What is a UV (Ultraviolet) Sterilizer?
Ultraviolet or “UV” is a type of energy found in the electromagnetic spectrum, lying between x-rays and visible light. Although we cannot see UV light or rays, we are exposed to them every time we step out into the sun. In fact, UV light is responsible for causing sunburns.
UV Water Treatment systems use special lamps that emit UV light of a particular wavelength that has the ability, based on their length, to disrupt the DNA of micro-organisms. These UV light waves are also referred to as the Germicidal Spectrum or Frequency. The frequency used in killing micro-organisms is 254 nanometers (nm). As water flows through the UV system, living organisms in water are exposed to UV light which attacks the genetic code of the microorganism, eliminating the microorganism’s ability to function and reproduce. If a microorganism can no longer reproduce, it cannot multiply, therefore it cannot infect other organisms with which it has contact. This process of exposing water to the UV light is simple but effective, destroying 99.99% of harmful microorganisms without adding any chemicals to the water.
Advantages Of Using A UV (Ultraviolet) Sterilizer For Water Treatment
- Effective – Destroys 99.99% of microorganisms
- Environmentally Friendly – Go green! UV is an environmentally friendly alternative to chlorine disinfection and has no disinfection byproducts
- Reliable – works night and day, 24/7, consistently keeping water safe
- Cost-Effective – only lamp & sleeve replaced annually
- Quick Process – water flows through the system without the need for holding tank or reaction times
- Low energy usage – low electrical needs
- Conserves water – The UV purification process does not waste any water
- Chemical-free – no harmful chemicals need to be added
- Essentially trouble-free – once installed, annual service is usually all that is required
- Safe – no handling of chemicals
- Clean – no dirty parts to dispose of
- More effective than chlorine or chloramines – especially on some water-borne cysts
- FDA Approved – one of only 4 methods approved for disinfection by US Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
- Taste and odor – Chemical disinfection methods (such as chlorine) change the taste & odor of water and produce byproducts. UV does not.
Parts of the ultraviolet system
- Ultraviolet Power Supply Unit – This is the main control of the Ultraviolet system. Some systems have a very simple controller, and others have a more complicated system that includes alarms, lamp change timers, trouble indicator lights, and more. Although Ultraviolet units vary in complexity and size, all controllers do basically the same thing of controlling the electrical output of the lamp and powers the UV-C light needed for water purification.
- Inlet for untreated water.
- Ultraviolet System Housing – This part of the system contains the Ultraviolet sleeve and lamp, and also controls the flow of water through the system.
- An outlet for treated (clean) water.
- UV Bulb – The lamp of a UV system produces UV-C, which is Ultraviolet light considered to be germicidal. However, different lamps perform different functions, so the type of lamp used will be contingent on the application and disinfection requirements.
- UV Quartz Sleeve – The quartz sleeve is made of quartz glass and is there to protect the UV lamp which is powered by electricity from the flow of water. The UV lamp transmits light through the tube into the water. It is important to clean the sleeve (generally when the lamp is changed) as minerals and contaminants in the water can cloud the glass tube.
How does Ultraviolet Sterilization Work?
Many water purification systems take advantage of a UV water sterilizer even after processing their water. This is a well-known practice. Companies like Puritech highly recommend UV sterilizers as a post-treatment when treating water. Throughout the year’s ultraviolet technology has become well established as a chosen method for effective and economical water disinfection. Ultraviolet water sterilization claims many advantages: All microorganisms are virtually susceptible to ultraviolet disinfection. For every penny of operating cost, hundreds of gallons of water are purified. NO additional chemicals are added and there’s no danger of overdosing. Once the water leaves the purifier, it is ready for use with no further contact time required. It has simple and easy to install and maintain. Compact units need a small space to operate and store. Ultraviolet water sterilizers deliver ongoing disinfection without special attention or measurement. There are no detections of chlorine taste or corrosion problems.