Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Petroleum From Water

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Petroleum From Drinking Water

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In this article, we’re going to be discussing whether reverse osmosis is effective at removing petroleum 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 petroleum levels.

What Exactly Is Petroleum

Petroleum is a naturally occurring, yellow-to-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth’s surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels. Components of petroleum are separated using a technique called fractional distillation. It consists of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other organic compounds. The name petroleum covers both naturally occurring unprocessed crude oil and petroleum products that are made up of refined crude oil.

Petroleum is used in a variety of ways, including as a fuel for transportation, as a lubricant, and as a raw material for the production of plastics and other chemicals.

How Does Petroleum Get Into Our Water Supplies?

Petroleum can enter our water supplies in a variety of ways. It can leach into groundwater from soil contaminated with petroleum products, or it can seep into surface water from an oil spill. In addition, improper disposal of waste oil and gasoline can lead to the contamination of local water supplies.

Does RO Remove Petroleum from Drinking Water?

Yes, RO systems are designed to remove petroleum products from drinking water. RO systems use a process called reverse osmosis to remove contaminants from water. RO systems are effective at removing petroleum products from water, but they may not be able to remove all contaminants.

However, the effectiveness of RO (reverse osmosis) in removing petroleum 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 petroleum from water, making it safe to drink.

How to test your water supply for Petroleum

If you are concerned about petroleum in your water supply, you can have your water tested by a professional laboratory. Petroleum testing is not typically included in routine water quality testing, so you will need to specifically request this type of test.

Once you have the results of your water test, you can compare them to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards to see if there is cause for concern.

Alternatively, you can 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 Petroleum From Water

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

One alternative method is to use granular activated carbon (GAC), which adsorbs the petroleum molecules from the water and then can be removed from the water by filtration.

Finally, another option is to use chemical treatments, such as oxidation or biodegradation, which break down petroleum molecules into simpler, less harmful compounds.


In summary, Reverse Osmosis is a very effective way of reducing the petroleum 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 activated carbon and chemical treatments. 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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