Water from natural sources such as dams, streams, wells, and rainwater tanks can contain microorganisms that pose health risks. That’s why a professional should examine and treat water from natural sources before it is used for drinking, bathing, swimming or paddling pools, preparing food, or cooking. Many water treatment systems can be used to remove microbial contaminants that cause water to be unsafe for consumption.
Ultraviolet disinfection is a water treatment system that can remove most forms of microbial contamination from water. This guide will give you details about UV systems and their role in killing water bacteria.
What is Ultraviolet Water Purification, and How Does It Work?
The UV light waves are called the germicidal spectrum or frequency. UV water purifiers use a germicidal frequency of 254 nanometers (nm) to kill microorganisms. The UV treatment process works by passing water through a UV chamber. UV lamps emit ultraviolet light that attacks the genetic code of microorganisms, rearranging their DNA and hindering their reproduction and function.
Ultraviolet rays do not actually kill or remove microorganisms from water, but they make them incapable of harming drinking water. Microbes cannot reproduce because they cannot replicate, so they cannot cause illness or disease in the human body.
UV Water Purification Systems
The UV water filter uses UV rays to purify water for the entire house. UV disinfection is an economical and environment friendly way to remove 99.99% of harmful microorganisms in water without adding or removing anything from the water.
UV water filters are available at hardware stores and online. You can order them as per suitability and your home’s need. Moreover, you should test your water first and choose your UV filter according to the water quality.
Advantages of UV Water Purification
UV disinfection is the preferred water filtration method due to its many benefits of inactivating and killing microbes, bacteria, and viruses. The benefits of UV water purification include:
- Effective as it removes 99.99% of viruses and 99.9999% of bacteria in water
- Low carbon footprint compared to alternative disinfection methods
- Low maintenance, installments, and operating costs
- Contains no harmful chemicals (no residue, handling, or storage)
- No added by-products
- Water properties such as pH and temperature do not change
- Immediate treatment, including no processing time
- Safe and easy implementation
How Does UV Light Kill Bacteria and Viruses?
Through the ultraviolet disinfection process, the cell wall of the bacteria, viruses, and protozoa gets penetrated permanently and alter the microbial DNA. This effectively inactivates microbes, rendering them incapable of infecting and multiplying. Since the cells cannot multiply, they cannot cause infections.
The UV light not technically kills viruses and bacteria but prevents pathogens from damaging DNA and restricts their infecting capacity.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will the UV light work in all water conditions?
No! UV light travels in a straight line, so shadows and obstacles reduce UV efficiency. Unfiltered water can contain iron, manganese, and other particles that can absorb or scatter UV light, making disinfection systems less effective. Microbes that can pass through shadows protected by dirt, debris, or other microbes may survive this treatment.
2. Is UV light effective against all microorganisms?
Yes! UV light is generally effective against all viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. However, some microorganisms, such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia, have protective or thick cell walls that some low-power UV light systems cannot penetrate. It’s important to ensure your UV disinfection system is specifically designed to kill these microbes when needed.
3. Do I need to test the treated water with UV light?
Yes, it’s good to test the treated water monthly for microorganisms to ensure it is properly disinfected.