Water is the most important substance for our health, but it’s also one of the things that we don’t think about enough.
People are getting sick everyday due to drinking contaminated water containing harmful germs including bacteria, viruses, and cysts.
To deal with this issue, you can buy bottled water to drink or use a water treatment system.
Unfortunately, regular water filters do not completely remove bacteria and viruses to produce fully clean water.
For water systems to be effective, the process must remove chemical substances and destroy microorganisms with ultraviolet (UV) light using a UV water purifier.
Table of Contents
- What is UV Light?
- What is a UV Water Filter?
- What is a Water Treatment System?
- UV Filtration is Essential
What is UV Light?
According to Wikipedia, UV light or ultraviolet light is radiation with a wavelength between 10 nanometers and 400 nanometers.
It is shorter than visible lights and longer than infrared lights. In other words, ultraviolet light is not visible to our naked eyes.
The most well-known source of UV lights is our sun.
However, modern industry makes equipment and products capable of producing ultraviolet lights for various purposes. Some of these products are mercury-vapor lamps, tanning lamps, as well as black lights.
What are the Benefits of UV Light?
UV light is a very effective disinfectant that disrupts the DNA of microorganisms so that they can’t reproduce and spread.
When included in water filters, this is a very simple, clean, and safe way to remove 99.99% of dangerous organisms without adding any chemical disinfectants.
Chemicals like chlorine also work but affect the taste and smell of your water and create toxic byproducts.
What are the Organisms Destroyed by Ultraviolet Light?
There can be many different pathogens, viruses, and bacteria present in the water, including:
- Algae – Toxins from algae can cause diarrhea, vomiting, irritation in various parts of the body as well as allergic reactions leading to difficulty in breathing.
- Vibrio cholerae bacteria – This can cause cholera when it infects the intestines.
- Cryptosporidium – This microscopic parasite is the cause of the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis.
- Dysentery bacilli – You can get dysentery or inflammation in your intestines while experiencing stomach cramps and diarrhea.
- E coli – Also known as Escherichia coli, E coli causes various bacterial infections like urinary tract infection, pneumonia, neonatal meningitis, cholecystitis, and cholangitis.
- Fungi – Can lead to various fungal infections and diseases. Among them are eye infection, Candida Auris, aspergillosis, Candidiasis, and C. neoformans infection.
- Giardia – The complete name of this parasite is Giardia duodenalis. Infection can cause diarrhea and other side effects.
- Hepatitis B virus – This virus can cause fatal liver infection and is common all over the world.
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis – This bacterium is the cause of Tuberculosis. Although the lungs are its primary targets, it can damage other body parts including kidney, brain, and your spine.
- Salmonella – If you are infected with this bacterium, you can get typhoid fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
- Streptococcus – Can cause various diseases including strep throat, cellulitis, rheumatic and scarlet fever, necrotizing fasciitis, and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.
If ever you suffer an infection from any of these organisms, make sure to seek medical advice to prevent a serious condition.
Because there are so many possible contaminants, you must consider your location, local environment, and water source. Then, do everything necessary to disinfect and purify your tap water to make it clean and safe for your family.
What is a UV Water Filter?
An ultraviolet (UV) water filter is an electric device that uses UV light at a strong enough level to disinfect water.
It does not remove any of the other potentially harmful chemicals from water but only sterilizes microorganisms. This is why a UV disinfection system is usually combined with other water filter types that can remove other dangerous substances that may be present.
Water filter system installation can be done at a single sink or for the whole house at the point-of-entry for the water supply.
How does a UV Water Purifier Work?
A UV disinfection system works when water passes through a chamber where it is exposed to a lamp that produces germicidal UV light.
Any living organisms present in the water are destroyed at the DNA level when they are exposed to the UV light.
What are the Parts of a UV Water Purifier?
The UV water purification filter has only a few components. These are the chamber, glass quartz sleeve, UV lamp and O-rings.
The chamber is the largest component of the UV water purifier and forms the outer casing. It holds all the other parts in the system so that the UV light and water are completely contained.
Glass Quartz Sleeve
The glass quartz sleeve is a long cylindrical tube that holds a UV lamp. It protects the UV lamp from water and allows the UV light out into the water-filled chamber.
The UV lamp is the most important part of a UV water purifier, since it is responsible for producing the ultraviolet light that will kill all living organisms in the water.
The most common UV lamp used is a mercury-vapor lamp that produces UVC light.
O-rings are used to seal everything in the chamber and ensures the integrity of the UV water purifier.
What are the Advantages of UV Water Purification?
There are many advantages to using a UV disinfection purifier.
- No chemicals added to your water – Without using chemical substances like chlorine, a UV system is an environmentally friendly method of securing clean water.
- Does not alter taste and smell – Since the process is free of chemicals are used for treating your water, the taste and smell of your water remains the same after it is treated.
- Easy maintenance – Unless the water purifier is compromised or damaged, you only need a replacement lamp for UV systems about once a year as the basic maintenance to keep it working efficiently.
- No water wasted – Every drop of water that enters the UV water purifier goes into your faucet, so you are not wasting your flow of water or increasing your water bill.
- Guaranteed safe drinking water – Regardless of your water source, you get safe drinking water. This is true even if your community water system is compromised and you receive a boil water notice.
- Cost effective and convenient – compared to buying bottled water regularly, UV systems are considered far more cost effective without the hassle of driving to the supermarket and dealing with empty bottles.
What are the Disadvantages of UV Water Purification?
- Other Contaminants remain in the water – Unfortunately, any other contaminants are still present when your water. UV does not reduce chlorine, phosphates, fluoride, lead, or PFAS chemicals (or any others).
- Water temperature rises – After the treatment, the ultraviolet water may have a higher temperature compared to untreated tap water because of heat emitted by the bulb.
- Requires power to operate – A UV lamp does require electricity to run. Therefore, it is not useful during power outages unless you have a backup generator to provide energy.
- Needs to be sized appropriately – Before installation, you must assess the throughput of the plumbing system. An undersized UV purifier filter and lamp will decrease the water flow rate.
What is the Cost of a UV Water Purifier?
The price of UV water purifiers varies depending on the manufacturer, size, and capacity.
When deciding on a UV system installation, you have to consider the capacity and treatment speed to ensure sufficient flow rate to the plumbing system. Compare the GPM (gallons per minute) of the water UV filter to the normal GPM of your water supply.
An undersink water filtration system will only cost $20-50 more when a UV purifier is added. A whole house residential UV water purifier will cost several hundreds of dollars or more depending on its throughput.
The price to install depends on the system. Under sink systems can be installed for free by someone with basic DIY skills, while a whole house system may require a plumber.
The price of a replacement lamp is low as is the power to run the system. This makes maintenance cheap and easy.
What is a Water Treatment System?
UV disinfection is usually installed as a single stage in a larger water filtration system that includes many stages of filters.
Since the ultraviolet light is only effective on microscopic organisms, the other stages of water filters will pre-filter for large particles, remove chemical contaminants, elements, and minerals, and then polish the water for taste and smell before it can flow to the appliances in your home.
When to Use a UV Water Treatment System?
Adding a UV disinfection system is considered more appropriate when treating water from:
- Private water source – Private water sources such as underground wells or flowing streams and rivers can contain harmful microorganisms.
- Reservoirs with high concentrations of living organisms – Open reservoirs with high concentration of living animals may have bacteria and viruses in the water.
- Compromised water supply – Although your water provider will use an appropriate water treatment system to disinfect your water and kill microorganisms like viruses and bacteria, there are times when the treated water will contain living organisms. This may lead to a boil water advisory, but you do not have to boil the water if you can disinfect it with UV light filters.
What are the Benefits of Water Filtration?
Ultraviolet water is essentially free after you install the UV filter.
Once you combine standard water filtration with the ultraviolet water purification process, you get to enjoy the benefits of both water treatment systems.
The benefits include:
- Nearly all contaminants are removed including chemicals, minerals, and microorganisms.
- Water quality is greatly improved.
- You can enjoy great tasting and odor-free purified water.
- Live a healthier life free from the threat of toxic chemicals and harmful microorganisms.
UV Filtration is Essential
Consult your local provider for known issues in your area or water supply. They will provide you with information on the common organisms present and how they effectively treat these contaminants to keep their consumers safe and healthy.
If the quality of your water is still low, you are tired of chlorine or other treatment additives in your municipal water, and especially if you are worried about harmful organisms such as E coli, viruses, giardia, and cysts – look into UV filtration systems for your home.