Many people are justifiably concerned about the quality of their drinking water supplies, and they are looking at how water treatment solutions to improve their water quality. There are many alternative types of water treatment available and one of the most interesting in ozone water purification. This method isn’t new; it’s been used in many areas of Europe and Asia for over a century. Let’s take a look at ozone and examine how it works as a water purifier so that you can make an informed choice.

What is Ozone?

If you’ve ever ventured outside after a thunderstorm, you will have smelled a fresh scent, and that is the smell of ozone. During an electrical storm, the discharge of lightning creates ozone, but it can also be created by ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun when sunlight interacts with our upper atmosphere. When ozone is created the oxygen molecules or O2 in the air are broken up and then recombined to form O3, which has an extra oxygen atom. Ozone is an unstable, reactive gas which has a short half life and it very quickly reverts to its previous oxygen O2 state. Ozone is the fastest acting and most powerful oxidizer that can be created by man; it can oxidise most organic material, such as viruses, bacteria, cysts, and mold spores if that material receives sufficient exposure. Studies have shown that ozone has 50 times more disinfection power compared to traditional chlorine based water treatment methods. Ozone is also 3,000 times more efficient at disinfecting bacteria and microbes, but unlike chlorine, it doesn’t leave behind harmful trihalomethane (THM) chemical compounds.

Ozone as an Oxidizer

As we can see, Ozone is an effective and safer way to disinfect water against a wide variety of harmful biological contaminants. Additionally, it can oxidize and precipitate other contaminants, such as iron, sulfur, and manganese, making them easier to filter out of the water supply using other filtration methods. When ozone is used for disinfection, there is no accompanying taste or odor imparted to the drinking water because the ozone quickly returns to its oxygen state. Another key advantage is that ozone water treatment requires no power, and water can be disinfected even during power outages. There are two disadvantages to using ozone. Firstly, by-products such as bromate and formaldehyde can be created, and these must be carefully controlled to avoid detrimental health effects. Secondly, ozone is not effective for the elimination of minerals and dissolved salts, and it’s best used alongside other water treatment methods.

How Does Ozone Water Purification Work?

An Ozone Generator is installed to create O3 by flooding a compressed air chamber with UV light. The created ozone is then distributed to a diffuser to create bubbles that are saturated with ozone. The third oxygen molecule in O3 is attracted to any organic molecules that are present in the water, and then it oxidizes them. Typically, an ozone water purification system would be paired with an activated carbon filter system to provide extremely clean and pure drinking water.

By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.