse Osmosis Membrane. Many systems will precede this filter with a 5 micron sediment filter for heavier sediments such as sand or calcium. This filtering process will normally remove about 98% of chlorine and organic contaminants.

2. The newly filtered water is then safely passed to the Reverse Osmosis membrane. The membrane actually separates between 70 and 99% of dissolved inorganic contaminants from the water and washes them toward the waste-water.

3. Most units then include a polishing filter that removes any remaining traces of chemicals or odors. Home Reverse Osmosis units will then store the purified water in a sealed pressurized tank of somewhere between 3 and 10 gallons.

WaterFilterExchange.com has complete Reverse Osmosis Systems and the important membranes and filters the keep them operating. We can answer all of your questions and keep your water purified for less.