In recent years, we have seen a considerable uptake in the use of ultraviolet light to kill potentially harmful microorganisms. This technology can be seen at the local dentist and doctor’s offices, but it’s also used in water purification technology. Our drinking water is disinfected to a basic standard, but breaks in the aging water delivery network and human error can cause contamination. In this article, we will take a closer look at UV-C water purification to help you make an informed decision.

Why UV-C?

When we refer to UV-C we are talking about a very specific light wavelength that exists just below the visible range of the human eye. At this wavelength, the light has germicidal properties that are extremely effective at rendering bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens inert.

Why Inert?

This word is an important distinction from the simpler terms that you might expect, such as: kill, eradicate, and others. Why? Well at the UV-C wavelength, the light actually disrupts the DNA of harmful microorganisms. The main threat of these creatures is their ability to replicate quickly inside the body which causes illness. This is a serious threat, every year millions of people are killed by waterborne diseases. The UV-C light nullifies the replication capabilities of microorganisms which renders them harmless. So, indirectly they are killed because they can’t reproduce themselves, but this is a side-effect of the UV-C light treatment.

How Does a UV-C Purification Work?

A UV-C light is installed where the water enters the home to ensure that the water is purified. The light source is powered by electricity which doesn’t mix well with water. To overcome this drawback the UV-C light is held in a crystal sleeve. A typical system will also have a pre-filter installed before the purification system. This is necessary to remove any sediment and sand particles that may be lurking in the water. This is important because microorganisms can hide on and within these particles and evade the UV-C light source.

Is UV-C Purification Effective?

Yes, this is a very effective way to remove microorganisms that can threaten our health. But, it cannot remove other contaminants, such as chemicals, heavy metals, nitrates, pharmaceutical byproducts, lead, lithium, and many other potentially harmful threats. For this reason, UV-C purification systems are often installed in series with other water treatment systems for full spectrum protection. One of the most attractive features of this form of purification is that no chemicals are added to the incoming water. All the water is treated which means that you can shower, bathe, clean and perform any other water related task with cleaner water. The UV-C bulbs last a long-time, but they will need to be changed from time to time. These are inexpensive bulbs, but it’s extremely important to have a thoroughly clean quartz sleeve to prevent microorganisms from hiding in the system.

If you want to install a UV-C purification system in your home, contact your local water treatment specialist.

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