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Does Reverse Osmosis Filter Out Harmful Bacteria From Tap Water? | YASA ET Tips

Clients often ask us whether our Reverse Osmosis Systems can remove harmful bacteria from their tap water or industrial wastewater. The short answer?

YASA ET Reverse Osmosis systems can eliminate up to 99.99% of all bacteria, viruses, and contaminants in your water or wastewater.

Let's see which bacteria and viruses contaminate tap water and how our RO systems can make the water safe to drink.

Tap Water Glass YASA ET
Tap Water Glass

Bacteria In Tap Water

Parameters for drinking water quality typically fall within three categories: physical, chemical, microbiological.

Microbiological parameters include coliform bacteria, E. coli, and specific pathogenic species of bacteria (such as cholera-causing Vibrio cholerae), viruses, and protozoanparasites. Originally, fecal contamination was determined with the presence of coliform bacteria, a convenient marker for a class of harmful fecalpathogens. The presence of fecal coliforms (like E. Coli) serves as an indication of contamination by sewage. Additional contaminants include protozoanoocysts such as Cryptosporidium sp., Giardia lamblia, Legionella, and viruses (enteric).

Microbial pathogenic parameters are typically of greatest concern because of their immediate health risk. In fact, if untreated, these bacteria can cause illnesses such as diarrhoea, pneumonia, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, and other gastrointestinal problems.

How Can Reverse Osmosis Remove Bacteria?

Reverse Osmosis Systems use a process that reverses the flow of water in a natural process of osmosis so that water passes from a more concentrated solution to a more dilute solution through a semi-permeable membrane. Pre- and post-filters are often incorporated along with the reverse osmosis membrane itself. For more details you can read our previous article on this topic.

Reverse Osmosis System Features

  • A reverse osmosis filter has a pore size of approximately 0.0001 micron.

  • Reverse Osmosis Systems have a very high effectiveness in removing protozoa (for example, Cryptosporidium, Giardia);

  • Reverse Osmosis Systems have a very high effectiveness in removing bacteria (for example, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli);

  • Reverse Osmosis Systems have a very high effectiveness in removing viruses (for example, Enteric, Hepatitis A, Norovirus, Rotavirus);

  • Reverse Osmosis Systems will remove common chemical contaminants (metal ions, aqueous salts), including sodium, chloride, copper, chromium, and lead; may reduce arsenic, fluoride, radium, sulphate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, nitrate, and phosphorous.

Because there are some contaminants that are molecularly smaller than water, sometimes Reverse Osmosis completely need some additional tools to make the water completely free of impurities. For example, some common contaminants that can slip through the average RO filter are:

  • Pesticides, Herbicides

  • Many other agricultural treatment products like fungicides

  • Some dissolved gasses, like hydrogen sulphide

  • Chlorine — RO can remove various quantities of chlorine, but there is a possibility that the average home RO filter may not have the capacity to capture all the chlorine present in water, though this will largely depend on the chemical’s concentrations in the water supply.

Additional tools for water purification are UV filters, UF membranes and distilled water purifiers.


YASA ET can help you make 100% safe for drinking tap water.

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