Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Trihalomethanes From Water

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Trihalomethanes From Drinking Water

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In this article, we’re going to be discussing whether RO effectively removes trihalomethanes from water.

For those who are unfamiliar, reverse osmosis (RO) is a 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 trihalomethane levels.

What Exactly Are Trihalomethanes

Trihalomethanes (THMs) are a group of four chemicals that are formed when chlorine is used to disinfect water. They are found in low levels in drinking water and in private wells.

THMs have been linked with an increased risk of cancer, and reproductive problems amongst a whole host of other health issues. Because of this, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a limit for the amount of THMs that can be present in drinking water.

Does RO Remove Trihalomethanes from Drinking Water?

Yes, RO (reverse osmosis) removes trihalomethanes from drinking water by approximately 82%. Trihalomethanes are a class of organic compounds that are formed when chlorine is used to disinfect water. RO removes them by forcing water through a semipermeable membrane, which traps the contaminants on the other side.

Should we be reducing trihalomethane levels in our home water supply

Yes, we should be reducing trihalomethane levels in our home water supply. This substance is a known carcinogen and has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. There are a number of ways to reduce trihalomethane levels in your home water supply, including using a water filter or reverse osmosis system.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to reduce trihalomethanes levels in home water supplies is up to the individual, whilst being advised by their healthcare adviser.

However, it’s essential to know whether this particular carcinogen is present in your home’s water supply, hence testing is key!

How to test your water supply for Trihalomethanes

To test your water supply for Trihalomethanes, you will need to contact your local water supplier and request a water quality testing kit. Once you have received the kit, follow the instructions to collect a water sample and send it back to the supplier for analysis. The results of the test will tell you if there are any Trihalomethanes present in your water and, if so, at what level.

Alternatively, you can hire a professional to do this for you, 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, fluoride, chloramine, arsenic, heavy metals, viruses, bacteria, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals.
Unfortunately, RO removes beneficial minerals from water such as magnesium, sodium, potassium, 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 Trihalomethanes From Water

There are many other methods that can be used to remove trihalomethanes (other than reverse osmosis) from water. Some of these methods include activated carbon filters and ultraviolet light.

Reverse osmosis is a process that forces water through a semi-permeable membrane, leaving the contaminants behind. Activated carbon filters work by adsorbing the contaminants onto the surface of the carbon. Ultraviolet light breaks down the contaminants into harmless molecules.


In summary, Reverse Osmosis is an effective way of reducing trihalomethane 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 filters & UV light, but 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 reverse osmosis system or an under sink RO system.

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