Does Reverse Osmosis Remove PFAS?

When they were first manufactured in the 1940s, PFAS were thought to be “miracles of modern chemistry” because of their properties that included resistance to water, chemicals, oil, and high temperatures. As a result, since then, they have been used in many products such as non-stick pans, weatherproof clothing, packaging for food, and firefighting foams.

The discovery that PFAS pose a serious threat to health means that their use has been largely discontinued in the US, but the chemicals are firmly established in the land and groundwater. Since these chemicals are only very slow to break down, the problems they have created are likely to be around for a very long time.

Effective Solutions to the PFAS Problem

It’s reckoned that almost half of the country’s drinking water contains some PFAS, and municipal water companies currently can do very little to remove them. Additionally, private water supplies are untreated, so it’s up to you as the homeowner to ensure your water is as pure as you need it to be. Although your body is already likely to contain some level of PFAS and you can’t do much about that, you can make sure the situation doesn’t get any worse.

In answer to the question, ”Do reverse osmosis systems remove PFAS?”, the short answer is that only a rare few do. In fact, a quality reverse osmosis system that’s installed and used correctly can remove up to 99% of PFAS.

These systems force water through a semi-permeable membrane that has a pore size of 0.0005 microns. Any particle that’s larger than this size, which includes most PFAS chemicals, will be trapped by the membrane and ultimately flushed away with waste water.

A typical reverse osmosis system will have other filters as well as a semi-permeable membrane. These include a granular activated carbon filter, often made from sustainable coconut shell carbon, which can on its own remove up to 73% of some PFAS. However, they tend to be long-chain PFAS while short-chain types tend to get through and require a combination of methods to be fully effective.

So the answer to “Does an RO system remove PFAS?” is a qualified, conditional “Yes”, and the equipment can also remove many other contaminants, leaving your water as pure as possible. However, reverse osmosis systems tend to be the most expensive water treatment methods, waste a certain volume of water, and remove some minerals you may want to retain for flavor. A cheaper alternative is a carbon filter alone, which produces drinking water that’s without bad orders and flavors and can remove a majority of certain PFAS.

Obtaining an Effective System

To find out what is best for you, it’s essential you discover what’s in your water. Municipal suppliers issue water quality reports, but a test of your water will reveal the exact problems.

We can conduct a free water test and supply a configuration that works best for you while remaining within your budget. We’ll also maintain your system when necessary and supply replacement filters so it always works at peak efficiency. To get rid of the risk of PFAS, contact us today!