While reverse osmosis water has many benefits, there is a common drawback among the various systems currently available: high water wastage. This is inevitable as the methodology of reverse osmosis is using water to clean water. The average water wastage is around 4:1 or 3:1. That is a lot of wasted water!
One type of zero waste reverse osmosis system is the Watt Premier kit that I have reviewed. Instead of wasting the water, the kit channels it back to the home’s hot water pipe using a pump. In essential, the Watt Premier system doesn’t really save water but just recycles it.
Fortunately, there are a couple of new RO systems that do require less water to create RO water. Let’s take at some of these top rated models and see how do they work and are they worth the money.
Brondell h2o+ circle review: best water saving countertop reverse osmosis system
One of the first thing that struck me when I first looked at Brondell h2o+ Circle model was how good it look. Compared to other countertop reverse osmosis models such as APEC, this is sleek and gorgeous. I would dare say design wise, it is the Apple of the reverse osmosis market. The beautiful thing about this design is that there is no piping running everywhere. All the stuff that is needed is inside that one box, which makes it sleek and the installation easy.
Besides the look, the biggest benefit of this unit is its low water wastage when generating reverse osmosis water. The ratio of waste to clean water is about 2:1, which is among the lowest that I have seen in the market. One reviewer actually measure the amount of waste water and this is his result: 2.5 liter of clean water to 5.6 liter of wasted water, which is around 2,24:1.
Using the Brondell h2P+ Circle is as convenient as using any Apple product. Changing the filter is akin to swapping out your CDs. There are no pumps and such to fumble through. It is a twist and switch mechanism that works incredibly well for folks with no plumping expertise, like my wife! LOL
This unit is especially suitable for apartments with small spaces. It is slim and compact and can be easily stored away under your kitchen cabinet. However it is looks so good that displaying it on your kitchen countertop will not an issue at all. Its small surface area also means that it wouldn’t take too much of your countertop space if you decided to leave it there.
Finally, the flow of water is fast and smooth. Most other countertop RO units are pretty slow but the Brondell model do not have this problem.
Things that can be improved
Despite the general positive review on the Brondell h2o+ Circle, there are a couple of small weakness that I like to point out:
- QA problems: There have been past reviews which say certain parts are too easily damaged. The good thing is getting replacement from the company is free and easy. The other thing is that the company also stated that it will improve on this in the latest batch of manufacturing so things should be better now.
- No reminerlization filter: You know how I love these remineralization filter of my RO system so not having the filter for this unit is a letdown but unfortunately, most countertop units do not have this as a standard feature yet.
Zip countertop reverse osmosis review – expensive water saving RO
Another water saving reverse osmosis system is Zip’s countertop RO unit. In fact, it is the best I have seen. According to the manufacturer, you input 1 galleon of water at the base to get 0.5 galleon of clean water. That is a 1: ratio, which even better than the Brondell h2o+ Circle.
Despite this, I recommend the Brondell over Zip for a couple of reasons:
- Price: The Zip is much more expensive than the Brondell. Yes, you do save more water in the long run but coughing up so much cash at the purchase stage is something many would find it hard to swallow.
- Water quality: The Zip produces water that is around 30-40 ppm, which is pretty good when compared to regular tap water. However, the Brondell can bring the TDS down to 0-8 ppm! To me, a reverse osmosis main function is to produce clean and tasty water and any low water wastage is a bonus. Hence in the clean water aspect, Brondell comes out on top.
- Design: The zip model looks much better than most other countertop RO systems. Unfortunately, if you contrast it with the Brondell, there is just no comparison. The Zip looks great but the Brondell looks even better!
Despite this, the Zip model do hold a few advantages besides the better water saving ratio.
- Fill rate: The water flow rate is slightly higher for the Zip model when comparing with the Brondell
- Size: Zip is a bit more compact in design as the Brondell is more longish
There aren’t too many water saving reverse osmosis system in the market today. The Brondell and the Zip models are 2 such systems that work wonderfully well. Both have sleek designs and use less water than traditional RO. Between the two, my choice is the Brondell h20+ Circle because it produces cleaner water, is cheaper and look better IMHO, although its water saving capability is not as good as the Zip.