How Much Water Does a Reverse Osmosis System Waste?

Reverse osmosis systems are an important part of water purification. They allow water to be drawn from a high-pressure bottle and passed through a filter to produce a lower pressure in the reverse osmosis process. This leaves the water with more dissolved minerals, including hardness, making it easier for the body to absorb and use. However, there is one downside to using reverse osmosis systems: they can waste a some water.

That being said, the truth is that most RO systems don’t waste a lot of water. Some do, but the majority don’t. The more advanced and expensive an RO system is, the more expensive and little water it wastes. What’s more, RO systems come with a range of features and filters that can reduce the amount of wasted water and increase the quality of the water.


Do RO systems waste a lot of water?

The reverse osmosis process can waste up to two gallons of water for every gallon that goes through the filter. This is because some of the water that passes through the filter is used to dilute the high-pressure bottle.

This means that if you have a RO system, you’ll need to purchase a storage tank so you can store enough clean, filtered water for your household. You’ll also want to make sure you have an adequate supply of new filters on hand so you won’t run out mid-month.

Fortunately, there are some ways to help conserve water when using RO systems:

Don’t leave the faucet running while filling the RO bottle with high-pressure water Get creative about how you use your filtered water

If you’re using RO systems at home, it’s important to be mindful of how much water they use and how long they keep operating for. Understand what will work best for your household and make adjustments as needed!

How Much Water Does a Reverse Osmosis System Waste?

Reverse osmosis systems waste a lot of water, but not as much as you might think. The amount of water wasted varies depending on the size of the system and how much water is used in your home per day. However, a typical reverse osmosis system wastes about 1 gallon for every 5 gallons of clean drinking water it produces.

How Do Reverse Osmosis Systems Waste Water?

A reverse osmosis system will require about six gallons of water to produce one gallon of purified water. That’s a 300:1 ratio!

Oftentimes, the first gallon produced by a reverse osmosis system is used as a cleaning agent and flushed down the drain. That means that for every gallon of water you use to clean your filter, you’ll waste three gallons. And for every gallon of water wasted, that’s 300 pounds of CO2 put into our atmosphere.

Another downside to reverse osmosis systems is the cost. They can be expensive to operate and maintain, which is another reason why they can be wasteful.

The good news? There are ways to reduce the amount of water your reverse osmosis system wastes:

  • Use non-reactive cleaners on your filter instead of using tap water for cleaning purposes
  • Install a recycling loop so that filtered wastewater from your kitchen is recycled back into the RO system
  • Replace old filters with high quality ones

With these efforts, you can reduce the amount of water wasted in an average day from four gallons to two gallons

Does Reverse Osmosis Constantly Drain?

Yes, it does. Reverse osmosis systems are designed to remove any impurities and dissolved minerals from tap water, including hard water and heavy metals like lead. However, this process requires a lot of water. The average reverse osmosis system wastes anywhere between 12 and 18 gallons per day

That doesn’t sound like a lot of water until you do the math: that’s nearly 2,400 gallons per annum! That means the average family of five would use 12-14 times more water with their reverse osmosis system.

So, how do you avoid wasting so much of our precious resource?

Thankfully, there are ways to limit the amount of water used by your reverse osmosis system. One way is to install an auto-shutoff valve on the high pressure side of your system. This will stop any excess water from being wasted if something blocks the flow of purified drinking water within your home.

How Long Should Reverse Osmosis Drain?

When installing a reverse osmosis system, it is important to know how long the drain should be. It sounds simple, but the length of the drain can vary significantly depending on water pressure and other factors.

This article will provide you with information to help you decide what size the drain should be for your R/O system.

The first thing to consider is how much water your household needs per day. This will give an idea of how much water you are likely to use in one day. For example, if your family uses 140 gallons of water per day, then you might want to measure your reverse osmosis drain at around 13 inches. That’s about half way between 8 inches for low-pressure systems and 16 inches for high-pressure systems.

If you’re not sure, measure the pressure coming out of the end of the pipe where it meets up with your garden hose or faucet. The pressure will tell you how high-quality your water is–the higher the pressure, the better the quality (though too high can cause problems).

How Much Water Does a Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System Waste?

Does a RO Filter Waste Water?

A reverse osmosis filter was invented in the 1970s, and it has been helping clean up water for decades. But there is one downside to using RO filters: they can waste a lot of water.

Typically, two gallons go into the system and only one-gallon comes out at the other end. So you’re not getting double the amount of water that you put in, but it still wastes a lot of water.

The reason for this is because RO systems work by pushing water through a semi-permeable membrane with a high level of pressure on one side and lower pressure on the other side. This means that while some water will be filtered out, some will leak out due to the pressure difference. In addition, some minerals may also be lost during this process as well.

How Do You Dispose of Reverse Osmosis Filters?

Reverse osmosis filters are necessary for removing contaminants like iron and manganese, but they also remove beneficial minerals. Unfortunately, instead of throwing this filter away, many people flush it down the drain or toss it in the trash.

The problem is that this damages pipes and sewers because it causes the filters to clog them. This can be expensive for homeowners to clean up, which is why you should never dispose of your reverse osmosis filters down the sink or trash chute!

Instead, you should opt for a water filtration system that does not use reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis systems do have their benefits but they can waste a lot of water due to their inefficient design. They also cost much more than other purification systems so if you’re looking for an affordable option, try a different type of filtration system.

What Can You Do With Reverse Osmosis Waste Water?

It may seem like a waste to have all that water just flow out the drain, but there are actually some great uses for it.

First of all, if you’re using a reverse osmosis system in your home, you should know that it’s okay to use the water you’ve pulled through your system for other things around the house. You can use it to wash dishes or clean clothes without any problems.

If you want to go one step further, you could even invest in a shallow well which is specifically designed for this type of water. It’s easy to install and will provide your garden with plenty of resources.

Finally, if you’re not into gardening (or if winter has set in), then consider collecting up that water and donating it to local wildlife. This is an especially good idea if the animals near your home suffer from drought-related conditions.

Is RO Waste Water Harmful?

The waste water from a reverse osmosis system can be contaminated with salt, minerals, and other substances. It also contains the same amount of dissolved solids as raw sewage and can cause corrosion in pipes and septic tanks.

Salt levels in waste water from a reverse osmosis system can reach 26 grams per liter. This is roughly six times higher than the 3 to 5 grams per liter recommended by the World Health Organization for human consumption. Too much salt in drinking water can lead to high blood pressure and kidney problems.

Another downside to using a reverse osmosis system is that it produces waste water at an alarming rate: 1 gallon for every 4 gallons of drinkable water produced. This wastes approximately 40 percent of drinking water production while producing 2 gallons of waste water for every gallon of drinkable water produced!

So what should you do? It’s important to make sure your RO system is functioning correctly and that you’re not wasting more than needed. If your RO system malfunctions or isn’t properly maintained, it can end up costing you money—and harm your health!

How Can RO System Reduce Waste Water?

RO systems are designed to create purified drinking water by eliminating harmful contaminants, but they can also use a lot of water in the process. This is because they require a high-pressure input of water to produce purified water.

The higher the pressure, the more water will be used in the filtering process. This means that RO systems are less efficient than other purification methods like reverse osmosis membranes.

If your goal is not only to purify your drinking water but also reduce your household’s overall consumption, then you may want to consider investing in an RO system that has dual feed lines. Dual feed lines are connected to two separate sources of fresh drinking water. One line will be used for producing purified drinking water while the other will be used for drinking or cooking purposes.

This way, you can reduce how much potable drinking water is wasted during the purification process and ensure you have enough potable drinking water for your daily needs!


RO systems are a great way to make sure you and your family are drinking clean water, but it’s difficult to determine how much water RO systems waste. When you consider the amount of water a cistern full of water or a shower uses, it’s hard to believe RO systems really waste that much water. However, if you don’t have a cistern or filter your water from the tap, then the amount of water wasted is still an important consideration.

Meet the author: Jessica Chen

Jessica is a fishing enthusiast and yoga fanatic who enjoys traveling the world and reading books about Buddhism. She has a passion for writing, food, and wine. “Winter is my favorite season. I love sitting by the fire with a good book and a warm cup of hot chocolate.” Learn more about Jessica and the rest of the team.