Reverse Osmosis: Similarities and Differences

Nov 30 , 2022

Reverse Osmosis: Similarities and Differences

If you’ve researched water filtration, you may have seen the phrase “reverse osmosis” pop up again and again. You may have heard any number of things about it, too. Here at King Water, we believe in educating our customers so they can make informed decisions about their purchases. So, let’s take a look at reverse osmosis: What it is, what it isn’t and how it stacks up against a King Water Whole-Home Filtration and Conditioning System.

Science Lesson: What Is Reverse Osmosis?

If you haven’t taken a chemistry class since high school, you may be wondering what exactly is reverse osmosis, and what does it do? Well, let’s take a look at osmosis first. Osmosis is a naturally occurring chemical process in which water molecules move through a semipermeable membrane from an area of low concentration to high concentration. Reverse osmosis, then, is when water is forced by pressure through a semipermeable membrane. In so doing, unwanted ions, molecules and contaminants are removed, and clean, filtered drinking water is produced. Think of reverse osmosis like crowd control at a concert, keeping undesirable elements out while letting the VIPs in. 

A King Water Filtration Whole-Home System does not work by using reverse osmosis. Instead, our systems rely on carbon filtration, which involves the use of absorbent and high-activity catalytic carbon and other filtration media to filter out contaminants. Just like reverse osmosis, it doesn’t add anything to the resulting filtered water and uses pressure to push water through the system.  

So How Are Our Systems Similar?

Because semipermeable membranes filter water on a molecular level, reverse osmosis filtration is very good at separating the vast majority of contaminants and impurities, just like carbon and multimedia filtration. It reportedly also improves taste and smell, just like KWF’s systems.

How Do KWF Whole-Home Systems Differ from Reverse Osmosis Systems?

They differ quite a bit, actually. As mentioned, reverse osmosis is very good at filtering water because the process occurs on the molecular level. In fact, it may filter too well, to the point where it can alter the pH of the filtered water to the point of acidity when exposed to air (i.e., when it comes out of a faucet). It can also remove helpful minerals that our bodies need, like calcium, magnesium and potassium, that water typically carries in trace amounts. Of course, too much calcium can lead to the formation of hard water scale. Fortunately, hard water scale is an issue that KWF systems also remedy. 

Remember all the contaminants reverse osmosis filtration removes from the water? Well, they must go somewhere. The resulting by-product is wastewater – typically called concentrate – and a lot of it. In fact, for every one gallon of potable water that reverse osmosis filtration produces, it can also produce up to four gallons of concentrate. Modern reverse osmosis systems work to bring that ratio down, but no matter how well a reverse osmosis device filters, there will still be wastewater. KWF systems, on the other hand, waste very little water, and in some cases, no water at all! Water conservation is extremely important, and the creation of wastewater shrinks the amount of usable water worldwide. On a smaller level, you can probably expect your water bills to go up as a result.

Disposing of concentrate can be tricky, too. Because it’s concentrated, contaminant-filled wastewater, many jurisdictions have specific rules about how and where you can dispose of concentrate, creating a headache for owners and for the local water system. 


No one can dispute that reverse osmosis water filtration is an effective way to filter water. It’s also inefficient, contributes to water pollution and can run up your water bill. If you want a solution that won’t create wastewater, won’t bump up your water bill and provides excellent filtration, get yourself a King Water Filtration device. You can contact us at (855) 957-2166 or here on our website to set up a consultation and find the right water filtration system for you.