Reverse osmosis (RO) is a method of purifying water to make it usable. This method involves the application of pressure to a water solution in a specific way to influence its direction of flow through a special membrane. The membrane is semi-permeable, allowing desirable water components to seep through while keeping undesirable parts (such as certain ions, molecules, and bacteria) out.
What is Reverse Osmosis?
The process is called reverse osmosis because it changes the direction of flow that water would normally take due to osmosis. With osmosis, water’s natural tendency is to flow from a solution with a lower concentration of solvents toward a solution with a higher concentration of solvents, thus diluting the higher concentration solution.
But with reverse osmosis, the opposite is true. Water on the side of the membrane with a lower concentration of solvents becomes more pure, while water on the side with a higher concentration becomes even more highly concentrated. This, in effect, removes the unwanted impurities from the water on one side of the membrane, rather than allowing both concentrations to be combined.
A major function of RO today is the purification of seawater and breakwaters. Since the 1970s, this technology has been used not only to produce drinking water but for industrial and medical purposes as well.
Is RO Always Needed?
RO is a good way to rid your water of impurities, but is that really necessary? The answer is not always clear. If you want pure H2O, you may need RO. But if your groundwater, tap water, or the water you are currently buying in bottles is of good quality but just happens to include minerals (some of which are considered beneficial), you may want to think twice before investing in RO.
What About RO in Jaipur?
According to an article published in 2018 by the Jaipur Travel Guide, the water in Jaipur is not safe to drink.
A 2013 report published by the India Water Portal indicated that “70% of the city is receiving bacterial uncontaminated water at the consumer end. However, the water is still not up to BIS standards due to a high concentration of TDS [Total Dissolved Solids], hardness, alkalinity, calcium, and magnesium.”
If you currently have an RO system that needs repair due to leaks, odors, cloudiness, etc., a quick Google search will lead you to a qualified technician near you.
Several companies in and around Jaipur specialize in RO technology. If you live in Jaipur and want more information about RO, a good resource is the Public Health Engineering Department’s Water Supply Portal.