Ultraviolet disinfection has been around for decades and has become increasingly popular as a way of effectively disinfecting drinking water, especially if you are on a private well. It is good for deactivating viruses, bacteria, fungi, cysts and protozoa. It is a simple physical process that takes place in fractions of a second. Once the untreated water passes through the stainless steel tube and is exposed to the UV lamp, the ultraviolet light penetrates the protective coating of the microorganism and deactivates its DNA; preventing it from reproducing and eventually dies. The UV lamp is protected by a quartz sleeve so that the water does not come in contact. The effectiveness depends on the strength, intensity of the light and the amount of time that the microbes have been exposed to the light.
While UV is the final barrier of protection, it is not a stand-alone technology and may need pre-treatment systems in place in order to achieve maximum disinfection. A simple water test is the best way to start. If your water has other contaminates, it can affect the efficiency of your UV system. For instance, if you have hard water, it can cause scale buildup and foul the protective quartz sleeve leaving you vulnerable to microorganisms due to blockage of transmission of the proper UV dose, so a water softener is recommended. Iron is another contaminate to watch out for. Once iron coats the protective sleeve, it acts like UV blocking sun glasses and blocks the transmittance of UV light, so an iron filter is recommended. A filtration system will be needed, such as a 5 micron sediment filter to remove any suspended solids that are not water soluble and can interrupt the disinfection process.
UV systems require little maintenance. UV lamps can last for 9000 hours of operation which is approximately a year. The quartz sleeve is designed to last a long time with proper cleaning and care. Our water treatment specialists will be happy to change out your UV lamp and help you stay on track with maintenance and answer any additional questions!