We all know that we're supposed to drink lots of water. I installed an RO system so that I would always have a supply of high quality water to be well hydrated. I found the opposite to be true. I never felt well hydrated. The more I drank, the worse I felt. But why does spring water do such a great job of hydrating me? At first I thought it was just coincidence and there must be something else. But I have noticed the same pattern repeating over years so I started to reconsider. This study makes total sense. RO water has no chlorine so it is a prime spot for bacteria. Seems pretty obvious. I even brought this up with the vendor when I purchased the system. He assured me that the only problem would be stagnant water in the toilet tank and to put some bleach in there periodically.

Not so fast.

What happens when you go on vacation for 2 weeks? Stagnant dechlorinated water in the RO tank, chambers, lines, and the filter itself will grow bacteria. In fact, carbon is an ideal breading ground for bacteria. You start feeling bad and don't know why. The last thing you would suspect is the RO water. After all, it was an investment in your health.

It's even worse if you have a whole house dechlorinating filter. Because all the pipes stand to grow bacteria. Of course, you could flush the RO system and pipes with a disinfectant periodically. But who do you know that does that? I was never advised by the vendor and the owner's manuals say nothing about it.

The more I think it through the more problematic it is to dechlorinate water at any point other than the point of use. When was the last time you flushed your refrigerator water line? It's just a matter of time until bacteria or a bug makes it's way inside there. You take all the time and effort to clean the water, then contaminate it immediately prior to drinking it. No thanks. You'd be better off with (safe) tap water or preferably spring water, a shower head filter, and chlorine in all the pipes.