I love good well water, but depending on your region and your aquifer, sometimes the quality, taste and smell of the water can vary greatly. This has led to straddling the line between well water and reverse osmosis.
Well Water and Reverse Osmosis
A good glass of well water is crisp and refreshing. There is no sweeter taste in the world, but some times good well water can suddenly taste odd, or smell bad. A few times a year our well water will have an odd odor, and we’ve yet to figure out the reason behind it.
The water professionals assure me that it’s still safe, but good luck getting my family to drink it, and the water pro’s want $600 or more to install a reverse osmosis system.
Negative, Ghost Rider.
There aren’t many situations where you need to spend $600, or more fora reverse osmosis system. If you have the time, and a bit of a DIY spirit, then you can do reverse osmosis for a couple hundred dollars.
Finding a Reverse Osmosis System
Comparison pricing on the internet is really easy, so you can track down a quality system. I tend to use Amazon.com because the prices are normally competitive, and you can read reviews, from other buyers, about the products you are shopping for.
There’s a good chance if you have well water, then you may also have your own septic system. Keep in mind that reverse osmosis can waste 2-5 gallons of water for every gallon of drinking water that it produces. Since we don’t want to waste a ton of our well water, nor flood our septic systems with water (which can throw off the bacteria ratio), I have some tips to reduce this waste.
Reverse Osmosis Tips for Country Folk
Automatic Shut Off Valve
Get an automatic shut off valve, so that when your reverse osmosis water storage tank is full, that the water to the filter shuts off. If you don’t do this, the water will continually run and pass through the reverse osmosis membrane and out through the waste water line and down your drain.
Once your storage tank is full of water, the water is shut off to the filter, until you remove water from the tank (get a glass of water, ice maker makes ice, etc).
Install a Permeate Pump. Permeate Pumps Help maintain an constant osmotic pressure to the membrane for greater efficiency.
It utilizes a turbine pump, that uses the pressure of the waste water, to pump the product drinking water into the storage tank. This protects the membrane from the back flow pressure of the tank, maintaining maximum osmotic pressure at all times.
Split up your water filtering
Keep one line free of the reverse osmosis filter. I split off my drinking water line, just after the 3 stage filters, and before the reverse osmosis filter. This way I have well water that is filtered, running to a drinking water faucet at our sink, and the reverse osmosis runs to the refrigerator water dispense and ice maker.
Why did I split my water like this?
- Reverse osmosis output is really low pressure, so if 2 spigots are running at the same time, you’re going to wait forever for a glass of water.
- Coffee! Reverse Osmosis water has very little mineral content. Higher magnesium ion levels increase the extraction of coffee into water and improve the taste, so I use the “filtered” well water for coffee, and reverse osmosis for drinking and ice.
If your well water is always safe, then you may be able to get by with no filter, a simple carbon filter or a 3 stage filter, but if your water has you wondering you may need to pair up your Well Water and Reverse Osmosis.
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