Reverse Osmosis has become a basic utility in every household in India today. It eliminates all the impurities and particles from tap or groundwater and gives out clean and healthy drinking water. But we never calculated the amount of wastewater the machine removes during the process. We never think in this way that we can reuse Wate Water from RO as well.
It is assumed by several inspections that 80 percent of the water that the machine receives is wasted and only 20 percent of the water is made available for drinking purpose. If we calculate mathematically – 4 litres of waste water is being generated for every litre of drinking water. This amount is so huge.
And RO water waste proble, it becomes the global crisis for unavailability of drinking water. Several nations are facing extreme difficulties in making healthy water available for their family. In India, more than 76 million people are lacking access to clean and safe drinking water.
Why should we re-use RO waste water?
There is one big drawback of using RO water purifier is the excessive wastage of water. An average RO purifier wastes about 4 litres of water for every 1 litre of purified water. That means only 20% of water is purified and 80% of water comes out as waste. Reverse Osmosis (RO) purifiers use membrane technology to filter dissolved particles and impurities, the impure water is filtered out and it is called waste water or reject water.
However, the RO waste water can be used in several ways to avoid the overall wastage of water in your home or office.
Things to be considered before using the RO waste water
- It is better to calculate the TDS level in the reject water before deciding to reuse for other purposes.
- If the TDS level of the RO waste water is too high, then it might not be suitable for re-use in most of the applications for household.
- To become 100% sure, the waste water can also be tested for the presence of inorganic and chemical impurities like Sodium.
- You should also check the pH value of the Reverse Osmosis waste water.
10 ways to reuse the wasted water of RO water purifier
Before we look some interesting ways to utilise RO waste water, don’t forget one important common aspect for all its uses. The wastewater contains very high in minerals and salts and for its use, so it is always advisable to mix it with normal tap water so that the amount of mineral and salts gets balanced.
1. Use RO waste water for Mopping and Cleaning Floors
Mopping floors every day is a necessity to keep the surfaces clean from dust, bacteria and infections. And a lot of water is being used in mopping and cleaning surfaces. It is assumed that, twice the drinking water in any family is being used to clean and mop floors. You can use the waste water for this purpose in your houses and your workplaces also.
But don’t forget to mix the rejected RO water with some fresh water because first of all, the soaps, detergents and acids will not mix properly in hard RO water and on the other hand plain RO waste water will leave salt particles and other mineral particles on the floor.
2. Use RO Waste water to flush toilets.
This is the best and easy way to use RO waste water. Flushing toilets needs lot of water. An Ultra Low Flush toilet flushes at approximately maximum of 1.6 gallons -6 litres per flush.
So use the rejected RO water to flush toilets and on the other hand do your role in conserving water. It will be best if you can directly connect your waste RO water pipe to the toilet flushing pipe. It is so wise to recycle a waste product to eliminate another waste product!
When you will uae the rejected water for cleaning for porcelain tiles and fixtures, check for any discolouration. If ever you notice any discolouration, do not use additional acids to clean toilets because discolouration is an indication that RO waste water is doing its job superbly. You can use air-fresheners as this water will not help in cleaning the fragrance.
3. Use RO Waste water to Wash your Car
It is assumed by several surveys conducted recently that approximately 14 litres or up to seven buckets of water may be wasted in day for car washing, and a lot of car owners wash their cars daily. It is estimated that a car needs to be washed every two weeks. And if you are using fresh water or tap water to wash your car then you are wasting a lot of water, especially if you use a hosepipe. Because only half of the pipe’s waster is actually used in the wash and the other half is a complete waste. So it is better to use RO waste water to wash cars.
Before you attach the RO waste water pipe to your car wash cleaning faucet, always remember that do not use a scrub or brush if you are using hard water. Instead use a soft linen cloth, as the water itself will do the work of a brush. And also the force of the water should be minimal. The car should never be sprayed sharply with this hard water.
4. Use RO waste water to clean utensils
This again can be termed as one of the best use for RO waste water primarily because washing utensils and cleaning sinks needs a lot of water and secondly if they are cleaned with hard water, they will get cleaned better. So the waste water can be best use to wash off utensils sinks because salt content in it does not let left food get stick to utensils.
You can only use this water for rinsing the utensils and not for scrubbing. The salt environment will clean the utensils from all food and oily acidic particles.
5. Use RO waste water for laundry
It is another best use of this water is to wash clothes because RO water is perfect with all the needed salt contents to take dirt away. In fact most of detergents made for washing clothes are rich in the salts especially sodium salts and other chemicals which are already available in RO water,
You can use this water for laundry. But you should avoid washing delicate fabrics as they may not react well with the TDS content and other metallic materials present in this water.
6. Use RO waste water to clean sewage pipes
You can use the waste RO water to clean sewage pipe at home or kitchen because of its saline nature. The pipes become greasy for prolonged buttery and oily wastes. A little mixture of a dilute acid and RO water can do the required work properly. The rejected RO water can also be used to remove the hard residual water which might have clogged in other appliances.
7. Use RO waste water to Boil Eggs
You can also use the wasted RO water to boil eggs. This is a real smart and biological use. The water can not come in contact with the edible portion of the eggs, so no contaminants are ever going to be deposited on the boiled egg.
This is not limited just to boil eggs, anything that has a casing and can not come in contact with the edible portions can be warmed or heated using RO water. We know some people prefer eating fruits after heating them, so fruits which have shells or hard skins like oranges can be heated in Luke warm RO water.
8. Use RO waste water for Gardening
The rejected water can also be used to water plants, in fact it is an ideal choice. But this is when the water you are receiving is containing low TDS. Most of the urban areas receive water that has lower TDS, so that makes it an option for plant watering, as plants need mineral rich water. Most of the minerals that dissolved in the water are essential for plant growth, and plants absorb them from the ground below.
But if the water has a high TDS or has carcinogenic metal compounds, then the same water can become poisonous for the plants. The heavy metals will burn them.
So to be on the safer side, before using the water for your plants, be make sure that the TDS level is not very high. Then you can mix the low TDS water with fresh tap water to balance out the mineral. And lastly, check the quality of the water and its effect on each of your plants.
9. Use RO waste water for Irrigation
You can use waste RO water for irrigation, but you need to take all the cautious steps which we discussed in the Use RO waste water for Gardening point. Briefly, you need to use low TDS water and also have to mix it with fresh water. You can check the effect of this water on different crops, because certain crops grow well in hard water.
You have to keep in mind that high TDS water should never be used for irrigation and not for gardening also, as it has severe adverse effects on vegetables and or products which are eaten raw.
10. Use of wasted water for bathing
You can bathe with the RO waste water with saline touch in it and mixing some plain water. But bathing or not remains every individual’s personal preference. If you feel that hard water suits your needs best then you can use RO waste water for this purpose by diluting it. It will save you from bath salts. And if the water is having an adverse effect then you should never try this stunt
It can be assumed by various surveys that the future environmental conditions do not predict favourable conditions for water supplies. The amount of water available on Earth is also getting reduced due to global warming and other environmental hazards day by day.
Conditions like these, we should increase our responsibility and highlights that our approach towards the utilization of the water is a significant step for ours and for the welfare of future generations. And wasting something in spite of having reuse alternatives is totally immoral.
RO waste water reuse, reprocessing and recycling is possible and the mentioned activities in the above article are not unreal. It then becomes our duty not to waste the water and to make the most of whatever water Reverse Osmosis water purifiers generate and use every drop of water efficiently.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can RO waste water be used to wash vegetables?
You can reuse RO waste water for washing vegetables if TDS levels of water is under 500ppm but it will better if mix some tap water with it and make sure you wash vegetable again using clean water to remove extra soil deposits on its. If the TDS level is very high in the reject water then you should avoid washing vegetables
How much water is wasted in reverse osmosis?
A Reverse Osmosis system wastes approximately 4 gallons of water per gallon made. If you consume 3 gallons a day for drinking, cooking, internal consumption and others, that means you will waste about 12 gallons, making a reverse osmosis system about 25% efficient!
Does RO water have minerals?
Basically Reverse Osmosis removes Minerals. Reverse Osmosis (RO) removes more than 90-99.99% of all the contaminants including minerals from the drinking water supply. RO removes minerals because they contain larger molecules than water.
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