Around the same time as the passage of the Clean Water Act, membrane filtration made its first public debut. Reverse osmosis is an example of membrane water treatment technology that uses pressure to force water through a semi-permeable membrane and filter out contaminants. While the first semi-permeable membrane was described over 100 years ago, it wasn’t until the 1940’s that researchers began experimenting with reverse osmosis for desalination of sea water. By the 1960’s the first commercial reverse osmosis plants were in operation, producing thousands of gallons of pure water per day. Home reverse osmosis systems quickly followed, appearing in the early 1970’s.
With today’s technological advancements, modern membrane filtration systems can easily filter millions of gallons of water per day and have proven a valuable companion to the Clean Water Act. Many wastewater treatment plants now use membrane water filtration technology to treat wastewater. For example, reverse osmosis filtration has proven effective and economical in reclaiming and recycling wastewater previously discharged from industrial and manufacturing processes. For more information on how reverse osmosis works, visit: www.waterprofessionals.com/