Water water everywhere: Part 3 — And Some to Drink

Carrying on from the last post about water here at Purgatory–our normal tap water, because we use a sodium based water softener tastes a tad salty.  Not seawater salty, but just a slight tang of brininess.  We could probably live with the salt taste and probably become quite used to it, but since the house came with a reverse osmosis system in the kitchen we got to learn even more about processing water.

Here’s a shot of our current RO setup.  The left side are several filter units where the processing happens and the largish tank is for storage.  Since we have a secondary filtration and reservoir in our refrigerator, this is more than enough reserve drinking water for the house.

Most people aren’t quite clear what RO is or how it works so here is a super quick summary.

Water->Filter(s) to remove big contaminants and microbes -> Membrane to remove everything but the water -> Filters to add back in useful minerals–>Storage tank.

Membrane elements are in one of the filters and they work to to separate the water coming out of our water softener.  The system is pressurized so that as water flows through the membranes about 99% of any dissolved solids (mainly the salt from the softener) are removed and the remaining water is then stored for use.

Long time readers will remember that back in November our RO system started dying as the filters had been used well past their intended life span.  Now, six months later, we’re still quite happy with the change.  And for those wondering about the sink faucet, yes we’re very very happy with that as well.

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