What Is Reverse Osmosis?


What Is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse Osmosis is a method used by a desalination plant to remove the volume of pollutants present in water. To perform this task, a membrane process is involved wherein salts and other impurities are separated by forcing water in a semi-permeable membrane. 

How Does It Work? 

The Reverse Osmosis process utilises high pressure pumps to heighten the pressure on the concentrated side of the system. This pressure pushes out the water through the membrane. Depending on the total amount of contaminants in the water, the process may require a higher degree of pressure to effectively perform the treatment. 

For instance, although we want to drink water straight from a stream or lake, we can’t simply do so. This is because it contains too many impurities and contaminants such as salt, minerals, even viruses that make it unfit for consumption. By exerting pressure on water, instead of forming normal equilibrium, water is forced against the membrane, hence, the name ‘reverse’ osmosis. A powerful pump is ideal for this process which consists of a fine particle blocking contaminants from passing. 

When the water is purified, it is now referred to as product or permeates water while the flow of blotted out contaminants are known as reject water and is eventually discharged. Reverse osmosis can closely relate to a conventional method called crossflow filtration. Viruses, bacteria, pathogens, and other microbiological organisms are filtered through reverse osmosis. This is what potable water plant produces safe drinking water for everyone. 

Do We Benefit From It?

Majority of the types of water, Reverse Osmosis is the ideal water treatment solution. Generally, products from this process are categorised into three namely: tap water, groundwater, and saltwater.

Tap Water 

Tap water or also known as municipal water is generally used for cooking, drinking, washing, toilet flushing and more. In Australia, it is deemed perfectly safe to drink. 


This type of water is one of our country’s most essential natural resources. Groundwater is used for agriculture, in urban areas and if fresh, can also be consumed as drinking water. It is also known as brackish water which means it has a large amount of salt but is not high and concentrated enough to be considered saltwater. Brackish water is also used in underground reservoirs which cities primarily use. Some contain a high amount of chemicals which is deemed unfit for human consumption or as a stock water supply. 

Salt Water

Desalination or reverse osmosis salt water is the process of turning seawater into drinking water. This method is highly efficient for areas that have a scarcity of freshwater supply.

Why Most Industries Use Reverse Osmosis

Reverse Osmosis is the main option of many industries not just in Australia but in a worldwide setting. Due to its capacity to purify extreme volumes of water, it has been the top choice of many enterprises. Moreover, it requires less energy, therefore it is more economical and eco-friendly in comparison to other treatment solutions. It is widely used in industries such as food and beverage, hotels and resorts, hospitals and so much more. 

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