Home Improvement

What Impurities Can RO Water Purifiers Remove?

Reverse osmosis (also known as RO) is one of the most effective and common ways to purify water. RO purification is known for its ability to remove even the smallest contaminants from water and convert high TDS (salty-tasting) water into drinkable water. While there are many benefits to RO water purifiers, some have raised concerns about RO technology removing critical minerals from water. Let’s find the answer!

You may have access, depending on where you live, to too many water sources. Rainwater has a lower salinity and mineralization than groundwater. This is in contrast to groundwater which can be too mineralized at times. It also varies depending on where it comes from. Your groundwater could contain many minerals. Some of these minerals can be good for your health while others could pose a danger to your health.

Water is rich in minerals that are good for the body. However, too much can cause a host of health problems. A water filter effectively removes elevated sodium levels, suspended particles, and bacteria, while vital vitamins and minerals are preserved. It’s difficult to determine which water filters are best and which are not.

Both water filters and purifiers work on the same principle. They filter water that has been polluted and remove contaminants like microorganisms. Then they deliver purified water. One difference is that RO purifiers can remove germs and viruses from water. Some purifiers use chemicals to eliminate or catch viruses. Others use an electrostatic charge.


Water comes from many sources. Rainwater is the most salient and mineralized.

There is no way RO water purifiers could remove minerals from water.

While water contains many minerals, too much can cause a host of health problems.

Water filters and purifiers work on different mechanisms. A purifier can remove germs and viruses that a filter cannot.

What’s Reverse Osmosis?

  • Reverse Osmosis Systems employs a semi-permeable membrane that reverses water flow in a natural process of osmosis. This allows impure water to be freed from bacteria and viruses and results in clean and pure water. The reverse osmosis membrane can be used with pre and post-filters.
  • A reverse osmosis filter has a pore size of around 0.0001 microns.
  • RO Systems are very effective in eliminating protozoa (such as Cryptosporidium or Giardia).
  • RO can also be used to remove bacteria (such as Campylobacter and Salmonella, Shigella and E. coli), and viruses (such as Hepatitis A and Enteric viruses, Norovirus and Rotavirus); as well as viruses (such as Enteric virus, Norovirus, and Hepatitis B viruses and Rotavirus).
  • RO can be used to remove common chemical pollutants such as TDS (metal ions, aqueous sodium salts), as well as reduce arsenic and fluoride as well as radium and fluoride.

There Are Many Types Of Impurities That Are Common In Drinking Water

Your water source and medium of delivery will determine the type of pollutants in your water. The most common sources of drinking water include rivers, lakes, bore wells, and harvested rainwater. The water source can have an impact on water quality and contaminants like chemicals and toxic pollutants.

Water from rivers, lakes, and harvested rainwater has a lower TDS (Total Dissolved Solids). Borewells and groundwater have high levels of TDS, which can lead to dangerous chemical impurities like arsenic and lead. Biological contaminants are more common in pipes or in storage tanks (if they are damaged or not cleaned).

What Are RO Water Filters supposed To Remove?

RO Water purifiers are capable of removing many contaminants from water. However, the specific contaminants that they remove will depend on which filter is used. Although no water filter can remove all impurities from water, you can combine different water purifying methods to create a system that only offers pure water.

Water filters can be operated in two main modes: active or chemical filtration or physical filtration. Most filters combine both of these methods. An “active” filter alters the contaminant before it is physically removed from the water. Combining these filters with different treatment methods can help you remove almost everything from your water.

Dissolve Hard Water

Technically, a water softener is required to remove hardness from water. This is not a water filter. A water softener does more than remove calcium and magnesium from your water. It exchanges them with sodium ions. This is how your water becomes soft and removes limescale.

Removal Of TDS

A Sediment filter can remove dirt, silt, and sand from water. Larger particles can easily damage delicate water treatment devices such as reverse osmosis membranes. Therefore, sediment filters are included in all types of water treatment systems. You can either use a backwashing or cartridge filter to remove sediment. Each filter has its own design but works in the same manner: water flows through the filter and then through the media such as pleated polyester or filtering sand. The filter traps larger silt particles that are too large to pass through. The water on the other side of the filter is clean.

Removal Of Chlorine And Chloramines

Chlorine is the most important pollutant consumers desire water purifiers to remove. Many municipal water treatment systems use chlorine and chloramine as disinfectants to kill bacteria and other germs. These compounds are usually effective disinfectants but they may remain in the water supply. Some people may experience skin irritation from chlorine, which can make water taste bad and cause it to smell foul. Chloramine can cause harm to fish and other marine animals in the water. Different types of carbon water filters can remove these disinfectants.

Get Rid Of Pesticides And Other Chemicals

Because it is effective in removing organic compounds, an RO filter is the best water filter for pesticides and other contaminants. Catalytic carbon, a type of activated carbon, is also effective. These filters are effective in retaining many pesticides, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), arsenic, and silt.


Reverse Osmosis water filter technology is the only way to remove harmful elements from drinking water. These toxic compounds have been linked with a number of serious health conditions including brain damage, seizures, and other reproductive disorders.

You can consume essential minerals such as calcium and magnesium in small quantities.

This post was written by a specialist at One Green Filter. One Green Filter is Tampa Bay’s top Water Softener, Purification & Filtration Expert. Our customers chose One Green FIlter because of our consistently high level of service and superior products we use to deliver pure, delicious water to their homes, businesses, and schools across the Tampa Bay area. To schedule a free appointment to test the quality of your water at your convenience click here