Is it Safe To Drink RO Water?? You'd be surprised..

Discussion in 'Filters, Pumps, etc..' started by clownfish, Feb 3, 2008.

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  1. clownfish

    clownfish Skunk Shrimp

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    After long and I mean a very long research....I've decided NOT to drink RO water, sure, in areas where water is truly an issue/problem RO is the best method to get rid of bad elements. I recently bought a RO/DI unit mainly for my fishtank, but since it came with a container tank and a faucet, I said "what the hell" I could bypass the DI part and have fresh purified RO only water to drink....According to many doctors and even the World Health Organization, drinking RO water or even worse, distilled or DI water can have long term negative health effects on the human body. Water with <75 TDS can seriously affect your intestinal track, and the lack or low level of minerals can cause other health problems, etc. Check this link and you be the judge, http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/nutdemineralized.pdf

    This is just one of the many articles I've found and that for now, has changed my mind, I'll stick to my snap-on filter (carbon) to remove chlorine and odors and leave the RO and DI for my aquarium water changes/salt mixing.

    If you find a better article or one that contradicts the "health risks" that RO can represent to humans, please share it, I'd like to see it.
     
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  3. Camilsky

    Camilsky Montipora Capricornis

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    One of the most pronounced negative effects of consumption of RO water is dilution and washing out Na+,K+ and Mg2+. This phenomenon - electrolytic imbalance causes problems with neural transduction, muscle contraction and can lead to sudden death. This is why one should drink highly mineralized water after extensive sport activities and/or during warm days.

    Just my 0.02$:
    RO water is the purest water in terms of ion content, therefore the most dangerous one. Distilled water can still contain some impurities, therefore one produces double or triple distiled water, that is supposed to be pollution free. All these "water" are called DI -> deionized, because they are ion free! (at least in principle).
     
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  4. baugherb

    baugherb Giant Squid

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    Awesome info fellas... Something to think about...
     
  5. lunatik_69

    lunatik_69 Giant Squid

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    So if its not safe to drink, what about our tanks? Maybe thats why I use RO reclaim powder from Kent's Marine OSMO PREP
     
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  6. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I've heard distilled water referred to as "hungry water" a time or two. In ordinary osmosis (not reverse osmosis), an item moves from an area of high concentration, to an area of low concentration. Place an uncapped perfume bottle in the middle of a calm room. After some time you'd smell it at the room's periphery. By the same process, osmosis could cause minerals to leave our cells. Water devoid of minerals consumed exclusively, could sway the balance of these ions and minerals in our cells by its very presence.

    However, nothing in moderation should be damaging. As Camilsky aluded to, it would be unwise to consume distilled or RO/DI water after an 8 hour day of digging ditches in the hot sun to replace sweat. This would be tantamount to replacing your engine's coolant with water after all the coolant was drained. Taking a 32 oz. bottle of RO/DI water to the office everyday and drinking it probably wouldn't be dangerous, though.


    With our tanks, though, I think it's apples and oranges. We use RO/DI water in our tanks to remove the variables tap water brings to the party. RO/DI water mixed with a good quality salt mix should yield water that is as close to NSW as possible.

    In conclusion, IMO, I'd think RO/DI water for drinking occasionally: good.
    Drinking RO/DI water and nothing else: very bad.
    RO/DI water used to mix with salt to make water for our reef tanks: Very good.
    Vodka and Tonic with a twist of lime: Priceless. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2008
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  7. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    :lol: Great info RS. You hit the nail on the head.
     
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  9. clownfish

    clownfish Skunk Shrimp

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    Amen to that brother!

    On a serious note though....thanks a lot guys for bringing up some excellent points, lots of info. Thanks.
     
  10. clownfish

    clownfish Skunk Shrimp

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    I think you misunderstood...or maybe I did....anyway, as far as I understood, DI, distilled and RO was the correct order when it comes to TDS....The problem with DI water is the close to 0 TDS. Distilled on the other hand is stripped off its elements and as one of you said, it becomes "hungry water", meaning that it will even be contaminated with carbon dioxide or any air polutants. RO on the other hand is a the end of the line when it comes to purity, I tested this myself, between RO and DI, there was a difference of
    10-30 ppm's of TDS, RO having the highest one (DI had 0 or 1 ppm and RO 12-30 ppm) ....This is why most manufacturers/retailers advertise RO as being ok for humans....example, go to HomeDepot, there you'll find carbon only units and carbon/RO units...but no DI units...
     
  11. YellowBelly

    YellowBelly Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

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    Interesting, I always wanted to get the facts right. I knew DI was bad to drink because of the super low mineral content but thought R/O was okay. Guess not . . .
     
  12. clownfish

    clownfish Skunk Shrimp

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    Like ReefSparky said....occasional use of RO= OK

    Drinking RO water exclusively...a very bad thing...your muscles, intesntine track, etc need the minerals, stripping your body of the essential minerals can cause serious health issues....some people drink RO for a period of time (a week or so) to rid the body of inpurities, etc....hence the possibility of diahrrea, etc....

    At the end it's a personal choice. I'm sticking to my Pur filter to get rid of chlorine and bad odors...I'm staying away from RO.

    DI water is good for Salt water aquariums 'cause we actually mix salts that contain the necessary elements. For fresh water aquariums on the other hand...there's still some debate on whether extrictly DI is a good thing..most people i know who own a fresh water aquarium do a mix of DI and treated tap water for their tanks...or RO and little treated tap.