If you watch television, then you might have seen several water purifier advertisements claiming that their product contains “RO” filters. But very few of us, especially those with little knowledge of science, know what RO stands for. Luckily this article will break everything down for you!

RO stands for the term “reverse osmosis.” While this concept is formally taught in middle-school biology or science class, many of us actually use it in our daily lives, whether we realize it or not.  Water is a basic necessity of life, and we all demand clean and fresh water for ourselves and our families. But how do we simply rely on a water filter to ensure the quality of our basic necessity of life?

We can fully put our trust on water purifiers because inside those machines, the water purification process of reverse osmosis takes place.

Let us first start with the process of osmosis, which is centered around the concept of balance. Suppose you have two solutions of sugar water. One solution has less sugar than the other, and both are mixed with pure water. Now, if you put these two solutions together with nothing but a partially permeable membrane separating them, then the water from the diluted sugar solution will start to move towards the solution which has more sugar. This happens so that a fair equilibrium is maintained for both the solutions. The water from the solution with less sugar moves towards the other to make it more diluted, balancing off both the solutions.

That is what osmosis is all about — creating balance. With reverse osmosis, a certain amount of energy is cast upon the water for it to pass through the partially permeable membrane. Unlike osmosis, RO requires pressure to counteract the natural process. RO ensures that the dirt and other harmful particles are left on the other side of the membrane while only clean water moves through the membrane.

To further help this process, your water purifiers contain other filters such as carbon and sediment filters. Before RO, the sediment filter holds back the big dirt particles so that they do not harm your partially permeable membrane by coming in contact with it. The carbon filter can be used either as a pre-filter or a post-filter, and these eliminate chlorine and other components that give drinking water a bad smell and taste.

While these filters successfully remove water contaminants, RO prevents the entry of even the smallest of dissolved particles that are available in normal water. 98% of such contaminants are held back by the RO process.

In summary, your reverse osmosis water purifier can contain anywhere from three to five filtering units that work to prevent the spread of harmful contaminants to your water. It is a fascinating yet crucial process that works to keep our water safe to keep us and our loved ones happy and healthy!