Ultraviolet or UV water treatment describes the process of using an ultraviolet light source to eliminate biological contamination from water. This process does not require the addition of chemicals or change the chemical composition of the treated water.
Ultraviolet water drinking treatment systems also are commonly installed by homeowners who have received a positive coliform or e-coli water test result from their water sources.
How Does UV Treatment Work?
Ultraviolet light is found between violet, the shortest wavelength of light visible to the human eye, and X-rays. Specific wavelengths within this spectrum are categorized as germicidal.
The UV treatment process involves an ultraviolet light source covered by a protective covering, usually a watertight quartz sleeve, being immersed in water. The UV rays that are emitted inactivate harmful microorganisms. The rays alter the DNA of viruses, bacteria, molds or parasites, so they cannot reproduce and are considered inactivated. Although the organisms are technically still alive, they cannot reproduce, and therefore, are incapable of infecting a host.
UV water treatment is extremely well-suited forwater disinfection. It is a cost-effective, simple, environmentally friendly way for communities to meet current and future water disinfection regulations.
Advantages of ultraviolet water disinfection treatment includes:
Being highly effective against bacteria, viruses, algae, molds and yeasts. Bacteria and viruses are the leading cause of waterborne diseases, for example hepatitis.
Being extremely safe and environmentally friendly as there is no handling, storage or transportation of hazardous chemicals.
Leaving no smell or taste in treated water. This treatment can actually improve the taste of the water, as organic contaminants affecting taste are destroyed.
The process of UV treatment simply inactivates microorganisms; they are not removed from the water. Neither does this treatment remove dirt or particles, metals or hard minerals from water. Sediments can block the effect of the light, allowing bacteria to pass through the system. Other filtration devices or treatments are required to remove these. UV water treatment’s sole purpose is to inactivate biological contaminants and always should be used in combination with other forms of filtration. UV systems are most commonly used as secondary treatment processes. They are not intended to treat water that is visually contaminated, nor can they convert waste water to safe, potable water.
Home systems require electricity to operate. In the event of a power failure, the purification will not work.