Only a part of the saline feed water pumped into the membrane assembly passes through the membrane with the salt removed. The remaining "concentrate" flow passes along the saline side of the membrane to flush away the concentrated salt solution. The percentage of desalinated water produced versus the saline water feed flow is known as the "recovery ratio". This varies with the salinity of the feed water and the system design parameters: typically 20% for small seawater systems, 40% – 50% for larger seawater systems, and 80% – 85% for brackish water. The concentrate flow is at typically only 3 bar / 50 psi less than the feed pressure, and thus still carries much of the high-pressure pump input energy.
Because the the semi-permeable membrane filters particles at the molecular level, reverse osmosis is extremely effective at removing bacteria, viruses, parasite cysts such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium, heavy metals such as lead and mercury, hard water minerals such as calcium and magnesium, and even fluoride and arsenic. It will not, however, remove certain pesticides and solvents small enough to pass through the membrane.

To improve the effectiveness and the efficiency, Home Master TMAFC-ERP comes with the permeate pump. Permeate pump increases the pressure of the feed water. Consequently, it reduces the water wastage up to 80% and increases water production by up to 50%. All the systems in our list are wasted 2-3 gallons to produce a single gallon on average. While the water efficiency ratio of this system is 1:1, it means the Home Master TMAFC-ERP wastes only a single gallon. That’s why this under sink RO system marks the first spot in our recommended list of best reverse osmosis systems 2020.