Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Cryptosporidium From Water

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Cryptosporidium From Drinking Water

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In this article, we’re going to be discussing whether reverse osmosis is effective at removing cryptosporidium from water.

However, for those who are unfamiliar with reverse osmosis, it’s simply a water filtration process that uses a semipermeable membrane to remove contaminants, viruses, and bacteria from water.
While it is very effective at removing harmful contaminants from water, let us see if it also removes or reduces cryptosporidium levels.

What Exactly Is Cryptosporidium

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that can cause severe diarrhea in humans. The parasite is found in soil, water, and feces. It is spread through contact with contaminated food or water.

Symptoms of cryptosporidiosis include watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. The disease can be serious in young children and people with weakened immune systems.

People can become infected by drinking contaminated water, swimming in contaminated water, or coming into contact with contaminated soil. Once the parasite enters the body, it travels to the intestine and begins to reproduce. The resulting diarrhea can be very severe and can lead to dehydration and even death.

There is no specific treatment for cryptosporidium, but the symptoms can be treated with fluids and rest.

How Does Cryptosporidium Get Into Our Water Supplies?

There are several ways that this parasite can get into our water supplies. One way is through contaminated drinking water. cryptosporidium can also enter the water supply through sewage or stormwater runoff.

Additionally, it can be in the feces of infected animals, and can contaminate water supplies if proper sanitation and treatment procedures are not followed.

In the United States, cryptosporidium outbreaks have been linked to contaminated drinking water, swimming pools, and contact with infected farm animals.

The best way to prevent cryptosporidium infection is to practice good hygiene and avoid drinking water from contaminated sources.

Does RO Remove Cryptosporidium from Drinking Water?

Yes, RO systems can remove cryptosporidium from drinking water. In order to do so, the water must first be filtered to remove any large particles. Once the water has been filtered, it can then be passed through an RO system. The RO system will remove any remaining cryptosporidium from the water, making it safe to drink.

However, the effectiveness of RO (reverse osmosis) in removing cryptosporidium from drinking water can vary depending on a number of factors, including the specific type of RO system being used and the quality of the water being treated.

With that being said, in general, RO systems are effective at removing cryptosporidium from water, making it safe to drink.

How to test your water supply for Cryptosporidium

To test your water supply for Cryptosporidium, you will need to collect a water sample and submit it to a certified laboratory. The laboratory will perform an analysis to determine the presence of Cryptosporidium in the water.

Alternatively, there may be kits that you can buy to test it yourself, but these will be less accurate.

The final way to do this is to simply hire a professional, who will take care of the entire process, as well as advise you about whether water treatment is necessary.

What else does reverse osmosis remove from water?

RO also removes a range of contaminants from water, including chloride, fluoridechloraminearsenicheavy metalsvirusesbacteriapesticides, and pharmaceuticals.
Unfortunately, RO removes beneficial minerals from water such as magnesiumsodiumpotassium, and calcium.
While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that most municipal water supplies in the United States meet strict safety standards, trace amounts of these and other contaminants can still end up in tap water. As a result, many people use reverse osmosis systems to purify their drinking water even further.

Alternative Methods Of Removing Cryptosporidium From Water

There are a number of alternative methods that can be used to remove cryptosporidium from water, besides RO. These include:

One alternative method for removing cryptosporidium from water is using a UV filter. This will kill any cryptosporidium present in the water, making it safe to drink.

Another option is to boil the water, which will also kill the parasite. However, boiling for at least 1 minute is necessary to ensure that all the cryptosporidium are killed.

Finally, a water filter that is designed to remove cryptosporidium can also be effective, the CDC has specified the following filter specifications to remove crypto from a water source: “NSF 53” or “NSF 58.” with an “absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller”.


In summary, Reverse Osmosis is a very effective way of reducing the cryptosporidium levels in your house’s water supply. However, before going about purchasing a RO system, it’s important to test your water supply in order to be sure about whether you need such a system.
It’s better to use a point-of-entry (POE) RO filtration system, such as a whole house RO system, as this will take care of your entire home’s water supply. This differs from a point-of-use (POU) system which would only treat water at the faucet, I.E. an under-sink RO system.
As discussed above, there are also other filter systems that can be used, including UV light, water boiling, and water filtration systems that meet the CDC’s recommended specifications. It’s highly advisable to consult a specialist to discuss your home’s situational needs, after testing your water supply. Only then can you truly know which system is best.
However, for those who know they want to use RO, take a look at either a whole house RO system or an under sink RO system.

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