Ultraviolet (UV) light is effective at killing viruses, bacteria, and various other microorganisms. Unfortunately, many of these can be present in drinking water. Without disinfection, contaminated water can cause illnesses in humans and animals. But a UV water treatment system can eliminate many organic pathogens to make tap water safe to drink.

How a UV Water Treatment System Works

UV light is a form of invisible radiation that can destroy DNA without any chemical alteration to the water. When UV rays are introduced, they penetrate cell membranes an disrupt the reproduction of microorganisms. The degree of protection depends on the light intensity, dosage, and exposure time.

The best UV lights for disinfection are low-pressure mercury vapor lamps. A UV lamp is typically contained in a glass quartz sleeve that allows UV light wavelengths to pass through and enter the water. This sleeve is sealed to prevent contact between water and electricity.

For safety purpose, the device never comes in direct contact with the water supply. Since UV water treatment systems don’t remove what’s left of organic materials, or inorganic particles, this water treatment is often used with reverse osmosis, carbon filters, or other forms of filtration. These can remove volatile organic compounds and heavy metals as well.

Advantages of UV Water Treatment Systems

1. Clean Water

Ultraviolet radiation can remove many types of microorganisms, such as cryptosporidium, salmonella, dysentery bacilli, E. coli, streptococcus, mycobacterium tuberculosis, cholera, hepatitis B, fungi, algae and many other types of viruses. Moreover, it introduces no taste or odor to the water treated and has no chemicals that are often used to purify water, such as chlorine.

2. Efficiency

Very little energy is needed to run a UV water purification system. In fact, a typical system consumes as much energy as would a 60-watt light bulb, while the only maintenance needed is annual changeouts of the UV bulb. Plus, it doesn’t require a tank or specialized solution like chlorine treatment does.

3. Low Maintenance

UV purifiers don’t use a standard filter that traps debris or waste. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to change the filter. The treatment system is 100% efficient in that every drop of water is purified.

Can a UV Water Purifier Be Harmful?

The UV-C light used is harmful to microscopic organisms and to people as well. While exposure to it can hurt you, that’s only if you look directly at or touch the UV bulb while it’s running. Otherwise, there’s nothing to worry about.

Getting the Most out of Your UV Water Treatment System

If you’re installing a UV system for your entire home, the size is extremely important. It is primarily determined by flow rate and the number of bathrooms you have. The system must support a flow rate of 5 gpm for one bathroom, 8.5 gpm for two bathrooms, 12 gpm for three bathrooms, and 22.5 gpm for six bathrooms.

UV systems provide constant protection. That means as soon as a natural disaster occurs, or there’s an issue with your municipal water supply and a boil water advisory is issued, your water is already protected from pathogens that may have already entered the supply before the alert. A UV purifier also disinfects water from a private well or storage tank without chemicals.

Contact Express Plumbing Heating & Air

Serving Boise and the Treasure Valley, we specialize in various methods of water treatment for area homes, including UV water treatment systems. Our team also provides water testing to determine the best treatment option to use. In addition, we provide a full range of plumbing, HVAC, air quality, septic system, and excavation services. To schedule service or learn more about our protection plans, specials, and financing, call (208) 398-0309 today.

Brad Jordan

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