We live in an age when home appliances that already make our lives better are becoming smart home appliances that offer even more advantages. Among the latest to undergo the transformation are water filtration systems like reverse osmosis (RO) drinking water systems.
Like other devices, smart water filters gain the “smart” moniker when manufacturers install sensors, software and other technologies that allow the devices to connect with others over the internet—they become the “things” in what’s known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Users typically can then use a smartphone app to remotely control and monitor the appliances, which in turn can send alerts about their status or problems.
Interest in smart devices is growing. Culligan’s Global World Water Day Survey 2021, conducted by Toluna, found that 33% of North Americans say they want their homes to be more connected. Meanwhile, 51% of consumers across North America are concerned about the quality of their household water supply, according to the Water Quality Association. Installing a smart water filtration system, or smart RO, as part of a smart home offers a variety of benefits.
Like traditional reverse osmosis systems, smart ROs use multiple states of filtration and various filter options to make tap water cleaner, safer and better tasting. Look for a top-quality RO that is third-party certified to reduce concerning contaminants including viruses, bacteria, nitrates, mercury and emerging contaminants such as PFOA/PFOS.*
A smart RO has state-of-the art electronics that automatically monitor your water quality. Some units may even allow you to enter specific contaminants you want to track into the system’s app and then see how much of those components are being removed from your water. Faucet displays also may include a water quality indicator.
Smart water filtration systems provide water right from your kitchen sink that tastes as good or even better than single-use plastic bottles. Yet, reverse osmosis water costs only pennies a glass. In fact, with smart RO systems, you can use an app to see just how much money you’re saving by not buying single-use bottles. (You won’t have to lug all those bottles home from the grocery store, either.)
Using an RO is also a more environmentally friendly choice than purchasing individual plastic bottles of water, which require oil and gasoline to produce and deliver. In addition, many bottles end up in landfills, where they can take up to 450 years to decompose, according to the National Park Service. Some smart filtration system apps can actually tell you how many bottles you’ve saved by using the RO system instead (perhaps to fill your own reusable bottle).
Water is essential for staying healthy, yet so many of us find it hard to drink enough water or eat enough water-rich foods. Having a continuous supply of refreshing water to drink or use for making better-tasting food can help you boost your fluid intake. So can setting measurable goals for water consumption and tracking your progress, both of which you can do with a smart RO’s app. There are other health-related apps available with similar functions, but when your app is connected to your water system, you can actually know – not guess – how much you’re using.
A smart reverse osmosis system can alert you that it needs attention in a variety of ways. It may have an integrated monitor light on the faucet that shines when the filters need to be replaced. It could also send you notifications via text or through the app about a filter replacement or other service needs. In addition, it can alert you about a system issue, like a leak. With some systems, your dealer can even receive service alerts about your system as well and reach out to you proactively to schedule service.
Ultimately, a smart water filtration system produces water that tastes great without requiring your constant attention. It also offers you peace of mind about your water quality, reduces your environmental footprint and can help you increase your daily water intake. It’s a smart appliance, yes – but a smart investment as well.
*Contaminants may not necessarily be in your water.