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Reverse Osmosis - required for GTA?

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Mar 30, 2006
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Reverse Osmosis - required for GTA?

So I've been reading up on water filtration systems and debating which one to get, a lot of companies are obviously skewed to sell their products so there will be some bias there. However, reading up further and to decide which system to get - RO vs Non-RO, it's still unclear to me.

The main difference I found between the two is that RO gets rid of Flouride where as the others do not (there are some sketchy claims for the ones who do which are non-RO). Now if Flouride is good or not, then there is this was published from Harward - https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/magazine/m ... ing-water/.

It was responded by many letters (mostly opposing) while the only letter to support it was from UFT - https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/lette ... ater-safe/

The thing with RO is that while it does provide superior filtration - it gets rid of the good minerals as well. It also wastes water, even the new RO systems still waste water, that's just how it works. The non-RO systems get rid of Chlorine, Lead and other common ones found in most water supplies.

Just wondering what the water experts of RFD have to say, especially for us who like in the GTA and not on some remote rural farm with a well water.
14 replies
Deal Addict
Mar 22, 2017
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West GTA
No one can answer your question because 'required' is a subjective thing here. Drinking water straight from the tap is typically seen as safe in the GTA, with its water treatment being recognized as world-class. Absent your views on fluoride (though controversial, overall consensus appears to note it as both safe and helpful), there is typically no need for water filtration of any kind unless you are dealing with a specific situation (such as unsafe piping in your home, etc) - you can send a sample of your tap water to the city for testing if you suspect an issue.

So if you want to take out fluoride, then you're using RO and/or buying water in jugs. If you don't, then don't bother with filtration at all unless you have an issue that concerns you specifically (get it tested).

https://www.toronto.ca/services-payment ... residents/
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Oct 16, 2008
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Vaughan
Required - NO

Each person has different views on life , foods, drinks.
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Feb 10, 2006
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Kitchener
I wouldn't say it is required as the water is deemed safe. Having said that I look at water purification in the same light as indoor air quality products. They are designed to remove particles. It's debatable if floride is good to consume, as is how much useful minerals we actually get from water.

I chose a system that suited my believes (whole home chlorine filter, HEPA & extra UV light). I'd suggest deciding on what camp you sit in and then moving in that direction.
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Sr. Member
Feb 27, 2007
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anon_s wrote: It was responded by many letters (mostly opposing) while the only letter to support it was from UFT - https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/lette ... ater-safe/
Heads up that that chart is something else - it shows Canada as having falling tooth decay AND not using fluoride, and most of the European countries listed as support use fluoridated salt and/or milk. Just something to consider.
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Jun 12, 2007
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anon_s wrote: ...., a lot of companies are obviously skewed to sell their products so there will be some bias there. However, reading up further and to decide which system to get - RO vs Non-RO, it's still unclear to me. ..
A lot of GTA companies are marketing RO monthly rentals cause its a huge $$$$$ profit (i.e. free install, 3 months free, then $10/ month forever)
They'll tell you whatever you want to hear plus grossly exaggerate any fears you may have.

Example:
Is the water you're washing your hands with Corona virus free?

With the announcement of the World Health Organization (WHO) that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an official pandemic, there’s no longer reason to stay naive and not take proper precautions. Washing your hands, avoid public gatherings and when symptoms arise; stay at home. What's new - I hear you think. Well, have you ever considered the quality of the water that you've been washing your hands so carefully with? In a time we all depend on hygiene so much - it is crucial that this is free of viruses. For now, but especially if we don't know what the future might hold for us......

......Having access to clean, healthy water in your home is vital, as we already mentioned. To ensure that the quality of the water from your tap is of the highest standard, we suggest choosing a water purification system in your home. Having a membrane purifier allows you to remove even the smallest contaminants from the water. When you want to be 100% safe, then the best way to guarantee that is through membrane filtration. Having your own water source will make it easier for you to stay at home because you don’t have to be dependent on the water bottles available in the supermarket. If you’re not convinced yet, let’s get scientific for a bit: Coronavirus has a diameter of 100-120 nm. The reverse osmosis membranes in a purification system have a pore size of 0.1nm, which is 10000 times smaller than the diameter of the coronavirus, therefore making sure it does not have a chance to enter the body through your tap.....
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Aug 28, 2010
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i love drinking my RO water. The only reason i didnt get it sooner was the drilling through the granite counter.
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May 16, 2017
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von Monster wrote: Heads up that that chart is something else - it shows Canada as having falling tooth decay AND not using fluoride, and most of the European countries listed as support use fluoridated salt and/or milk. Just something to consider.
And something else - correlation does not mean causation. Canada ranks very highly on access and use (including flouridated tooth-paste) of dental care/dental professionals as well as high proportion of insured dental treatment. Statistically, this change in dental care habits has been massive over the last 4 decades.

I live where flouride isn't added to water - so, don't really care about whether filters remove it or not but apparently carbon filters can remove both flouride and chlorine, however reverse osmosis filters will be the most effective for flouride but not so much for chlorine.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
If you're in Toronto the water is actually very good. Anyone that gets water from Lake Ontario is generally safe.

Are you just looking into a Reverse Osmosis (RO) system or a water softener with RO?
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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I just run an under stink carbon filter to get rid of the chlorine taste for drinking water and the ice maker. Otherwise there's nothing wrong with the water. My old place has an RO system and we never used it because RO water tastes gross unless you remineralize it. It also wastes water, which is bad for the environment and the cost adds up with the water charges.
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Mar 1, 2008
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We're considering getting an efficient reverse osmosis system and while I've been drinking this water for years, is the difference really as big as what is advertised by these companies? I remember aqua solutions has two cups of water in their store, one that was filtered, the other isn't, and the difference in colour and supposedly taste when making tea is huge. I know for a fact when I boil water while on vacation, tap water has tons of minerals at the bottom of the kettle whereas if I'm boiling filtered water, the kettle is clean.
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Feb 11, 2007
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geokilla wrote: We're considering getting an efficient reverse osmosis system and while I've been drinking this water for years, is the difference really as big as what is advertised by these companies? I remember aqua solutions has two cups of water in their store, one that was filtered, the other isn't, and the difference in colour and supposedly taste when making tea is huge. I know for a fact when I boil water while on vacation, tap water has tons of minerals at the bottom of the kettle whereas if I'm boiling filtered water, the kettle is clean.
I think RO tastes worse than just carbon filtered water, which gets rid of the chlorine taste. RO to me tastes like dasani, which is gross.
You can also get rid of most of the chlorine taste by letting the water sit in an open jug for a few hours.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2016
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Mississauga
geokilla wrote: We're considering getting an efficient reverse osmosis system and while I've been drinking this water for years, is the difference really as big as what is advertised by these companies? I remember aqua solutions has two cups of water in their store, one that was filtered, the other isn't, and the difference in colour and supposedly taste when making tea is huge. I know for a fact when I boil water while on vacation, tap water has tons of minerals at the bottom of the kettle whereas if I'm boiling filtered water, the kettle is clean.
Yes filtered water will not leave minerals behind. But is that a good thing? Honestly, if you ask me, it is actually bad. There is absolutely no reason why you would actually remove vital minerals from one of the most natural sources, i.e. water. I would say that that level of filteration is actually a degrade, not upgrade.

I remember reading in school as a kid that we should not drink distilled water because it is likely to leech minerals from your body on its way out. I guess the same argument holds for RO water.
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Apr 26, 2013
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Toronto
Tap water might be safe but that's no reason not to get a filter as chemicals, VOCs, chemicals (also those used in water treatment), pharmaceuticals, and even lead from being present in your potable water.

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