Abstract The need for ultra low pressure RO elements has been evident since the membrane softening idea was conceived over a decade ago, especially in water short areas such as the peninsula of Florida. Circumstances in Florida are ripe for the emergence of ultra low pressure membrane elements, for example: • Florida has been plagued with two serious droughts recently, one in 1981 and the ongoing drought of 1984–1985. • Florida's population is projected to double within the next thirty-five years and the water budget deficit may be as much as 430 MGD by that time. 1 1 The Feasibility of Meeting Future Water Supply Needs in Florida by Desalination , C D. Hornburg, March 1984. • Conventional water treatment processes have become unit processes and will require additional processes in combination in order to meet federal, state and local water standards. • The advent of the triennial testing for synthetic organic contaminants required by the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation (FDER) may uncover a contaminant necessitating additional unit processes for existing conventional plants. Many plants have already added another unit process to handle THM's. It is tha author's opinion that membrane manufacturer's have the technology to formulate and produce membranes to meet specific treatment needs. The pilot field test data for prototype ultra low pressure reverse osmosis membranes contained herein proves this to be factual. An in depth case study and cost analysis proves that the membranes softening process using ultra low pressure elements can be competitive with conventional treatment processes and may be the answer to Florida's predicted water shortage, potential problems with organic contaminants and salt water intrusion.