As we saw earlier this month in our Twelve Months to Wellness post, reverse osmosis filtration is a technology that offers the benefits of heavy metal, fluoride, chemical, carcinogen, and pharmaceutical removal (among other contaminants). While osmosis is a phenomenon that has been known since the 18th century (discovered by a French physicist), it wasn't until the 1940s that the osmotic process found renewed interest. It was then that researches wanted to find a way to desalinate ocean water for human consumption. And in the late 1950s, a functional synthetic RO membrane was born!
Since this new technology worked in reverse of the natural osmotic process, it was termed "reverse osmosis." And it has been used by bottled water companies, towns, small countries, and individuals to make polluted water clean again.
The super-fine filters that make up RO filtration systems are excellent at removing what are known as Total Dissolved Solids - up to 99% of all TDS are separated from the water during the filtration process. Harmful contaminants are removed, but beneficial items like magnesium, calcium, and potassium area also filtered out. This leaves a mineral deficit, which, over time, can cause the body to leech its own store of minerals as they bond with the RO water. This fact has led some to say that RO water is harmful to humans. While a steady stream of RO water may cause mineral imbalances, there are many options for remineralizing RO water!
Let's take a look at a few of these:
- Add half a teaspoon of unprocessed/unrefined sea salt (we like Celtic grey sea salt) to one gallon of water.
- Liquid minerals can be added to the water, with 2-3 drops to every 8 oz. This adds magnesium, calcium, potassium, and many other important trace minerals.
- Add a pH Balancing Filter (remineralizing filter) to your RO system (bottles and pitchers that do this are also available). Note that this option tends to only supply calcium and magnesium back to the water. And some say not enough minerals are added to make the RO water healthful.
If you are already enjoying the benefits of super-clean, RO water, leave a comment below and let us know how you came to use this type of water filtration system. You can also add how you choose to remineralize it. Happy hydrating!