You’ve likely heard of UV rays from the sun. Those rays can be beneficial, helping your body create vitamin D, or they can be harmful, causing skin damage like sunburn.
Ultraviolet light is also present in lamps used in tanning beds, to sterilize medical equipment, and it’s inside black lights at nightclubs, roller rinks, and cosmic bowling.
However, one of the most beneficial uses of UV light is water purification.
Here’s how that works …
A UV water treatment system includes four main parts: the ultraviolet lamp, a high-quality quartz sleeve surrounding the lamp, a stainless steel chamber, and a system controller.
There’s a lot of complex science behind the process of UV water purification, but the idea is quite simple.
Water runs through the steel chamber where it is exposed to the UV light, which deactivates bacteria and waterborne pathogens. Then the water is safe to consume.
Once a microorganism’s DNA is damaged, it can no longer function or reproduce, which means it can no longer cause an infection or harm.
Pathogens in water require different intensities of UV light in order to inactivate the DNA. Plus, the flow rate of water also has an effect as it determines the length of time microorganisms are exposed to the light.
There is an accepted standard for UV light application, and most manufacturers have various systems providing different doses depending on what is required.
The Benefits of a UV System for Water Purification
UV light treatment offers some impressive advantages for homeowners who choose to invest in this type of water treatment.
For one thing, UV purification is a physical process, not chemical, which means it doesn’t involve the use of chemical disinfectants such as chlorine. There are also some microorganisms that are chlorine-resistant, yet UV treatment is able to take them out.
Because these systems are chemical-free, they’re better for the environment. UV systems, such as those from our partner Viqua, are also energy efficient. A typical Viqua UV system uses the same amount of power as a 40 watt lightbulb.
Maintenance of your UV system is fairly easy, but some homeowners do choose to have a water treatment professional help them out when it’s time to replace the lamp or clean the quartz sleeve.
To ensure you’ll always have microbe-free water, UV system control units will alert you when the lamp needs to be changed.
You see, sometimes pre-filtration is needed in order to get the most out of a UV system.
UV light does not remove hardness or other dissolved solids. In fact, suspended particles in water may actually protect some microorganisms from the ultraviolet light.
The turbidity or cloudiness of your water can also hamper UV effectiveness because light cannot travel through hazy water as easily. Instead, suspended particles absorb and diffuse the light.
The Viqua Home Plus series does offer some pre-filtration with a sediment and carbon filter. These filters will improve the water’s odor and taste, but can’t reduce hardness.
That’s why Viqua recommends pre-treatment with a water softener, and possibly other types of in-home filtration, before your water is purified with UV light. We often say: you need good water to make great water!
For those who have serious concerns about water quality or potential contamination, you can have your water tested to get the answers you need.
Call us at 410-840-BLUE (2583) to schedule a Free in home water analysis!
Find Out More About UV Water Purification from Viqua
Originally posted and written by Water Care on July 14th, 2016