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Does Reverse Osmosis Make Water Safe to Drink?

Jun 24, 2008
There are numerous disadvantages of reverse osmosis. We can quibble over functionality and intended purpose, but, "does reverse osmosis make water safe to drink" is the real question.

The Advantages of Reverse Osmosis

Before we jump headfirst into the many disadvantages of reverse osmosis, we should take a moment to reflect on its strength. Desalination. If you want to drink from the ocean, reverse osmosis is really your only stop.

The Disadvantages of Reverse Osmosis

Now, the first of the disadvantages of reverse osmosis is de-mineralization. A problem from a general health standpoint. No matter how contaminated, there are natural minerals in water which are important to the body. Reverse osmosis removes these natural minerals, leaving it without nutritional value.

Research has shown that drinking water that has been de-mineralized on a normal day to day basis will cause digestive problems and nutritional deficiencies. So if you think about it, does reverse osmosis make water safe to drink? So far I would say no, not at all.

Waste is another issue. This is shown by the fact that for every one gallon that is cleaned, anywhere from half a gallon to five gallons is wasted. This is one of the biggest disadvantages of reverse osmosis from an environmental or financial standpoint. It is also a waste of electricity, which runs up the costs of reverse osmosis. It costs more than the more efficient systems to operate and maintain.

Reverse osmosis is unable to filter chemical pollutants present all through the environment. Chemical contamination is one of the largest problems we face in our country today. Over a thousand cancer causing chemicals have been found in tested tap water. From a health standpoint this has got to be one of the biggest disadvantages of reverse osmosis. Another reason the answer is "no" to the question, "Does reverse osmosis make water safe to drink?"

Like the chemicals that get through, so does bacteria, referred to as a cyst when in their spore stage. These cysts are lighter than water, thus reverse osmosis can not block them. Cyst contamination may be possible in any water source. When people ingest cysts they can grow ill and have anything from a stomach ache to violent diarrhea. In children and the immunocompromised, cysts can cause death. Does reverse osmosis make water safe to drink? Can it even come close?

The last, but not least, of the disadvantages of reverse osmosis, is the price. $10,000 or more per unit. There are so many systems out there that do a better job, and cost so much less, it is hard to figure out why reverse osmosis is still in the home market.

When all the disadvantages of reverse osmosis are tallied up, it really seems unbelievable that this process could ever be suggested for the private sector. There are so many problems, consequences, and flat out inadequacies that it can't be sanely advised for anything beyond its intended industrial and commercial application. Does reverse osmosis make water safe to drink? Unless you live in a fantasy world, where the only contaminate in your water is salt... Do we even need to answer?
About the Author
David Everett is passionate about the quality of drinking water and dedicated to carrying out the necessary research to determine how to make our water safe to drink. Discover the only alternative to reverse osmosis he recommends and why at http://www.SafeWaterFiltrationSystems.com.
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