What is Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration, Anyway?

More than likely, your tap water isn’t clean, and even your refrigerator water filter can’t stand up to the job. Does this mean you’re stuck drinking pricey bottled water and polluting our planet with even more plastic? No! Reverse osmosis (RO) water filtration is the Cadillac of water purification, and in this blog, you’ll learn why.

How Does Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration Work?

Maybe you’ve heard the words before but don’t really know what they mean.

During reverse osmosis, pressure forces water molecules through a semipermeable membrane. “Semipermeable” means that certain things can pass through while others cannot. In other words, it’s a piece of material with very tiny holes in it (“tiny” as in about 0.0001 micron in size!). This membrane is typically made of a very thin layer of polyamides, stacked on top of additional layers of filtration. It’s like the screens on your windows. They let in fresh air but not any bugs or critters. 

The membrane does the same thing! So, what you’re left with is crystal clear, clean, fresh drinking water.


Two glasses of water purified with reverse osmosis


But where do we get the name “reverse osmosis” from?”

Well, both osmosis and reverse osmosis involve water passing through a semipermeable membrane. However, osmosis happens more passively, whereas energy is required to force water through the membrane during the process of reverse osmosis.

If you need an example of osmosis, think of how a plant’s roots absorb water. Nothing forces this process. It happens all on its own thanks to the magic of Mother Nature.

Another difference between the two processes? In osmosis, water moves from a low-concentration solution to a high-concentration solution. RO is the opposite.

What Contaminants Can Reverse Osmosis Remove?

So, you now know that reverse osmosis can remove the “bad guys” from your tap water, but what does that mean, exactly?

Firstly, reverse osmosis can remove protozoa. Protozoa are single-cell organisms that can cause diseases like malaria and giardia. It can also remove bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella. Additionally, reverse osmosis water filters can remove viruses, like hepatitis A and norovirus.

Finally, it can remove contaminants. This can include sodium, copper, chromium, lead, and chloride. Reverse osmosis can also reduce the amount of arsenic, radium, nitrate, and magnesium in your water, among other things.

Other types of water filters — including that filter on your refrigerator and the filter pitcher in the fridge — aren’t nearly as powerful. This is what RO has to offer.

How Well Does it Work?

When it comes to water filtration, it’s tough to beat reverse osmosis since it strips the water down to its most basic molecules. Because of how powerful it is, it can remove almost all contaminants. More specifically, it can remove as much as 99% of lead, asbestos, and 82 other contaminants. It can even capture substances and minerals that have already dissolved.

How Does Reverse Osmosis Compare to Distillation?

If you’re looking for a water purification system, you might come across distillation as an option. In a nutshell, this involves boiling water, capturing the steam in a separate container, and allowing the steam to condense. This is yet another way to clean your water.


Boiling water in the distillation process


However, it’s still not as good as reverse osmosis. But why?

Distillation uses up a ton of energy compared to RO, making it more expensive. Additionally, it takes longer to produce purified water, so you might not always have it on demand. Finally, some people don’t love the taste of distilled water, which can sometimes seem very bland and “flat” (although this does come down to personal preference).

Is distillation better than nothing? Sure! But it doesn’t hold a candle to reverse osmosis.

Are There Drawbacks to RO?

Like most things in life, there are a few downsides to RO, depending on how you use it.

Sometimes, homeowners decide to outfit their entire houses with a reverse osmosis water filtration system. While this ultimately offers convenience, it can also be incredibly expensive and can, perhaps ironically, lead to a lot of water waste. 

This is because these systems technically create two streams of water: the treated water and the wastewater. If a system is less efficient, it might be producing 10 gallons of waste for every one gallon of drinkable water.

At that rate, you might as well be drinking bottled water! Is there a better solution?

Keep reading.

Your Own Personal Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System

You know Sans because we’ve been committed to giving you clean air to breathe for years. 

Now, we’re tackling your tap water.

sans reverse osmosis water purifier

The Sans water purifier gives you drinkable water at the push of a button and requires no installation, as it’s a countertop design. It uses a four-layer reverse osmosis filter, removing even the tiniest impurities. In an additional layer of defense, UV-C purification further protects you from pathogens.

No more waiting around for hot water, either — you can instantly get it from your purifier for that next cup of coffee or tea. We bet your refrigerator can’t do that, either!

The water quality monitor gives you real-time updates so that you have complete peace of mind that you’re drinking only the purest water. Our filters last anywhere from 12 to 24 months.

Freshwater auto-dispenses into the pitcher, which is removable so that you can bring it to the dining table or store it in the fridge. 

With Sans, you get the best of every world: remarkably purified water with no heavy installation for a fraction of the price that a whole-house system would cost you.

If you’re not sure this is the right fit for you, we offer a 30-day risk-free trial (and a three-year warranty). You can expect your water purifier to ship the next business day.

Access to safe and affordable drinking water is something that every human should have. This still isn’t happening in many places across the world. Bring the purest water to your home with Sans — shop now.

Sans Water Purifier

Countertop Reverse Osmosis + UV purification

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