RO banned in India

Reverse Osmosis, often abbreviated as RO, is a water purification technology that uses a semipermeable membrane to remove impurities and contaminants from drinking water. Due to longstanding water quality issues, these systems have gained immense popularity in India. The question is why RO is banned in India and what is the purpose? The answer to this question is a little tricky. Since, many people are using RO-based water filtration units in their homes, not because of high total dissolved solids (TDS). They use it because their neighbours are using it. Several water filtration devices are available in the market and each one is for specific purposes. Widely used water filtration and treatment devices are microfiltration, ultra-filtration, UV disinfection, and RO-based.

Is RO banned in India?

Recently, the RO process has been prohibited in India for domestic usage where drinking water has less than 500 mg/L of TDS. An RO-based water purifier removes all the contaminants from drinking water. However, it also removes essential minerals from the natural water and generates >60% wastewater of total purified water. The water purifier based on RO is under supervision in India due to the demineralization of drinking water and the generation of large amounts of wastewater.

There is no restriction on RO processes for industrial and domestic purposes where TDS is higher than 500 mg/L. RO users should include mineral tonic or other supplements to avoid such health effects. According to the revised guidelines, RO-rejected water should be reused for washing utensils, flushing, gardening, vehicle cleaning, and floor mopping.

The primary reasons behind the ban are the significant water wastage and demineralization. In a water-scarce country like India, this is a critical concern. Therefore, manufacturers of RO-based water purifiers will ensure that less than 40% of the total water filtered is rejected. In addition, the purified water should have a minimum total dissolved solids (TDS) level of 150 mg/L.

The price of water filtration systems will increase

An immediate and tangible consequence of this ban is the anticipated price increase of alternative water purification systems. Additionally, the demand for RO systems in India will significantly decrease, which may impact their prices. As per the new notice to the CPCB by the Supreme Court of India, the manufacturer will be responsible for the disposal of RO cartridges. This regulatory compliance may increase the cost of water purification systems.


The ban on Reverse Osmosis systems in India is a significant step towards addressing water wastage and environmental concerns. However, it comes at a price – a potential 30% or more increase in water purification costs. The price increase would result from technological changes, decreasing demand, and regulatory compliance. Therefore, we must carefully consider options with accounting factors such as water quality, affordability, and environmental impact. This ban could be pivotal in India’s journey toward sustainable and efficient water purification methods.

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