What Mississauga Homeowners Need to Know About Reverse Osmosis

Three filters used for reverse osmosis in Mississauga sitting next to a glass of water.

Over three-quarters of our world is covered in water, but how much of it is actually potable? Unfortunately, not much. In fact, it's becoming more and more of a scarce resource; not even one percent of the ocean is drinkable, and yet, lots of people ask why we can't simply convert it into something safe for consumption. Technically, it's possible, but it involves unimaginable energy costs that include desalination and distillation. Leaning towards local or regional freshwater sources involves comparatively lower costs; however, we're running low.

One good news is that we can bring one type of desalination process to your home; we call it reverse osmosis. Mississauga homeowners know Canada's high-quality water. But did you know that we consume twice as much of it as Europe does? Understandably, Canada has plentiful resources, such as lakes and rivers, that allow us to harvest millions of cubic litres of water for drinking, yet the majority of it goes towards heat and energy rather than consumption.

Reverse osmosis systems are widely used to create purified water for drinking and are the main method used to make bottled water. If that’s what you buy daily because you don’t trust what comes from your tap, we highly recommend using reverse osmosis. Mississauga plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga have you covered, whether you’re looking to learn more about water filtration systems or want to go ahead with a plumbing installation service. Our uniformed plumbing experts are licensed and insured, bringing many years of experience in helping Mississauga residents maintain their plumbing systems and live healthier lifestyles. We are proud to be your most trusted plumbing company in Mississauga and nearby communities.

What Is Osmosis?

In order not to turn this into a tedious biology lesson, we will quickly explain the meaning of "osmosis." Imagine highly concentrated water molecules moving through a cell's semipermeable membrane to access lowly concentrated molecules. It's a passive diffusion process because these molecules rely on thermodynamics to drive them, which means that energy is merely transferred from one to the other.

As the highly concentrated molecules strike through a semipermeable membrane to access the lowly concentrated solution, that lowly concentrated solution will also pass through the membrane but with a smaller impact. Eventually, this creates an equal concentration level on both sides.

Think of a plant cell that has highly concentrated molecules. Water passing through the cell by osmosis will make the plant grow strong. However, if the plant's cell contains lowly-concentrated molecules, water that leaves the cell by osmosis will weaken the plant. As long as the surrounding solution has the same concentrated solution as the cell, it will create a stable balance for it to thrive; otherwise, an imbalance will affect its growth.

What Is “Reverse” Osmosis?

Mississauga homeowners are on the right track when you can picture the two sides of the reverse osmosis membrane. What professionals refer to as the reverse osmosis system is a water purification method in which a "semipermeable membrane"⁠—a two-sided barrier—allows molecules and ions to pass on one side while blocking the passage to contaminants on the other side. Thus, it is called reverse osmosis, a process of using osmotic pressure to reverse the natural flow. This way, it effectively separates major contaminants from your drinking water in Mississauga.

Osmotic pressure helps the unit separate unwanted ions, particles, and other contaminants from water. For instance, when you turn on your faucet, you know it is the pressure that drives water through the spout. Therefore, reverse osmosis water is created through a pressure-operated system that activates the purification process.

Stages of Filtration in Reverse Osmosis

Mississauga homeowners who understand the essential stages of their osmosis water filtration system will be able to measure the level of required maintenance. This shall facilitate their decision-making. Learning about the overall cleaning stages will also help you understand the cleansing process at your city’s treatment plants, except that you will have your very own purification system at home in Mississauga.

  1. Sediment Filter: Sediment filters trap large, visible solids, like dirt, loose scale, and other organic matter, just before they access the unit.
  2. Carbon Pre-Filter: This stage is responsible for clearing out large particles that made it past the sediment filter. In addition, it can absorb most types of gas and molecules. Thus, it eliminates traces of chlorine, odours, and other chemicals.
  3. Main Membrane: Some solids and contaminants are smaller and harder to remove but not for this membrane. The RO membrane is responsible for full purification, removing stubborn contaminants, including pollutants and metals.
  4. Carbon Polish Filter: The post-carbon filtration stage is the final cleansing that removes any leftover impurities that may have been missed during the previous stages.

Do you still trust the so-called clean water that comes through your tap in Mississauga? Whether your answer is yes or no, you can trust that it’s safe for consumption, except that you may have a distaste for its mineral content.

Besides, you might wonder where all that filtered impurities go during reverse osmosis. Mississauga freshwater enthusiasts can rest assured that impurities are flushed down the drain line. It's a worthwhile convenience that many Mississauga residents like about the reverse osmosis filtration system.

PROS: Reverse Osmosis – Mississauga, ON

Clean drinking water doesn’t mean it tastes the way it should. If you find yourself buying bottled water every week or dispenser units, you may find it more convenient to make your own reverse osmosis drinking water at home. RO-filtered water in convenient bottles has all undergone the same purification process, which is why it tastes so smooth and clean.

To most, having a reverse osmosis unit is to enhance the taste, along with staying safe and healthy, particularly if someone in your household reacts sensitively to high amounts of minerals. Mississauga has moderately hard water (115-128 mg/L) with some healthy minerals (i.e., calcium and magnesium), of which you shouldn't consume an excessive amount. Your expert Mississauga plumber can help you install your reverse osmosis in Mississauga conveniently under your kitchen sink.

The main advantages of reverse osmosis are backed by these factors:

  • First-rate filtration
  • Cleaner water quality for drinking and cooking
  • Removes chemical contaminants and impurities
  • Removes unpleasant chlorine odours
  • Removes hard minerals
  • Cost-effective and energy-efficient
  • Advanced desalination technology
  • Easy to maintain (annual filter changes)
  • Compatible with water softener systems

CONS: Reverse Osmosis

Mississauga residents who are on the fence about getting a reverse osmosis water filtration system might be too worried about its downsides, of which there is a fair amount, but perhaps not as much that would stop households from installing it.

Some disadvantages include:

  • It cannot remove organic chemicals like pesticides and solvents.
  • It cannot remove dissolved gasses like radon and trihalomethanes.
  • Creates tons of wastewater during the purification process (for each gallon produced, two to 20 gallons of water go to waste. Which means you will use more gallons per day than before.).
  • It's pricey (when combining unit price and your energy bill).
  • Reverse osmosis membranes will decay over time and must be replaced
  • Mississauga's hard water can be tough on semipermeable membranes, and you might additionally need water softening for support.
  • It might not filter out microorganisms.
  • Tank-based reverse osmosis units need to be flushed and cleaned to avoid bacterial contamination.

Frequently Asked Questions – Reverse Osmosis

Mississauga residents who need time to evaluate the pros and cons of reverse osmosis may have the same questions as our existing customers. Some have opted for RO-filtered water, whereas others decided on different filtration systems.

After weighing out the pros and cons, let’s look at some frequently asked questions. If you don’t see your question listed below, feel free to contact your local Mississauga plumber!

Should I Get A Water Softener Instead of Reverse Osmosis?

Both systems serve different purposes. Softeners help reduce hardness with sodium content, whereas reverse osmosis is a filtration system that purifies drinkable water, so it's safe to consume and tastes good. Although softened water is also safe to drink in many cases, softening as a treatment does not mean it has undergone any purification processes. It has a lowered calcium carbonate and magnesium content, a process during which an ion exchange replaces hard minerals with sodium or potassium. If anyone in your family has a history of high blood pressure, water softeners may not be a suitable option for you despite the lowered mineral content.

One option is to combine both systems to make them more functional for everyone at home. Softeners help protect your reverse osmosis system because the lower the mineral content, the better the filters will perform. Besides, it will help preserve your pipes and prevent plumbing damage.

Water softener systems have advanced, now offering pre-filters that remove impurities like sediments or undissolved particles. They also remove chemicals like chlorine and hydrogen sulfide. The two types of pre-filters are carbon and sediment. Ask your expert Mississauga plumber for more information.

What Contaminants and Minerals Does Reverse Osmosis Remove?

It removes harmful bacteria and viruses. Other minerals include chloride, sodium, chromium, and lead. It may also reduce the amount of fluoride, arsenic, radium, sulfate, calcium, magnesium, radium, potassium, nitrate, and phosphorus

Is Reverse Osmosis Hard to Maintain?

It requires annual sanitization and recharge and frequent inspections. But there are different types of RO systems with either three or five stages of filtration. Depending on the manufacturer, the carbon filter may need to be replaced every six months. The more advanced types require a filter replacement once a year. Depending on the level of chlorine used at Mississauga treatment plants, it can be hard for the membrane over time. Your experienced Mississauga plumber recommends monitoring it closely and exchanging it at least once every two years. While these are the major maintenance tasks, we also recommend sanitizing each storage tank and pipe periodically, followed by thorough cleaning once a year.

Does Reverse Osmosis Cause Hypertension and Other Health Issues?

One thing about controversies about reverse osmosis, Mississauga residents have looked at studies about the disadvantages of removing beneficial minerals, salts, and other nutrients from our drinking supply. Reverse osmosis has, in fact, been disadvantageous to some people, even according to the World Health Organization. The truth is our bodies require calcium and magnesium to function and maintain strong bones. Before reverse osmosis, we drank tap water or used regular pitcher filters that merely reduced the heavy mineral content. Many people still do this today. Homeowners who opt for reverse osmosis in Mississauga primarily want to enhance the taste. Some claims were made that even if there were some impurities in their supply, they are supposed to help our immune systems create antibodies to fend off bacteria.

However, serious side effects have occurred in some people after switching to reverse osmosis. Mississauga homeowners may become wary when hearing about people developing cardiovascular disorders, osteoporosis, muscle disorders, and fatigue because reverse osmosis turned out to be "too clean."

If you find yourself on edge about a reverse osmosis installation, your Mississauga plumber will help you make the right decision that meets your needs.

Why Does Reverse Osmosis Waste So Much Fluid?

Sadly, that's the nature of cleansing and filtration systems; they require fluid to work and clean. You are correct to think that companies making bottled goods are, indeed, creating a lot of waste in the end. During the purification stage, they create waste which a flow restrictor will flush away into a holding tank. It technically has similar functions to a toilet, where it requires over one gallon to flush away waste. The flow restrictor works with the semipermeable membrane, using pressure and fluid to remove that waste.

How Much Does A Reverse Osmosis System Cost in Mississauga?

The price differences are huge in Canada due to all the new types that are available in the market, and more enhanced versions are in the making. Nowadays, you can even subscribe to monthly services if you want.

But Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga only installs your very own unit. We're also happy to help you maintain it and change filters or RO membranes whenever you need that service. We highly encourage you to call us and tell us your specific needs. This way, we can allocate you the best type and quote you a price accordingly.

Need More Information About Reverse Osmosis? Mississauga Plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing Have The Answers.

The team of expert plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga can help you install an RO system. As your locally-owned plumbing company, we proudly provide safe and efficient plumbing services to Mississauga residents, from drain cleaning to sewer line repair.

Our hardworking team has ensured the safety of thousands of homeowners in the Mississauga area, including Fairview, Erindale, and Erin Mills. As a family-run business, we're honored to serve our local community.

Give our friendly customer service reps a call to get the services you need for reverse osmosis. Mississauga plumbers are here to answer any questions you have about our other professional plumbing services.