So What is Ultraviolet Water Purification?
It is the process of using ultraviolet (UV) light to purify, that is removing the harmful micro organisms that can make you sick, from our drinking water.
Although we cannot see UV light rays, we are exposed to them every time we step out into the sun. They are in fact the light rays responsible for causing sunburns.
UV light technology has been trusted, safe, and cost-effective way to purify water and eliminate harmful microorganisms. It is a proven EPA endorsed technology that is being used by thousands of cities, bottled water manufacturers and homeowners around the world.
Systems use a high-powered form of UV light called UV-C or "germicidal UV" to disinfect water. There are no micro-organisms known to be resistant to UV. It is capable of killing microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, molds, algae, yeast, and oocysts like cryptosporidium and giardia.
The Advantages of UV Purification
UV water purification offers many advantages over other forms of water treatment for eliminating micobiological contaminants.
It does not introduce any chemicals to the water
More effective against viruses than chlorine
Produces no bi-products (i.e. chlorine + organic compounds = trihalomethanes)
Does not alter the taste, pH, or other properties of the water
Extremely economical, hundreds of gallons may be treated for each penny of operating cost
Immediate treatment process, no need for holding tanks
How does a Ultraviolet Water Purification System Work?
Ultraviolet water purification lamps produce UV-C of much greater intensity than sunlight. Almost all of a UV lamp's output is concentrated in the 254 nanometers (nm) region. The lamps are mounted such that water, passing through a flow chamber, is exposed to the UV-C light rays. UV light works by attaching the genetic core (DNA/RNA) of bacteria and viruses, destroying their ability to function and reproduce.
The process is simple but effective, destroying 99.99 percent of harmful microorganisms without adding chemicals to the water. The cell is rendered sterile, can no longer reproduce, is considered dead and is no longer a threat.
Its sole purpose is to kill harmful biological contaminants, and therefore should always be combined with other forms of filtration (GAC / carbon block, KDF, or reverse osmosis) for reduction of heavy metals, chlorine, VOC's, and other chemical contaminants.
For a UV purification system to work effectively the water must be pre-filtered to exclude any particles larger than 5 microns (nominal) in size. This assures that particles large enough to block the UV light do not pass through the system. If they do they can act as a shield between the microorganism and the UV light – protecting the microorganism and allowing it to pass into the product water unharmed and alive.
Applications for Ultraviolet Water Purification Systems
Over 19 million American households and cottages rely on private wells. Tens of thousands more rely on lakes, streams and other surface water sources. Unfortunately, not all of them have a UV purification system protecting their families from harmful microorganisms.
No nation-wide study exists, but some smaller scale studies have found that 40% of wells in any given region suffer from E. coli and/or coliform bacteria at any given time not to mention the countless other microorganisms that may be in a water supply.