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What’s the Difference Between RO and DI Water Purification?

There’s a wide range of industries that require water treatment; however, not every company needs the same kind of water purification system. It might be obvious that restaurants and laboratories have different priorities when it comes to their purification requirements, but if you’re not very familiar with different water systems, you likely don’t know where to start.

Two of the most common forms of water purification are reverse osmosis systems and deionization filtration options. However, while both of these systems ultimately result in purified water, there are a few key differences to keep in mind. Here are a few differences between RO and DI water purification systems.

What can RO and DI water systems be used for?


When it comes to getting rid of any minerals or other solid contaminants from, both purification systems can be used. Whether you’re looking to remove metals from your water, like iron or copper, or are trying to get rid of sediments like rock or sand, both purification systems can help you get the job done.

While the function of each of these systems is the same, the way that each water system works is different. For example, an RO system uses a membrane to remove different minerals from the water. This differs from deionization systems, which use an ion exchange in order to get rid of unwanted particles. Both of these setups have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, each of which is suited for different industries and business uses. Learn more about the pros and cons of each water filtration system below.

RO and DI water systems have multiple benefits.


As was mentioned earlier, both water systems can help you filter out unwanted materials from your water and create a more purified product. That being said, there are some cases where an industrial deionized water system might be more preferable than a reverse osmosis system and vice versa.

For example, one of the biggest benefits of reverse osmosis is the fact that it can help remove harmful bacteria and other viruses from water in addition to solids like salt or sand. As such, if you’re interested in generating potable water, a DI system isn’t going to do the job for you. That being said, an area where deionization has its counterpart beat is a situation when you also want water softening benefits, too, since a RO water treatment system can’t help you in that department.

There are also drawbacks to RO and DI water systems.


One thing to keep in mind about using a system that uses osmosis instead of ionization is that water generated by osmosis needs to be stored on site. Usually, these sorts of tanks are about two to four gallons, which isn’t a ton of space but is something to keep in mind. DI water systems, on the other hand, don’t store water since when they purify water, it can degrade relatively quickly. This is another drawback to keep in mind since there are of course pros and cons to having purified water readily on hand or able to be stored.

Ultimately, whichever water filtration system you choose is going to come down to a variety of factors as they relate to your industry and regulations about how your business should function. For example, laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, and medical centers may require deionized water as it’s one of the best ways to create truly purified water. However, an osmosis system may be just fine for other businesses like restaurants who’re more concerned with whether or not the water they’re using could get customers sick than the chemical breakdown of the water they’re using.


In addition to exploring topics related to civil engineering, I enjoy making house beats.

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