Reverse Osmosis Home Water Systems – Should You Have One?

Home reverse osmosis systems are sold by companies with the claim that 99% of the dangerous contaminants are removed from your water.  That is not true.  Reverse osmosis systems do not and cannot remove chlorine and like chemicals from the water.  Additional steps must take place.

Home reverse osmosis systems only block things that are “heavier” than water or things that have a molecular structure larger than water.  We have seen individual bloggers and company websites making claims of better health using method.  But, the truth is that the only health benefit lies in the area of kidney dialysis.

This type of system is only needed if your water comes straight from a stream or river and then you will still need to use additional steps to make the water safe to drink.  Some sort of disinfection method, usually chlorine, needs to be used or bacteria that cause gastrointestinal illnesses will still be present.

We have seen people suggest home reverse osmosis systems to pregnant women.  That’s scary.  Pregnant women need to avoid anything that could be contaminated with bacteria.  Water should be disinfected before consumption.  Even distillation would be better.  The suggestion that you can protect your health through reverse osmosis filtration is just not the whole story, because it alone does not make drinking water safe.

To repeat, home reverse osmosis systems are not the end all be all.  They are simply one step in the water purification process.  If your drinking water comes from a treatment facility, it has likely already undergone a similar process.

Home reverse osmosis systems are expensive and wasteful.  The best units waste 5 gallons of water for every one gallon that is filtered.

The water that comes out of home reverse osmosis systems is unnatural, so when it goes back into the environment, it changes the content and composition of the ground water.

There are many industrial applications for the system.  Since they de-mineralize water, it can be used for film processing and printing.  When treatment facilities need to desalinize or remove salt from ocean or brackish water, it is the system of choice.

We need those trace minerals that the system filters out.  The things that we do not need in our water are chemicals and chlorine.

It is not hard to see that reverse osmosis systems are not what is needed in most homes.  By installing the proper water purification system you can have better health. Choosing the right water filtration system may seem a little daunting at first.  But I found, after some research, a company that has a water filtration system that meets and exceeds the needs of what is needed to protect your family from unwanted contaminants in the tap water.

Larry L. Taylor

3 Responses to “Reverse Osmosis Home Water Systems – Should You Have One?”

  1. Elsie Says:

    Portable reverse osmosis drinking water systems?
    My mom spends a good $5 – $7 a week on bottled water by the gallon from the grocery store. She’s almost 75 and it’s getting too much for her. She says she looked into home delivery, but the only company she found is Ice Mountain and she hates the way that water tastes.

    She thinks a reverse osmosis system would be too expensive, but I found a counter top model that costs about $300. There are 2 filters that would need to be replaced; one costs $55 and needs to be replaced once a year, the other costs $80 and should be replaced every 2 – 3 years. The system should pay for itself in about 16 months.

    There is tankless under the counter model that is about $75 more (replacement filters cost the same). But she lives in an apartment and I don’t know that she could get permission to start cutting up the kitchen sink/cabinets to install it.

    My question is, are the counter top models terribly inconvenient to have taking up counter space?


    How hard/easy would it be for a 75 year old woman with rheumatoid arthritis to attach and detach the hose from the kitchen water faucet every day?

    PS: I wasn’t sure where to post this question, so I apologize if it’s not in the right category.
    Garnet–the Big Berkey is not reverse osmosis, correct? Can the company provide a water report that states what % of chemicals will be removed? I know you said it "tastes" good, but a carbon filter can make the water taste good. My mom has multiple autoimmune disorders and needs to eliminate as many chemicals from the water as possible.

    Bob–please tell me what brand of system you use. Is it a reverse osmosis?

  2. Bohemian_Garnet_Permaculturalist Says:

    We live on a farm in the Pacific Northwest. Despite the abundant rainfall our region recieves our tap water is NOT potable.

    I also do food storage and emergency preparedness items. Needless to say, I did a lot of research, and have a LOT of access to information about things like purifying your water.

    The very best system out there is the Big Berkey.

    You will spend about $250 for the unit. That includes delivery, and four filters.

    There are three adults in my house. We use a lot of water, daily since we work hard (farm work).

    We only installed two filters in the Big Berkey, instead of all four. This is going to give us about two years worth of water filtration for the three of us. One pair of water filters a year.

    Here’s a link of where to buy the Big Berkey at the very best price. It will include the four filters in the purchase price:

    We’ve been using ours now for about 6 months. It’s very easy to use, and without a doubt will pay for itself by month 8, easily for us.

    It takes up very little room on the kitchen counter, and we have a little kitchen.

    The only thing I will state is that the Big Berkey needs a base. You can purchase a base they make (expensive). Or you can just flip a flower pot over, and set the Berkey on top of it. Easy, cheap, and works great. The Berkey needs to sit on a base, so you can fit a cup or a pot under the spigot.

    The water that comes out of the Berkey just tastes "clean." There is no mineral, or weird after taste. Just clean water.

    As for the faucet and hose, you should look into a quick conect for your Mom. Quick conects are for garden hoses. Once they are screwed on, they stay in place. Then the hose can easily be snapped on and off. Purchase a quick conect made of brass, not plastic. For the hose, I would get her one of the curly-Q ones (like phones cords use to be) with a small wand on the end that is for watering house plants.

    That would make it VERY easy for your Mom to fill the Big Berkey.

    Permaculture homesteading/farming over 20 years
    Private duty nursing taking care of the elderly in their own homes for over 10 years (so understands physical limitations of the elderly).
    Decades of food storage, and emergency prep research, and practice.

    The water that comes out of our tap is NOT potable. Our well water is contaminated with fecal matter (both human & animal) and nitrates from surrounding farms. I do not have a spleen, so I’m not able to fight off a lot of illnesses. I worked in the medical field for over 15 years. Trust me, I did a LOT of research on the Big Berkey and their filters, before purchasing one.

    You can look into purchasing the black filters for your mothers unit, to filter out even more. The black ones are the ones I use. Chances are, she only needs the white ones.


    Here’s another link, just for fun:

    Do you know of another system that will remove food coloring as well as all the pathogens?
    References :

  3. Save a tree bob Says:

    Your mom needs to shop for a more cost effective system. I have four filters on my system that cost $250. One filter needs to be replaced every 9 months for $7. The second lasts 3 years at $18 a crack and the last two need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years at $100 total. We use about 8 gallons a day.
    My system is a Culliagan.
    References :

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