Reverse osmosis (RO) desalination is a water treatment method that uses membrane separation to produce fresh, low-salinity drinkable water from a saline water source (seawater or brackish water). Total dissolved solids (TDS), a water quality characteristic whose concentration is stated in milligrammes per litre (mg/L), or parts per thousand, is typically used to measure the mineral/salt content of water (ppt). Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the World Health Organization and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) have set a maximum TDS content of 500 mg/L as a potable water standard. As a classification threshold, this TDS level can be used to identify potable (fresh) water.
Typically, brackish water is defined as having a TDS value greater than 500 mg/L and less than or equal to 15,000 mg/L (15 ppt). For both big and small flows, reverse osmosis is particularly effective at treating brackish, surface, and ground water. Pharmaceutical, boiler feed water, food and beverage, metal finishing, and semiconductor production are a few examples of businesses that employ RO water.
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