Skip to content


Is Reverse Osmosis Water Healthy?

by Mark Timmons June 13, 2019 0 Comments

Science Fiction or Just Science?

If you love science fiction films, you probably remember scenes in which futuristic-looking devices provide people in space with pure, clean water. I have never really seen one of those in person, but thanks to the advancement of the in-home reverse osmosis system, this pure, refined water that Hollywood depicted is a reality. The truth of the matter is that reverse osmosis has been used since the 1950s but was not available in the family home until the past few years.

But I don't live on a space station. As I am not a scientist, I can't comment on the threats that deep space poses to water quality. However, I am qualified to speak about the threats found in Earth's water supply, namely the contaminants found in water across the United States. In an article published by the Mother Earth Network, levels of water pollution have steadily increased across the country for years. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency warned that "threats to drinking water are increasing" and that "we can no longer take our drinking water for granted." Some of these contaminants include arsenic, chloramine, chlorine, fluoride, and PFAS (forever chemicals). Also, disease-causing organisms could be present, and then there are many known carcinogens. Chemicals such as PCB, MTBE, TCE, and THM have been reported in water supplies across the country, but only after people became ill. These impurities and poisons have no color or odor, and every human being is vulnerable.

What about the hardware? Have you noticed in the movies that spaceships are shiny and pristine? Clearly, they don't have hard water, or their hardware would be crusted with calcium and other mineral deposits. If you truly want to run your home as efficiently as the Starship Enterprise, you will want to test for hard water. You can order a home test kit online from our website. If hard water is detected, you will likely want to add a water softener to ensure that your pipes and household appliances don't succumb to breakdown. You may not be able to control the environment, but you can control what minerals and contaminants are allowed to swim through your pipes, out the shower head, and into the dishwasher. 

When homeowners ignore hard water, it is only a matter of time until the pipes are damaged beyond the ability to make repairs. The home must then have the pipes gutted and replaced with brand-new plumbing. This is an extremely expensive option that can financially devastate homeowners. By investing in an affordable water softener, you will be adding some additional insurance into your home, as well as protecting your high-end appliances from needing to be replaced.

Ground Control to Major Tom - Any David Bowie fan will tell you that the artist is obsessed with science fiction. During his Ziggy Stardust career phase, a photo was taken of Bowie in which he was holding a bottle of water in full makeup. To Bowie, the thought of an in-home reverse osmosis system would surely have been science fiction, but now the famous singer enjoys this system in his Manhattan apartment. The great thing about having pure H20 is that you don't have to be in a sci-fi movie or a wealthy rock star to receive its health benefits. Anyone can afford this innovative science and modernize their homes and lives with the cleanest water in the universe.

What is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse Osmosis, or RO for short, is a popular water filtration method used in many homes for drinking water. It takes out the largest spectrum of contaminants when compared to any other water filtration method. Well, technically, deionized water systems take out more, but DI water is not something you would want in your home for drinking water. RO water is like having bottled water come directly out of your faucet. Recently some people have voiced a growing concern about using reverse osmosis water because they have been told that reverse osmosis removes all of the beneficial minerals. So, is RO water safe and healthy to drink, or are the risks not worth the reward? Let's discuss.

Reverse Osmosis  Removes Most of the Minerals

Again, a RO system takes more contaminants than regular filtration. In fact, Reverse Osmosis removes a wider spectrum of contaminants than any other wter treatment method. Reverse osmosis removes bacteria, lead, chlorine, sodium, fluoride, pharmaceuticals, arsenic, and a whole list of other contaminants. But, one downside is that while all those unwanted contaminants are being removed, the reverse osmosis membrane also removes over 90 percent of the minerals in the water. 

Now first off, let’s be clear, water is not a significant source of your daily minerals. If you drank a bathtub of water a day, you might not get 10% of the minerals your body needs. Water is just not a major source of your body's minerals. However, there are lots of other things about drinking water that should concern you. Things like lead, chromium 6, arsenic, chloramine, PFAS, and about 35,000 other chemicals. 

Now, on the flip side, the World Health Organization released a study that 90 plus percent of minerals that Reverse Osmosis removes can have long-term health risks. While the science is still out, they warn that the lack of minerals in the water can negatively affect the minerals your body gets from your diet and even supplements. Here is a quote from their study: "reduced mineral intake from the water was not compensated by their diets...low-mineral water was responsible for an increased elimination of minerals from the body.Pretty much what they are saying is that a lack of minerals like calcium in the water may cause your body to leech away any others that it consumes, meaning your body may not get all of the beneficial minerals that it needs.

Can You Have the Best of Both Worlds?

So what do you do? Should you avoid an RO system and risk drinking unwanted contaminants to make sure that your body gets enough minerals? Places like Flint, Michigan have proven that to be a risky gamble. I encourage everyone to do their own research to decide if a reverse osmosis system is right for them, but if the lack of minerals is a concern for you then there is a way to have the best of both worlds. 

Remineralization filters can be added to reverse osmosis systems, these filters attempt to add the mineral content back into the water. It’s clean, crisp RO water but with all the minerals. Unfortunately, most remineralization filters on the market that are placed after an RO are highly ineffective. Tests have been done to show that while the pH has been raised after the RO water runs through the filter, very few minerals have effectively been added.

The Livation Hydration  Solution

At US Water Systems, we believe that RO systems are the safest choice for drinking water in your home because of the harmful contaminants that it removes, but if you are worried about the lack of minerals, we offer our All-American Reverse Osmosis System with a Livation filter. This Made-in-the-USA filter not only adds minerals back into the water but also raises the pH and increases hydration absorption by lowering the water's ORP (oxidation-reduction potential). So in closing, if you want the benefits of RO water but still want the minerals – know that there is a technology out there that can give you both. 

The Livation Hydration Chamber does the following:

  • Uses far-infrared balls to emit minerals;

  • Increases the pH of the filtered water to between 8.5 - 10.0;

  • Changes the oxidation-reduction potential of the water (ORP) to between -100mV and -200mV

  • Reduces the sizes of the clusters of water molecules (re-structures) so that the water is easily absorbed in the body

  • It also puts beneficial alkaline minerals, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, etc., into the water.

Questions & Answers:

  1. Do you have a water test that would check for chemicals, pesticides...etc? Also radon?                                                                   Many people ask us what they need to do to treat their water without even knowing exactly what is in the water as if there is one magical "black box" that just takes out everything (there's no such thing, by the way). Yes, we do have such a test, and we offer the best deal in the USA on water testing because (and here's the secret) once you know what is in the water and at what level, then you can know how to treat it. 

For instance, if you have arsenic in your water, you would need to know what form it is in (Arsenic III or Arsenic V) and at what exact level it is present because if you have 20 ppb (parts per billion) you would have to treat it differently than if you had 50 ppb and if you had other certain contaminants in conjunction with arsenic, such as iron or manganese, you would need to treat that a different way as well. If that sounds confusing, it is, but not to water experts. 

Knowledge of the contaminants in the water gives you the power to know how to remove the contaminants. As they say, knowledge is power! One other thing: in water treatment, ignorance is not bliss! In water treatment, ignorance can be deadly. The water tests that we offer test for 50+ contaminants, and the other one tests for 100+ contaminants.  Once the lab receives it, you have the results within two business days. It also tests for Uranium. 

  1. Q. We currently have an RO filter under our kitchen sink, but I think RO removes too many minerals, and since our food supply is already nutrient-deficient, it doesn't seem wise to continue drinking RO water. What are your thoughts on that?

  • Reverse Osmosis removes the largest spectrum of contaminants of any water treatment process. If you opt to use filtration instead of RO, you will "settle" for water that has many more contaminants for the sake of a minuscule amount of minerals. If you drank a bathtub full of water a day (of course, that would kill you), you would get less minerals than you would get from an 8-ounce glass of milk! Many people get "hung up" on removing the minerals from the water when water is just not a significant source of minerals... however, it can be a significant source of contaminants. 

  • I am not a medical professional, but I do know that due to over-farming in the USA, many vegetables are low in the necessary minerals the body needs. In fact, the essential minerals your body needs, which are found in many vegetables, is nothing near what you really need, and maybe only five or six of these minerals are found in water (albeit in insignificant amounts). 

    The human body needs up to sixty-six trace elements and minerals, and most of these can only be found in deep ocean water. You cannot get those essential minerals from your drinking water or even your food - only from supplements.  If you drank ten bathtubs of water a day, you might get 10% of the minerals your body needs. If that seems silly, it is! Your body gets contaminants from water but not minerals. Look elsewhere for that. Yet, many people persist with the erroneous idea that they can get minerals from their water and choose an inferior water technology to reverse osmosis. It's tantamount to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. 

    1. I've also heard that RO destructures the water... What are your thoughts?

  • That is a theoretical area of water science that is being studied by several universities and researchers, some of whom have strong opinions, and their opinions are very divergent. I tend to be skeptical of these claims simply because there is no scientific proof. We will know a lot more about this in the next five years. Also, water Ionizers cannot be used with water that is purified with a process like reverse osmosis because they require contaminants to conduct electricity in the water. So, to ionize water, you have to settle for water with more minerals that have insignificant value in order to produce alkaline water. 

  • Ionizers produce a very small amount of hydrogen (maybe .5 ppm), which is beneficial to the body because it reduces oxidative stress. At US WATER SYSTEMS, we are huge believers in molecular hydrogen like the Livation Hydration Filter, which produces significant amounts of hydrogen.  

    1. Q. I'd like something that removes heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, and anything that comes up positive on the water test, I suppose, but ideally, keeps the water as natural as possible. 

  • Water that contains those contaminants is certainly not "natural."The best method to remove these things, including fluoride and chloramine, is with a reverse osmosis system. I believe it is essential to remove the contaminants, and while the minerals are "collateral damage," they are simply of no consequence. 

  • I also want to make sure we're not getting any plastic in our drinking water.  All of our systems are BPA-Free and made of FDA-approved and NSF and/or WQA-certified materials. You will not have any plastic in your water. 

    Oh, and I would prefer that any filter or parts came from the USA, from start to finish.  We have a strong preference for Made in USA products as well.  After all, our name is US Water Systems. The All-American RO is the only 100% made-in-America reverse osmosis system that I know of.   The key components, like all the filters and membranes, are MADE in the USA, and all the components are NSF and WQA-certified. Our systems are built in the USA by American workers, and we are proud of that.  The tanks, faucets, housings, brackets, filters, and membranes are all Med in America. Well, I do have one small disclaimer:  The John Guest fittings, which are known as the best in the world, are made in the United Kingdom. 
    Prev Post
    Next Post

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

    Someone recently bought a
    [time] ago, from [location]

    Thanks for subscribing!

    This email has been registered!

    Shop the look

    Choose Options

    Edit Option
    Back In Stock Notification
    this is just a warning
    Shopping Cart
    0 items