What and Why: UV Water Disinfection

Posted by on Jan 31, 2013 in Home Water Quality | One Comment
What and Why: UV Water Disinfection

Have you ever seen the inside of the water line that delivers the drinking water from your local water treatment plant to your home? Chances are, it looks like this – or much, much worse. Water lines across the country are aging, filling with build-up accumulated over 80-100 years of heavy use. They’re also breaking at an alarming rate, allowing bacteria and other pathogens to enter the water system directly. So, what do you do? Our vote is for home UV disinfection, an affordable technology that will protect your water supply against even the nastiest invaders.

How does UV Disinfection work?

Home UV water treatment consists of a UV light-emitting bulb, encased inside a long, slim stainless steel cylinder that is plumbed in to your home’s main water line. As the water entering your home flows over the UV bulb, bacteria and other harmful pathogens are “inactivated”, which means they are rendered unable to reproduce and will not cause illness.

How Effective is UV Disinfection?

So how effective is UV water treatment? Effective enough that the US EPA has started encouraging water treatment plants to install UV water treatment as a second line of defense against most pathogens. One in particular, Cryptosporidium, has been making the news lately due to the fact that it’s highly resistant to chlorine disinfection, which is the only form of disinfection used at most city water treatment plants. A good UV water treatment system like EasyWater’s Bacteria Shield will be 99.9% effective against all pathogens, including Cryptosporidium.

Are there any Drawbacks to UV Disinfection?

Installing UV water disinfection technology at the water treatment plant is a great step, but it won’t fully solve the problem. Unlike chlorine, UV water treatment does not carry a residual treatment effect. This means that any pathogens that enter your water supply after passing through the water treatment plant can continue to grow and reproduce, and might make you sick. For this reason, UV water treatment technology is best when installed directly in the home.

Who Else Might Want UV Water Treatment?

Is your water source a private well, community well, lake, or a city that stores finished drinking water in an open-air cistern? UV water disinfection is the perfect solution for you, too! UV disinfection does not use chemicals, requires little maintenance, and is very reliable when maintained on schedule. It does not change the taste of drinking water, and there is no residual chemical smell like with chlorine disinfection. You can learn more about EasyWater Bacteria Shield in the “How it Works” video below, or just give us a call!

1 Comment

  1. Hunter H. Todd
    February 8, 2013

    A significant body of scientific research has proven UV light’s ability to inactivate an extensive list of pathogenic bacteria, viruses and protozoa. UV offers a key advantage over chlorine-based disinfection, due to its ability to inactivate protozoa that threaten public health – most notably Cryptosporidium and Giardia. The release of these harmful microorganisms into receiving lakes and rivers by wastewater facilities utilizing chlorine disinfection increases the potential of contamination in communities that rely on these same bodies of water for their drinking water source and recreational use. Drinking water treatment plants can benefit by using UV since it can easily inactivate chlorine-resistant pathogens (protozoa), while reducing chlorine usage and by-product formation.

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