Reverse osmosis water filtration was developed in the late 1950’s through U.S. government funding. What started out as an endeavour to find a way to desalinise water has turned into a reliable and popular water filtering technology used today by many homeowners. Reverse osmosis water filters have many advantages, but what are the disadvantages, if any, of using reverse osmosis to filter water?

Advantages and disadvantages of reverse osmosis water filter

First, let’s consider the many advantages of RO water filtration:

–  Reverse osmosis water filters remove many bacteria and pathogens from tap water. Disease causing bacteria like Giardia and Cryptosporidium are effectively filtered out from your water source, thus eliminating the risks of you developing gastrointestinal or other types of illnesses associated with these types of pathogens and bacteria;

– Chlorine taste and odours are also removed; your tap water will not only be safer, but also tastier;

– With an RO water filter you will save money on expensive bottled water;

– RO systems don’t use up much space and have a low energy consumption;

– Because RO water filters produce highly purified water, foods cooked with RO filtered water will have an improved taste;

– Reverse osmosis water filters are affordable and provide outstanding quality water.


Reverse osmosis water filters do have some disadvantages too, these include:

– Because of their excellent filtration capabilities, RO water filters demineralise water, which means that they will also get rid of healthy minerals naturally found in water, this is why RO water filters should be used together with a remineraliser filter. For example, the Pure-Pro Quick Change 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis System uses an alkaline filer to introduce the beneficial minerals lost during the filtration process.

– RO water filter systems can become clogged, which is why it is a good idea to use it with a sediment pre-filter that will filter out particles that may otherwise clog or damage the RO membrane.

– RO filtration is also considered a slow process as opposed to other types of water filtration technologies. Because RO filters use water pressure to purify water, it can produce a limited amount of water per day. Some RO systems can produce just 15 gallons of water, while more advanced systems are capable of producing around 50 gallons.


Maintenance is also sometimes mentioned as a drawback for RO water filters. All water filters require maintenance at different intervals and different brands have different maintenance requirements. Usually, all water filter cartridges must be replaced at least twice a year. The situation is similar in the case of RO water filters.

Whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages it really depends on what your water filtering requirements are. In places which may require highly purified water (e.g. laboratories or dental practices), RO water filter systems prove to be an excellent choice.