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UV Light Transcends Chlorine-Based Treatment in Water Purification

Published in Lab Water Purification News
Written by Nicholas Papp

Creation Date Friday, 07 March 2014.

UV Light Transcends Chlorine-Based Treatment in Water PurificationThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recentlyupdated its setfederal policy concerning surface water treatment for public safety. Formally referred to as the Surface Water Treatment Rule, this newly amended federal decree states that water systems should be filtered and purified straight from surface water sources to prevent waterborne diseases caused by microbes. Legionella and Giardia lambliaare present at varying concentrations in most surface waters.

In compliance with the updated rule, EPA is now aggressively targeting pathogens, particularly Giarda and Cryptosporidium. These two microbes are both miniscule parasitical organisms that easily colonize and reproduce in the intestines, causing severe diarrhea, gastrointestinal diseases, and sometimes even death. Alarmingly, Giarda and Cryptosporidium are also not adversely affected to chlorine-based water treatment.

The EPA subscribed to an alternative, cutting-edge solution for water treatment using ultraviolet (UV) light as opposed to chlorine. Now, the agency recommends filtering and disinfecting water susceptible to bacteria with UV radiation to deactivate the pathogen and stopit from breeding.

Water treatment industry experts and researchers across the globe have begun investigating and analyzing the potential of UV light in effectively sanitizing water both in small-scale water treatment plants as well as large-scale desalination facilities. As a result, they discovered the optimal UV wavelength for keeping water microorganisms-free.

The UV treatment system offers adistinctive approach that uses suspended UV lamps in pipes wherein the illumination is monitored by adjacent sensor units. Since every pathogen is unique, they are eradicated in varying wavelengths. Following the series of investigations, the new approach determined that any wavelength between 254 and 270 nano-meter scale is perfect for water disinfection systemusing UV radiation.

In other news, the University of Colorado has an ongoing collaborative project with the Water Research Foundation todevelop future testing systems and determine the potential of UV light to render other waterborne chemicals harmless upon application.

While many existing, marketable water filtration systems can eliminate Cryptosporidium and Giarda, these pathogens can still easily breed through shower or bathroom faucets if there are no filters in them. To ensure absolute water safety and qualityfrom every water source in the house, it is highly recommended to have a whole house filtration system and a half (.5) micron activated carbon filter installed. Aqua Solutions offers industry-leading water purification and filtration systems that economically and conveniently deliver the highest purity reagent grade water for various critical applications. Check out the website at to learn more about cost-effective water treatment technologies similar to UV radiation treatment.

About the Author

Nicholas Papp

Nicholas Papp

Nicholas Papp has a B.S. in Physics, with Minors in Chemistry and Math, from Baldwin-Wallace College. He is the Vice President and General Manager of AQUA SOLUTIONS, INC., and has worked in the water filtration/purification industry for more than 35 years.