What Is A UV Water Filter?
A UV water filter is a purifier that kills harmful microorganisms in water with the use of germicidal ultraviolet (UV) light. UV water treatment is possible because UV light damages the nucleic acids in the DNA of microorganisms, thereby severely hampering their ability to reproduce or multiply.
Although the germicidal property of the sun was known as far back as 1877, the concept was not fully understood. From then on, research into the disinfection principles began. In 1903, Niels Finsen was awarded the Nobel Prize for his use of UV light to combat tuberculosis. However, it was not until the 1950s that significant research into the use of UV light for water disinfection began. By the 1960s, the principle was already widely used in commercial applications and gradually introduced into the residential market.
Fast forward to today, there is full acceptance of UV disinfection as an efficient and effective chemical free treatment for the elimination of microbiological contaminants from water, and point-of-entry UV is becoming a standard mainstream feature in homes. The UV water filter system combines UV treatment with other forms of filtration, such as sediment and carbon block filters and is used as pre and post treatment on reverse osmosis systems.
Is UV Water Purification Safe?
One cannot be too careful when it comes to the aspect of safety. After all, we are exploring the potentials of UV water purification to ensure we have safe drinking water in the first place. So is UV water purification safe? Yes, UV water treatment is safe! A significant reason why it is safe is that it eliminates the use of harmful chemicals. Besides, UV light water filters do not alter the composition of water, meaning, in essence, that water remains water.
However, it is essential to note that UV sterilizers use UV-C light to bring about disinfection. The catch here is that this UVC light is as harmful to humans as it is to microorganisms. You’re, however, not at risk of any harm whatsoever provided you don’t expose yourself to the UV bulb by touching or looking at it while it is on.
UV water treatment is much safer than the use of chlorine or chloramine treatment. One of the reasons is because UV light treats water for protozoa, while chlorine and chloramine disinfection is unable to do that. Also, the use of chlorine treatment requires the use of retention tanks and the precise use of injection pumps and solutions. UV water filters are now employed by many wastewater treatment plants to eliminate some harmful chemical by-products generated from chlorine or chloramine treatment.
What Can UV Remove?
Purification using a UV water treatment system is one of the most effective techniques for removing bacteria from water. Not only does it attack harmful bacteria but also other dangerous pathogens in water that can cause diseases such as typhoid, cholera, gastroenteritis, hepatitis, flu, etc. UV systems can destroy 99.99% of harmful microorganisms, including bacterial, viruses, fungi, and protozoans such as Escherichia coli, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Salmonella etc. UV treatment also quickly eliminates viruses and other microorganisms that are highly resistant to chlorine, e.g., the hepatitis virus.
However, UV light is not so effective at removing particles from water or eliminating some contaminants in water, such as heavy metals (e.g., lead, mercury, and iron), chlorine, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). UV disinfection also does not remove bad taste and odor from water.
How Does UV Water Purifier Work?
At an intensity of 254nm, UV light emits enough radiation to damage bacterial DNA and the DNA in other microorganisms. This germicidal wavelength of radiation falls within the UV-C radiation wavelength. A UV water treatment system usually consists of a UV light source (at about 254nm output) mounted in front of a flow chamber where the water will pass. A glass quartz sleeve which allows the UV wavelength to pass through unhindered usually holds the UV lamp. The glass quartz is necessary to protect the UV lamp from water.
As the water passes through the flow chamber, it becomes exposed to the germicidal UV light source. At this stage, the harmful microorganisms present in the water become inactivated. The UV water purifier can be used both on a large scale and small scale and water from most sources. For example, you can use a UV light for well water, spring water, lake water, surface water and wafer from a municipal water supply.
What Are The Advantages Of UV Water Purification?
There are numerous benefits to the use of UV water purification. This is why this disinfecting method is still in existence even after over a century. So what are the advantages of UV water purification?
- Cost-effective: Cost-effectiveness is one of the most significant benefits of using a UV water purifier. On average, you can get a point-of-use home UV water purifiers for $250 and a whole house UV water filter system for about $1400. The systems also consume a small amount of energy (similar to a 60-watt light bulb).
- Chemical Free: UV water purification does not introduce chemicals into the water, and neither does it leave any harmful by-products.
- Free of Taste and Odor: Because UV water filters do not introduce chemicals into the water, the water retains its original taste, odor, and color.
- Extremely Effective: UV water purification eliminates about 99.99% of disease-causing microbes.
- Easy to Install: A UV water filter is easy to install.
- Low Maintenance: After the initial installation, little maintenance is required except for an annual bulb change, and other occasional maintenance.
- Efficient: In addition to requiring only a small amount of energy to run, the UV purification system does not produce any waste.
With the many advantages of a UV water filter it is an excellent decision to install a whole house UV water filter or a High Output UV System for commercial use to ensure that whatever water you use is free of germs, bacteria and viruses.