Benefits Of UV Water Disinfection

Benefits Of UV Water Disinfection

March 17, 2023

Benefits Of UV Water Disinfection

UV water treatment systems are an effective solution for disinfecting potable, wastewater and reuse waters. Increasingly, they are being used in a variety of commercial and residential settings.

1. Effectiveness

UV disinfection is an effective way to remove microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and parasites from drinking water. This is because it uses UV light to kill them and does not add any chemicals or bi-products. A UV water treatment system typically consists of a germicidal lamp (at about 254 nm output) that is mounted in front of a flow chamber where water will pass. A glass quartz sleeve encases the UV lamp and enables the UV wavelength to pass unhindered by water. The effectiveness of the disinfection process is related to the intensity of the lamp, exposure time, and general water quality parameters such as UV transmittance and color. Most low-pressure mercury-lamp systems can easily achieve a UV radiation dose of 50 to 150 mJ/cm2 for efficient inactivation of most waterborne pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses.

2. Safety

UV water disinfection systems are a safe, proven method for removing bacteria, protozoa and viruses. These organisms can be harmful to both humans and the environment, and they often cause diarrheal illnesses. The ionizing energy of ultraviolet radiation (UV) breaks chemical bonds in microbes, killing them. It also inactivates DNA at a genetic level, cutting them down like a knife through butter. UV light is also effective against protozoans such as Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium oocysts, which are resistant to chlorine disinfection. This makes UV water disinfection a viable option for treating both surface and well waters.

3. Reliability

UV disinfection is very reliable.  As long as there is no significant change in water quality parameters, it will continue working at its best. The system can operate continuously, without needing to be shut down. In fact, most UV systems can draw the same amount of electricity as a 40 watt light bulb! It is important to remember that the system should only be turned off when it is not needed for several days or if there has been a prolonged period of no treatment.

4. Low Maintenance

In addition to being effective, UV water disinfection is also low maintenance. Typically, most systems require only an annual bulb change and the occasional replacement of the filter that protects the lamp.  Most systems even have an integral reminder built into the filter that alerts you when it needs replacing.

5. Environmentally Friendly

Unlike chlorine disinfection, which produces and leaves toxic chemical residuals in water and wastewater, UV disinfection is an environmentally friendly process that does not leave harmful byproducts. The UV rays that penetrate water have the ability to disrupt the DNA of microorganisms by changing their genetic codes, eliminating them from the water. This can be done quickly and efficiently, making it a great alternative to traditional disinfection systems such as chlorine. 

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