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What's inside a UV water purifier?

What is a UV Water Filter? uv light sanitizer

A UV water purifier includes a chamber that encases the entire system. The glass quartz sleeve holds the UV lamp that emits a germicidal wavelength of radiation (UV-C) to deactivate living organisms. The quartz glass sleeve is transparent to the UV wavelength, which allows UV light to penetrate the glass and disinfect the water. A quartz sleeve protects the UV lamp from the water because water and electricity don't mix well. There are one or two O-rings to seal the whole system together. 

UV lamps run on mercury vapor. The mercury vapor is loaded into a UV lamp in the form of little beads. Occasionally, you may see beads rolling around in the lamp. These beads are mercury before it's vaporized to create fuel for the lamp. UV light ultraviolet light UV light sanitizer

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Are UV purifiers effective?

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Is UV necessary for a water filter?

UV systems sterilize water quickly and effectively. UV disinfection kills 99.99% of living organisms in the water. They are designed to run constantly to guarantee the water you use is always safe. Because a UV purifier is not a filter, there's no wastewater or debris left behind to cleanout. Every drop of water that enters the UV system is purified.  The dead stay in the water and are rinsed out the waste.

Disadvantages of a UV water purifier

Disinfects without chemicals. Ultraviolet wavelength doesn't leave by-products in water like chemical disinfectants.
Adds no tastes or odors. UV disinfection does not chemically alter the water in any way, shape, or form.
Easy to maintain. An annual UV lamp change is the most frequent maintenance need. 
No water wasted. The UV treatment process requires no water to the drain.
Protection during natural disasters. When city water is compromised, a UV system keeps your drinking water safe. 

Are UV purifiers safe?

A UV water purifier exposes living organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, or cysts (like Cryptosporidium and Giardia) to a germicidal ultraviolet wavelength. With enough energy, UV radiation at the 254-nm wavelength disrupts the DNA in pathogenic microorganisms so they cannot reproduce. The ultraviolet light prevents bacteria from spreading disease through drinking water.

UV dosage is the measurement of energy (in mJ/cm²) delivered by a UV water purifier. The more dosage provided, the more energy delivered to treat contaminated water. At a certain threshold, this energy becomes sufficient enough to inactivate most of the microorganisms present in water.

Eco friendly

Better Water Warehouse offers a wide range of UV systems and UV accessories that target bacteria in your home water using ultraviolet light to inactivate the DNA of harmful microorganisms, preventing them from reproducing and safeguarding against contamination of your water supply. This means you will never have to deal with a boil water alert again, providing you with peace of mind and confidence knowing that you and your Family are safe.

Several years ago, the city of Milwaukee flooded, and cryptosporidium infected the water supply. Cryptosporidium is a parasite that enters the intestinal tract and causes illnesses like Montezuma's revenge. Crypto is resistant to chlorine used to disinfect city water, and the water in Milwaukee resulted in hundreds of deaths. UV water purification protects you from pathogenic organisms, like cryptosporidium, in water

What does a UV disinfection remove?

Do not remove contaminants. UV only deactivates living organisms, so the system needs prefiltration to remove loose particles.
Heats the water. When you're not running water and it's sitting in the chamber, the UV lamp heats the water up.
Doesn't work during a power outage. A UV system requires electricity to run.

Advantages of a UV water purifier
NSF CERTIFIED

UV water treatment is safe. It does not use harmful chemicals or alter the composition of water. A UV sterilizer uses UV-C light to disinfect. UV-C light is harmful to humans just as it is for microscopic living organisms. But unless you touch or look at the UV bulb while it's on, you're in no danger of exposure. 

Chlorine treatment is an alternative to UV, but ultraviolet treatment is much safer. Ultraviolet light treats water for protozoa that chlorine disinfection is unable to remove. A UV system is much easier to maintain and safer to use than chemical disinfectants. Treating water with chlorine requires a retention tank and precise injections and solutions. Many wastewater treatment plants now use UV water purification to eliminate harmful chemical by-products in water from chlorine or chloramine treatment. 

ultraviolet light

UV disinfection kills living organisms, but it does not remove particles from water, add chemicals, or remove bad tastes and odors. 

UV disinfection treats water for: 

  • Cryptosporidium
  • Giardia
  • Dysentery bacilli
  • Salmonella
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Streptococcus
  • E. coli
  • Hepatitis B
  • Cholera
  • Algae
  • Fungi
  • Some viruses

UV purification is not necessary for a water filter, but a water filter is necessary prior to a UV system. UV systems are most effective when water is clear, so they must have at least a five-micron pre-filter to prevent living organisms from hiding behind loose particles. You could use a sediment filter to remove dirt and debris from a well water supply or a water softener to reduce iron as prefiltration. A UV purifier should be the last thing the water passes through on the way to the house.

Test your water quality before you use a UV system to make sure the water does not exceed these levels:

Hardness < 7 gpg (grains per gallon)
Iron < 0.3 ppm (parts per million)
Manganese < 0.05 ppm
Turbidity < 1 NTU (nephelometric turbidity units)
UVT < 75%
Tannins < 0.1 ppm

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