One of the best ways to purify your water is with a UV light water filter. But is a UV water filter good? Or a better question, is UV water filtration safe?
In short, a typical UV water sterilizer functions by treating contaminated water with ultraviolet light. The light drastically alters the DNA of microorganisms in the water.
The UV wavelength renders the harmful bacteria and other contaminants unable to reproduce, thus eliminating its dangerous capabilities in making people sick.
If you ingest water contaminated by bacteria, they will take root, thrive, replicate in your digestive system, and slowly destroys from the inside. UV lighting effectively causes bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses unable to reproduce by destroying their DNA’s nucleic acids.
UV light water filter explained: How does a UV water filter work?
How does a UV water purifier work?
It is one of the most effective water treatment procedures that you buy for yourself in your home. It disinfects bacteria and other microscopic pathogens in the water, thus enabling it safe to drink.
The UV rays penetrate the harmful microorganisms and assault their genetic core in their DNA, thus disabling their reproductive capabilities.
A UV purification system is an essential piece of equipment in your household and is simple to use, very effective, and friendly to the environment.
It destroys ninety-nine percent of destructive microorganisms in the water without including any other substances or chemicals in it. It does nothing to change the color, smell, or taste of your water.
It is often utilized in conjunction with other filtration methods like ACB (activated carbon block) or RO (reverse osmosis) filters.
Its UV dosage in energy is measurement as mJ/cm2. The more lighting it provides, the more energy is released to purify the water.
At a certain point, the energy produced is more than enough to render the pathogens incapable of causing harm in a person’s body.
The different contaminants it removes
All types of water purifiers gets rid of all sorts of contaminants in the water, and some more effectively than others. There are some things that UV water purification cannot do compared to other water filter types, like getting rid of particulates, include chemicals, or remove any bad smell and taste.
- Dysentery bacilli
- Hepatitis B
- E. coli
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis
A few years ago, a flood occurred in Milwaukee city, and their entire water supply was tainted by cryptosporidium. It is a kind of parasite the goes inside a person’s intestinal tract and makes him or her sick with diseases like Montezuma’s revenge.
This parasite can resist chlorine, which is a common substance to treat water. The outbreak resulted in many deaths of Milwaukee residents.
UV water filtration eliminates dangerous pathogens like cryptosporidium in the water to make it safe to ingest.
Its many parts
A typical UV filter has a chamber that encloses the whole unit. There is a glass quartz sleeve that supports the UV lamp.
The lamp expels UV-C, which is a radiation wavelength and renders harmful pathogens inactive and severs its reproductive abilities.
The quartz glass sleeve is crystal clear and can transmit the UV wavelength through the glass and disinfect the water source. It also serves as a protective barrier from the water since electricity does not mix well with liquids. It also necessitates about two o-rings to fasten tightly the entire system together.
UV lighting functions with mercury vapors, which are sent to the UV lamp in the structure of small beads. You might see them sometimes bobbing within the lamp before it dissolves to make fuel.
Is it safe?
The ultraviolet light water treatment process is safe and does not cause harm to people. There are no dangerous chemicals used or change water composition.
There is a UV sterilizer that utilizes UV-C lighting for disinfection. UV-C can cause harm to people like what it does to microorganisms.
However, just as long as you don’t come into contact with it or look directly at the UV light bulb while it’s turned on, you’re not in danger from it.
Treating the water with chlorine is another option, which you can take besides UV purification, but the latter is still safer. UV light removes protozoa that chlorination cannot get rid of.
A UV purification unit is relatively easy and safe to maintain and use compared to disinfection with chemicals. Chlorine water treatment necessitates a retention tank and exact quantities of solutions and injections.
Currently, a lot of wastewater treatment plants utilize UV purification to terminate deadly byproducts after being treated with either chloramine or chlorine.
UV purification units purify water more efficiently and render ninety-nine percent of harmful microorganisms. They are specially made to run unceasingly to ensure the water’s safeness.
Since a UV purifier doesn’t do the act of filtration, excess debris or wastewater isn’t emitted to be cleaned. Every droplet of water that the UV unit purifies isn’t wasted and gets to be used.
A particular UV purifying unit is not sufficient to make the entire water supply in your home to be safe to drink. It is because UV lighting is only effective in deactivating microorganisms and pathogens in the water.
It cannot get rid of other contaminants like chlorine, VOCs or volatile organic compounds, and heavy metals. So what many homeowners do to make water purification effective in their homes is to combine a UV purifier with other units like reverse osmosis systems. This way, water treatment is more efficient and guarantees truly safe water to drink.
How many times do lamps have to be cleaned and substituted?
A typical UV purification unit can last 17k hours or about two years of constant use. Over the two years, its output only has a twenty percent decrease.
Depending on the kind of environment it is always in, it should be looked at regularly, about once every three months. You can also clean it with a dry cloth or paper towel.
Be sure to protect your hands by wearing rubber gloves use rubbing alcohol only. It, in turn, will increase the lifespan of the light.
Comparing UV purifiers with other water filtration types
All the known methods of water filtration, like a carbon filter, ultrafiltration, reverse, osmosis, etc., use filter mediums or membranes. Of which separate the impurities from water.
The UV water treatment process doesn’t follow that path since its ultraviolet light does the separation capabilities instead of the filters themselves.
A UV treatment procedure is a necessary component in any home water filtration system. It functions best by working hand-in-hand with other filtration types mentioned above.
A great example for its use in a home in conjunction with the others is: initially, a sediment filter first removes debris and dirt from the water. Then it passes through a water softener or an iron filter to lower the mineral content, especially iron.
Then the final stage of the water treatment is the UV purification where microorganisms are dealt with.
For the UV purifier to work effectively, you have to be sure the water does not surpass these levels:
- Manganese- 0.05 ppm or parts per million
- Iron- 0.3 ppm
- Tannins- 0.1 ppm
- Hardness- 7 gpg or grains per gallon
- Turbidity- 1 NTU or nephelometric turbidity unit
- UVT- 75 percent
UV water purifier advantages and disadvantages
- It is not difficult to maintain. AS mentioned earlier, you only need to wipe it with clothe occasionally, and the UV lamp needs replacement once a year.
- The disinfection procedure is done without using chemical and the UV wavelength does not leave behind byproducts like the others.
- It does nothing to the original taste and odor of the water.
- Every water drop is used and nothing is wasted.
- It essential usage for protection in natural disasters. When flooding or storms occur and compromising your drinking water, the UV purifier keeps it safe to drink.
- It does not need much electrical energy for usage. It uses as much electricity as a sixty watt bulb.
UV water disinfection disadvantages
- Since it can only renders microorganisms inactive, it cannot get rid of contaminants like other filters do. So you need pre-filters to get rid the other pollutants.
- UV light makes the water hotter. If the water is not running and lies static in the chamber, the UV light heats up the water.
- It’s useless in a power outage, since it only runs in electrical energy.
When is the right time to use it?
The best time to use it, as mentioned above, is whenever emergencies and natural catastrophes happen, and your usual drinking supply is contaminated and rendered unusable. It is very convenient to own a UV to be able to drink potable water.
If your main water source is water from a well, harmful pathogens might be present, so you need something to get rid of them quickly, and a UV purifying unit can do that effectively.
You will need another pre-filter to go along with the UV unit. This way, the well-water is properly cleansed.
Home-based UV purifiers
You can get a UV treatment private water supply for your home. It is installed at your water source’s POE or point-of-entry, which is situated where the water first enters your household.
UV units are available in many varieties. The size will depend on the rate of flow of the water in your home.
The right size that corresponds to the flow rate provides the water long enough contact with the UV wavelength. This way, it can do its main task of dispatching the harmful microorganisms in the water.
Its pricing depends on its size and reach, which ranges from four hundred to five hundred dollars.
portable UV units for travel
There are compact handheld UV units that you can bring everywhere that you can put inside your bag. You can bring it along and is useful for camping outdoors or traveling from place to place, where potable drinking water might be problematic.
It is made in a single system or is packed along with a sediment pre-filter for water types that have assorted debris dirt.
FAQ or frequently asked questions
Does UV lighting function in all types of water conditions?
No, since UV wavelengths travel in a straight line, anything obstructing it, even shadows, will cut down its efficiency.
Unfiltered water may have manganese, iron, and other particulates, which can disrupt, absorb or disperse the UV light. Thus, restricting the effectiveness of the UV unit.
Potentially harmful microorganisms can go through due to the shadows made by the contaminants and may even survive the UV rays.
What happens to it in a power outage?
A typical UV purifying unit will effectively work in continuous electricity. If there is an electrical shortage, it ceases its efficiency.
The best way to handle this is to interconnect water pumps to the UV unit. So in case, the power stops, impure water will not be provided.
Is the UV purifier’s reach maintained through the entire water supply?
No, since it is installed at the point of entry, it can disinfect at that point only. As water departs its reach, possible contamination will happen again.
A well-constructed household water treatment system will install the UV purifier as close as possible to the point of use.
What are the effects of the materials that surround the UV light?
A plastic material being exposed to UV lighting for a long time will make the lifespan shorter by ten percent. It originally can last, without any interference, for ten years.
After being exposed the whole time with UV lights, it will last for nine years instead of ten.
Plants will have adverse effects from reflected or direct UV exposure. Dyes and paints will fade after extended UV exposure.
How intense should a UV light be to exterminate some organisms?
Its effectiveness comes from how long the exposure is and how intense it is. Long exposure but the light intensity and short exposure with full intensity have equal effects on the microorganisms.
A particular bacterium will be terminated in ten seconds from UV exposure at a distance of six inches.
If you haven’t owned a UV purifier before, you may find the whole idea of getting one very challenging. They are a bit on the expensive side, but once you get one for yourself, you won’t regret the purchase.
Its money is well spent, and you can be sure that your whole household will benefit from its water purifying capabilities. So grab a UV light water filter right now!