​Reverse osmosis (RO) is a unique type of water filtration that uses a semi-permeable, super thin membrane with holes tiny enough to pass clean water through at the same time rejecting bigger molecules such as dissolved salts and many other impurities including bacteria.

Reverse osmosis is used to create highly purified water for your drinking water systems in Winnipeg, food and beverage processing, industrial boilers, Pharmaceutical production, seawater desalination, and multiple other applications. It has been a valuable technology for purifying your water for more than a century and commercialized since the early 60’s



A reverse osmosis system water purification system is constructed around its individual membranes.  Each individual membrane is a spiral wound sheet of part-permeable material. Membranes appear in 2-inch, 4-inch, and 8-inch diameter with the 4- and 8-inch diameter sizes often used in the water filtration industry.

The industry standard is a 40-inch length so that membranes from different reverse osmosis water purification manufacturers are interchangeable in filter equipment systems. One of the main measurements of a reverse osmosis membrane is its square footage. Membranes are available in the range of 350-450 square feet on the surface area.

Part-permeable membranes were initially constructed using cellulose acetate (CA) but later the water filter industry switched primarily to the use of a light film composite (TFC) being located on top of a tougher substrate. TFC membranes are often used in today’s water purification industry.


Reverse osmosis is a continuously operating water treatment technology that uses high pressure to pass your Winnipeg water through a thin membrane and thereby removes by separating the impurities from water.

RO works by reversing the principle of osmosis, the regular tendency of water with dissolved salts to go through a membrane from lower to a higher salt value. This process is found throughout nature. Plants use it to soak up water and nutrients from the soil. In humans and other animals, our kidneys use osmosis to soak up water from blood.

In your RO system, pressure (likely from a pump) is used to overtake natural osmotic pressure, forcing feedwater with it haul of dissolved salts and many other impurities through a semipermeable membrane that will remove a high percentage of your impurities. The end result is highly purified water.

The rejected impurities and salts concentrate at the top of the membrane and are pushed from the system to drain other processes. In a normal commercial industrial application, 75% of the feedwater is fully purified. In procedures in which water conservation is needed, 85% of the feedwater is purified.

A Reverse Osmosis system uses cross-filtration, where the solution crosses the filter with 2 outlets: the contaminated water goes one way and the fresh filtered water goes another way. To reduce buildup of pollutants, the cross-flow filtration process allows water to clear away contaminant buildup and with enough turbulence to allow the membrane surface to be clean.



11 + 2 =

clean water reverse osmosis
credit cards taken for water treatments


​Individual membranes are dropped into a single housing, which can accommodate up to 6 membranes in series. Then housings are grouped into parallel flow streams named a “stage”. A single RO system can have as many as three stages in a series.

The benefit of using reverse osmosis stages in series is reducing the wastewater. In efficient reverse osmosis stage systems, wastewater will be reduced to 15% of the total water flow, whereas reject flow from an individual membrane alone can be up to 50%.

A complete reverse osmosis system also includes a pretreatment cartridge filtration, a controls system, and a pressure pump. In a small reverse osmosis system, the controls may be as basic as rotameters and valves. A larger reverse osmosis system will contain temperature, flow and pressure transmitters, also including control valves operated from a human machine interface or programmable logic controller.

Bigger systems also use variable frequency drives for the pressure pump and often energy recovery devices.  Winnipeg Water Softeners offers a full line of small to large residential reverse osmosis systems.


The Brains

Most popular water softeners come with an automatic regenerating system. The simplest type has an electric timer that recharges and flushes the system on a regular schedule. During recharging, soft water is not available.

Another type of control uses a computer that watches how much water is used. When enough water has gone through the mineral tank to have depleted the beads of sodium, the computer activates regeneration. These softeners usually have reserve resin capacity, so that a portion of soft water will be available during recharging.

Another type of control utilizes a mechanical water meter to measure water consumption and initiate recharging. The advantage of this particular system is that electrical components are not required, and the mineral tank is only recharged when necessary. Softened water is always available when it is equipped with two mineral tanks, even when the unit is recharging.

Judging Water Hardness

We offer test kits that help you determine the hardness of your water.

Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon (GPG) or milligrams per liter (mg/l, equivalent to parts per million, or ppm). Water up to 1 GPG (or 17.1 mg/l) is considered soft, and water from 60 to 120 GPG is considered moderately hard. A water softener’s effectiveness depends on how hard the incoming water is. Water over 100 GPG may not be completely softened.

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