Reverse osmosis is a process that is widely used in treatment and purification of water. It uses a semi-permeable membrane to remove contaminants, large molecules, mineral salts and other solid substances from water.
Reverse osmosis eliminates a vast majority of water contaminants through pushing the water, with the application of a certain amount of pressure (30-40 psi), through a semi-permeable membrane. Since clean and disinfected water is critical in our day to day lives, doing a reverse osmosis system maintenance is very crucial.
Reverse osmosis system maintenance is economical. It’s also a sure way to keep your water treatment system operating at peak performance. The basic way of doing a reverse osmosis system maintenance is through periodic cleaning of the RO membranes. Depending on the quality of water fed into the system, the cleaning can be done within a duration of 1 to 4 years.
In a reverse osmosis system, there is a normalized salt passage standard and a permeate flow. If the first increases by 15% or the latter decrease by the same percentage, then it’s time to clean the RO membranes.
Cleaning of the RO membranes can be done while they are still set up, or can be removed and taken to a company that offers RO membrane cleaning services. The latter is always more effective.
There are many factors involved in cleaning RO membranes. Some cleaning, e.g. scaling is done with low pH while others, e.g. organics are done with high pH cleaners. Apart from choosing the appropriate chemicals to do the cleaning, factors such as water temperature and flows need to be checked.
Thus, it’s advisable to have these membranes cleaned by a professional service company to maintain efficiency.
You can have your Reverse Osmotic System checked by technicians regularly to ensure high performances. Necessary adjustments can be done during these visits. Filters can be changed, and necessary repairs were done. These will help the system to produce the optimum quality and quantity consistently.
3 Stage System and its Maintenance
A basic reverse osmosis framework, for the most part, comprises of three stages i.e. Pre-filtering, the Reverse Osmotic phase, and post-filtering. Complex Systems can have two more stages that ensure the production highly purified water.
This stage has a filter cartridge that sifts out solid particles. This ensures that the Reverse Osmosis membrane is safely protected from particles that could cause damage.
A carbon channel is likewise utilized after this stage to do away with any taste and smell from the water. After around 6-9 months, these filters must be changed. Failure to change them will harm the RO film and lead to incurring more changes. It will also make the water produced from the system to have a taste or smell.
Reverse Osmosis Phase
After the pre-filtering, then it’s the Osmotic Membrane Chamber. Water is pushed through the membrane at a different pressure. This membrane separates the contaminants from the solvent. The pure water is taken to the storage tank.
All the solutes and other particles are piped down the drain. Since this is the most crucial stage, its maintenance is of utmost importance. This is key to getting fresh and purified water. To prevent its pores from clogging, it should be cleaned after 3-4 months. This is essential to ensuring a longer life span for the membrane.
This is the last stage of the 3 stage water purification process. It is intended to provide further purification for the water. It ensures that the water produced meets its future standards. A carbon filter, which should also be changed within a period of 6-9 months, is used again. It removes any lingering taste and odors.
Activities involved when doing an RO System Maintenance Service
When doing system maintenance, the most important activities involved include;
• Doing a preventive maintenance
• Cleaning of different elements of the system and sanitation of the membranes (In-place).
• Replacement of required elements.
• Changing of Ultra Violet lights, according to performance.
Problems that can be solved through Maintenance
• Production of insufficient water. (A sign that the membrane is wearing out)
• Usage of too much current.
• Below-quality water production.
• The low recovery rate of the reverse osmosis system.
• Unfiltered water reaching the RO membranes
• The presence of Chlorine in the RO feed.
• Water system getting contaminated too soon after sterilization.
Doing a reverse osmosis system maintenance is critical. It ensures that a Reverse Osmosis System performs as expected. It should be serviced and repaired annually. This also increases the lifespan of the system. 10-15 years of effective production is achievable.
Has your water tested regularly to check its quality and the possible contaminants? You can have this service offered by your local water treatment officer.