An expert breaks down the basics of the state-of-the-art water filtration system.

By Caroline Biggs
February 05, 2020

Health authorities recommend that the average person drink at least eight glasses of water each and every day—which translates to a lot of water. It's critical, then, that yours be as clean as possible. Enter reverse osmosis water filters: They can be integrated into your home's plumbing, so you have access to clean, toxin-free drinking water all the time, straight from your tap. As for what this system actually does? "A Reverse Osmosis (RO) System is a specialized filtration system that helps make your drinking water cleaner and safer," says Chia Kung, Director of Global Project Management at Culligan International. "The multi-stage system uses a series of filters and membranes to remove up to 99% of contaminants, which helps improve the quality and taste of your water for drinking, home-cooked meals, and beverages."

person pouring water from pitcher into glass
Credit: Getty / Westend61

What's more, installing a reverse osmosis water filter doesn't just improve the quality of water you're consuming—it's safer for the environment, too. "An RO system can lessen your carbon footprint by eliminating single-use plastic bottles," Kung says, adding that these installed filters also boast an element of convenience. "It also offers a convenient alternative to pitchers that require constant refills." Still not sure if a reverse osmosis water filter is right for you? We asked Kung to help us breakdown the basics of RO systems—ahead, everything you need to know.

First, test your home's water.

Every household is different, says Kung, and that's especially true when it comes to the water running through it. To test yours, call an expert. "A local Culligan Water Expert can conduct a free, in-home water test to uncover the contaminants that might be in your water," he says. "After reviewing the results, they can recommend a customized solution to meet your needs." If you don't have access to a water expert, drinking water testing kits are widely available for purchase so that you can test your water for lead, copper, bacteria, nitrates, chlorine, and more on your own.

Understand what reverse osmosis actually removes.

This system improves and enhances the quality of water in your home by filtering out nearly all contaminants, including "lead, arsenic, and nitrates, as well as other particulates and dissolved solids," Kung explains. "Removing these particles from the water supply leaves you with cleaner and better-tasting water. The unique process of using reverse osmosis provides you with drinking water that you can feel good about."

Hire a professional.

Since reverse osmosis water systems need to be integrated into your home's existing plumbing, Kung suggests hiring a professional to install one: "A professional can help install and maintain a reverse osmosis system that will best address a homeowner's specific needs in terms of design, function, cost, and maintenance."

Consider a space-saving option.

While most reverse osmosis filtering systems require room for a water storage tank, Kung says there are some state-of-the-art alternatives for small space dwellers who may not have access to additional room. "Many RO systems require a storage tank, but there some tankless options, such as the Aquasential Tankless RO at Culligan, that offer a space-saving design with no storage tank, yet still provide on-demand, high-quality water filtration," he says.


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