What is Reverse Osmosis Filtered Water?
PATHWATER’s 7-Step Filtration System
Water is a human right.
In 2002, the United Nations drafted a resolution to declare access to clean drinking water as an undeniable human right.
We believe this, too, which is why PATHWATER doesn’t sell water. We sell a reusable bottle that happens to have water in it the first time you use it. Our goal is to make reusable bottles accessible, especially for people who have become accustomed to purchasing single-use plastic water bottles - one of the most polluted items in the world.
For this reason, we are uniquely positioned to tell the truth about bottled water, and that is, it's all mostly a lie, a gimmick, a marketing pitch. Unlike any other bottled water company, we don't want to sell you MORE and more bottles. We just want more reusable bottles in the hands of more people so we can get rid of single-use plastic bottles altogether, which is why we support municipal water districts that are working to bring clean, affordable drinking water to citizens - also, unlike every other bottled water company. It's in everyone's best interest to ban single-use bottled water and support our local water districts in a movement for reusability - whatever that looks like for you.
With that said, we understand that it's important for people to know what PATHWATER is and how we filter our bottled water so you can take that first dive and never look back again (at plastic). What we want you to remember is that while this bottled water process is essential, what's most important to us is that our bottle gets reused as many times as possible before it's recycled and turned into new bottled again.
PATHWATER’s 7 Step Filtration Process
Our filtration process includes 7 steps starting with municipal water > carbon blocker > sediment filter > micron filter > reverse osmosis membrane > 10 micron filter > UV filter > Ozone. Most often, people are confused about the process of reverse osmosis; which happens to be the most significant filtration step in our 7 step process. So we wanted to break down this process for everyone to easily understand.
What is Reverse Osmosis?
No, it is not sea water. While desalination plants use reverse osmosis techniques to remove salts from seawater to make drinking water, reverse osmosis can be used for any water source to separate microscopic contaminants out of water. The most important concept to understand about osmosis or reverse osmosis is that water is pushed through a filter-like layer called a membrane that has incredibly small holes, only large enough for water molecules to pass through.
In cells, the process is called “osmosis” as it uses “osmotic pressure” to push water through. Ever heard the term “learn by osmosis”? Like salt that soaks up water, it means that you’re learning just by being near a substance with more “something” than you, like knowledge from books or a teacher. So in essence, you will soak up knowledge without much effort because the teacher/books/learning materials are met with an empty vessel - YOU - just like salts soak up water.
Understanding solutes and solvents
Water is what is called a solvent— which means it’s a substance that can dissolve other molecules and compounds like salt and other dissolved solids. The substances that solvents can dissolve are called solutes. Which means a solute is the substance being dissolved and is found in smaller quantities than the solvent. So again, water is a solvent, and some examples of solutes in water are chlorine, fluoride, salt — which are molecules and compounds that can be dissolved by the solvent, water. This is important to know because it differentiates “osmosis” from “reverse osmosis” - or, which direction the water flows.
Osmosis is the force whereby a solute (example salt, or sugar) is in higher concentration on one side of a wall with holes in it called a permeable membrane - enough to pass through. Water is then soaked up by the side with more solute, by natural forces or “osmotic pressure.”
Now, what makes reverse osmosis different is that pressure is used to change the natural flow of osmotic pressure, thereby reversing it. So when pressure is applied to one side, it forces water through the holes leaving behind microscopic particles, again called solutes (chlorine, fluoride, salt, etc., also called impurities) the contaminants you want to remove from water before drinking it. See how simple, yet key reverse osmosis is in making sure water is pure from contaminants?
Since the collection of municipal water comes from reservoirs, groundwater, reclaimed water, and other sources, there are plenty of things living and floating around in untreated water that we don’t want in our bodies. The small pores in an reverse osmosis (RO) membrane successfully removes protozoa, bacteria, viruses, metal ions, sodium, chloride, copper, chromium, and lead; and drastically reduces arsenic, fluoride, radium, sulfate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, nitrate, and phosphorous.
Reverse osmosis is one giant step in a multi-step process to clean the water and protect us from harmful dissolved and suspended chemicals up to 99.98% of then to be exact, more than any other filtration system available today.
How does reverse osmosis water taste?
It tastes like water! Okay, it tastes like purified water with additives, chemicals, and contaminants have been removed. Since reverse osmosis treated water successfully removes particulates and other chemicals, the pH becomes neutralized, the way doctors recommend we drink water. Drinking water that is too pH or too acidic is not exactly healthy or scientifically proven to be better for us than neutral, balanced water, you can read more about that here.
A technical summary of reverse osmosis
Ready for a proper definition? Reverse osmosis (RO) is a water purification technology that uses a thin, partially permeable membrane to remove ions, molecules, and larger particles from drinking water. In reverse osmosis, an applied pressure is used to overcome osmotic pressure, a colligative property, that is driven by potential chemical differences of the solvent, a thermodynamic parameter.
Reverse Osmosis is:
- A water purification technology
- Uses a partially permeable membrane (that thin film in the center of the U)
- Applied pressure on the untreated side overcomes osmotic pressure on the opposite side
- Ions, molecules, and larger particles (solutes aka the micro salt pebble) stay on one side
- Potable (drinkable) clean drinking water (the solute) comes out on the other side
We hope this answers a few questions about what reverse osmosis is and why it is an integral part of any filtration system. PATHWATER uses a 7-step filtration system that includes reverse osmosis as an essential part.
What’s even more critical than our reverse osmosis water is what comes after you drink it - THE REFILL(S)! Our goal is to sell bottles that people reuse again and again to reduce our single-use plastic crisis. Grab a bottle, save the world!
Make sure to follow us on Instagram & tag @pathwater #refillit to join the conversation!