What is Whole-Home Reverse Osmosis?Whole-Home Reverse Osmosis is a water purification technology. It can purify virtually any type of water. It is so effective it can actually purify seawater into potable drinking water! This method is becoming popular in Saskatchewan because we have brackish well water , or even for larger volumes for agricultural application such as spraying.
Alternative methods of water filtration
Regular filtration only removes the particles in water, which typically account for 10-20% of the contaminants in the water. To remove the rest of the contaminants, traditional methods have focused on ion-exchange methods (water softener, etc.) which swap the undesirable contaminant (calcium, tannin, nitrate, etc.) with sodium. This is enough only when there is a single, easy-to-fix issue. Whole-home reverse osmosis is necessary when the water quality is very poor. It can handle high dissolved solids, hardness, tannin/organics, salt and dugout water. It is the only way to get remove all dissolved contaminants from your water. (This would include nitrates, sulphates, calcium, arsenic and more.)
How does it work?
Whole-Home Reverse Osmosis removes the particles and the dissolved contaminants (salts, metals, chemical byproducts, etc.) for as close to 100% purification as possible. It uses a large (usually 40”) membrane which is able to remove up to 99% of the contaminants from the water including dissolved material such as nitrates, sulphates, arsenic, lead, sodium, tannin, uranium, dirt, and virtually any other undesirable contaminant for your entire home. The result is “bottled quality” water (or better) from every tap in your home, including the outside taps, or even for larger volumes for agricultural applications such as spraying.
The pros of Whole-Home RO
Ease of use
Whole-house RO is much more convenient than water softeners. Some homes are spending $400 to $600 a year on water softener salt. This represents a lot of effort, time and expense. With an RO system, one doesn’t have to check salt levels, haul heavy salt bags or clean salt residue. The machine does the work so you don’t have to.
Robust & Durable
The great thing about these systems is that they don’t even flinch at extreme water conditions such as extreme hardness, extreme TDS (our record for this system is 13,500 ppm and 450 grains of hardness), poor quality dugout water, etc.. For example, your water hardness or TDS could triple and the system wouldn’t even flinch (minor adjustments might be needed).
- It can handle most any water condition and is reliable in extreme water conditions
- It can handle changing water conditions
- The water quality is constant
- The water pressure is constant and adjustable
There is virtually zero variance in how well they perform – they simply work. Customers might complain about the price, but there are almost no complaints once the system is installed as you can’t beat the quality. But, yes, they are expensive!
RO is the gold standard of water treatment. It makes water soft, silky, stain-free, smell-free and clear. If someone wants the best water quality, they will choose reverse osmosis. Sometimes, it is the only way to treat Saskatchewan water!
The cons ofWhole-Home RO
These systems waste more water than conventional systems. They typically lose 1/2-1 gallon of water for every gallon produced. A four-person household could waste 100-300 gallons a day. Compare that with a large iron filter and softener, which wastes around 300 gallons in 2-3 days. The difference can be significant.
Cost & Maintenance
These systems are expensive to buy and maintain. How much you pay depends on usage and water conditions. Most of our clients spend $500-$1,200 a year on consumables and service fees. We can tell you how much you would spend when you request a quote.
Whole-home RO systems can be overkill. They are best suited for extreme water conditions (2000+ TDS, extreme hardness, high tannin, high nitrates or surface water). We aren’t the type who will try to sell you the system if you don’t need it. If an “under the sink” RO and a water softener are enough, then that’s what we will offer you.
Health & Taste
Reverse osmosis removes all the minerals from the water and can reduce the pH to an acidic level. This makes the water less than ideal for drinking and can be corrosive on copper pipes. To prevent this, our Triple Protection package enriches the water with good minerals. It adds pH/alkalinity, absorption benefits and taste so you can have the best of both worlds.
Whole-home RO is not always possible. These systems need a 3 GPM flow rate and a 240v electrical (20 amp breaker). You might need to add a water tank if you have a low-producing well. You will have to hire an electrician if you don’t have the right breaker. Some homes don’t have enough room to fit it all in. We will let you know if you are a candidate as part of our free consultation.
A whole-home reverse osmosis system can take up more space than conventional systems. How much space depends on the water chemistry. More components are needed if there is iron, manganese and/or high hardness. They make noise too. This isn’t usually a problem but it could be annoying if you spend a lot of time directly above or beside it. It usually runs 2-3 hours/day during waking hours. You needn’t worry: our customers say they barely hear the hum or don’t notice it at all.
Parts of the System
- RO System – 20” W x 20” D x 47” H
- Storage Tank (varies). The most common size for a household of 4 is a 200 gallon cylinder tank, 78” H x 28” D. There are various custom tanks to accommodate every household.
- Dab Pump – 19” H x 11” W x 11” D. Can be Wall Mounted.
Possible Additions (based on water quality)
- Iron/Manganese/Turbidity Filter – Single cylinder tank, 10-13” diameter, 63” H
- Antiscalant Injection. 14” D x 24” H (includes solution tank and small wall mounted pump)
- Post-Treatment Filters/UV – 23” W x 9” D x 24” H. Wall Mounted. Includes a 3-filter system (1-micron particulate filter, granular activated carbon for taste and odour polishing, calcite/corosex for pH adjustment and remineralization) and UV for bacteria protection.
- 100% USA-manufactured systems
- Compact RO Unit (20” W x 20” D x 47” H)
- High-pressure design filters at approximately 230psi, compared to conventional 150psi with low-pressure systems commonly used by competitors, allowing significantly superior filtration (by more than double) and efficiency
- Digital TDS Testing (shows the purity of water in and out at all times)
- High-Efficiency (includes recirculation valve for least possible waste)
- Works on 240v and 120v simultaneously
- Highly sophisticated antiscalant, custom-designed for type and precise dosage by engineers for your specific water sample
- Oversized 2HP pump makes your system easily upgradable if you want to increase your capacity from 2,400 GPD to 4,800, 7,200 or even 9,600+ GPD
- Includes membrane auto-flush, low-pressure sensor, tank float and backup safety overflow, stainless steel pressure vessel, flow meters (product and reject), pressure gauges (operating, pre-filter, and post-filter), compact standard steel frame with powder-coated finish