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How Do Reverse Osmosis Systems Work?

You may have heard of reverse osmosis systems and their ability to filtrate water to its most technologically pure form. Reverse osmosis systems are highly sophisticated water filtration systems, capable of removing almost all of the minerals and contaminants found within a water supply.

What you probably haven’t heard, however, is how reverse osmosis systems do what they do. How exactly do they function? Read on to find out about reverse osmosis systems in Naperville and other Chicagoland suburbs!


Reverse osmosis systems contain a number of different components, all of which are, in some way, responsible for filtering particles from a water supply. In general, these components fall into one of three levels of operation. The first level is the pre-filtration level.

In this level of operation, the system removes large contaminants from the water supply. These large contaminants include everything from stones, to chlorine, to a variety of other solid materials.

A filter known as a sediment filter is responsible for removing these large contaminants. By removing large pieces of sediment, it protects the system’s membrane, allowing the system to remove truly microscopic particles.

The Membrane

The component which separates the reverse osmosis system from other water filtration systems is the membrane. This membrane is made out plastic, containing microscopic holes which allow through only water molecules and the smallest of minerals.

Elements which are eliminated with the use of the membrane include lead, radium, cadmium, sodium, chlorine, and calcium, to name just a few.

While the membrane will not eliminate every single non-water molecule from a water supply, it will come very close. Only trace amounts of non-water molecules will remain in the water supply after it has been passed through the membrane.


Though a water supply will be extraordinarily pure after it has been passed through the membrane of a reverse osmosis system, the reverse osmosis process does not stop with the membrane. Even after water has been purified to this point, it can be purified more. This is where the post-filtration level of operation comes in.

In most reverse osmosis systems, there will be a carbon filter which catches any microscopic particles that make it through the system’s membrane. This carbon filter ensures that the water supply is as pure as possible.

After the water has passed through the carbon filter, it will be ready for consumption. At this point, the water will sit in a storage tank until you turn on your faucet and release it. In some systems, it will pass through one more filter before exiting the faucet.

Why Make Use of a Reverse Osmosis Systems?

It’s simple: reverse osmosis systems produce the purest water imaginable. If you want to drink water with its organic taste, you need to use one of these systems. Not only will a reverse osmosis system remove hard water minerals such as calcium and magnesium, it will remove sodium, calcium, and arsenic as well.

While you can use reverse osmosis water for anything, it’s most typically reserved for drinking purposes. For most individuals, the systems are too expensive to accommodate an entire home’s water supply.

Looking to Make Use of a Reverse Osmosis System?

Are you intrigued? Would you like to reap the benefits of a reverse osmosis system? If so, and if you live in the Naperville, Illinois area, we here at Johnson Water Conditioning Company are the people to see.

We manufacture and install reverse osmosis systems of all sizes, capable of accommodating water supplies both big and small. If you’re looking for the cleanest and most pure drinking water available, we’ve got you covered.

Contact us today for a free estimate!

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