The final stage of the filtration process in a Whole House Water Filter is the UV Filter. UV, or ultraviolet, filters are an optional component of water filtration, meaning they are not a standard piece of equipment in the Filter Butler system and every household may not necessarily need or want one. The utility of a UV Filter greatly depends on the potential of bacteria and viruses in your water, and we will describe what these hazards are in-depth below.
UV Filters are generally used in conjunction with another optional filter, the Sub-Micron Post Filter, as these two systems are highly effective at eliminating or reducing undesirables that may be present in some water supplies. Whereas the Sub-Micron Post-Filter is used to reduce or eliminate organic and sediment particles from passing through your water system, the UV filter is effective at removing any remaining bacteria or viruses that may still be present in the water.
Below we will take a closer look at what UV filtration is, its advantages, what it protects you from, whether you’d benefit from this type of filtration, and how it works to eliminate bacteria and viruses from your water.
While most people are familiar with ultraviolet light in the form of the sun’s rays, this type of electromagnetic energy can also be reproduced for other purposes including tanning lamps, black lights, LEDs, lasers and of course, water filtration. The UV wavelength is from 400 nm to 10 nm, meaning most people can’t see them. UV light as used in water filtration is beneficial to human health whereas too much UV exposure from the sun can cause skin cancer. In the water filtration capacity, the light is effective at killing or rearranging the DNA of harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, pathogens, viruses and molds. When the DNA of a microorganism is rearranged, it no longer has the ability to reproduce. The cessation of microorganism reproduction is key because it means these undesirables can no longer infect other organisms they come in contact with. In terms of effectiveness, UV filtration is said to destroy or eliminate 99.99 percent of harmful contaminants in your water, rendering it safer for drinking.
UV filtration has been utilized for over two decades and is recognized as a safe and effective way to treat drinking water. In the earlier stages of this series on the Whole House Water Filter we mentioned the presence of chlorine in water that is purposely placed in it as a means to disinfect it. While chlorine does have advantages in the form of being a useful disinfectant, it is also harmful to our bodies. UV filtration on the other hand provides disinfecting properties without the addition of harmful chemicals such as chlorine. It is also more effective at eliminating bacteria and viruses than chlorine, and does not alter the taste, color or odor of water. Finally, UV water filters require virtually no maintenance and are highly compact, making them an ideal choice as a disinfectant.
The ultraviolet light that is present in UV filters is a powerful disinfectant that can eliminate as much as 99.99 % of bacteria in your water. These can include but are not limited to Coliform, Cryptosporidium, E.coli, Giardia, Salmonella and other water-borne microorganisms. These harmful bacteria have been related to diseases such as Cholera, Dysentery, Flu, Infectious Hepatitis, Meningitis, Polio, Typhoid Fever and even respiratory diseases. The bacteria Cryptosporidium and Giardia are known for being almost completely resistant to chlorine, but are eliminated with UV filtration.
Learn more about UV Water Filters
Most municipal water treatment plants do a good job of treating water but they don’t typically employ UV filtration meaning chlorine-resistant bacteria like Cryptosporidium and Giardia can pass right through. Furthermore, sometimes these water treatment facilities fail as witnessed by the Walkerton, Canada tragedy involving E. Coli.
The best way to determine the quality of your water – and this is particularly true for residents who rely on a private water supply such as a well, spring or river – is to get a private test. These water tests are conducted to examine all water samples, including treated water, to determine if any contaminants or bacteria exist. These tests will help you decide whether a UV Filter is necessary or if you’d simply like to purchase one as an added peace of mind.
UV filtration is a physical process that requires ultraviolet light to come in contact with the water, albeit not directly. Before continuing, we should mention that it is highly recommended that UV Filters be used in conjunction with a Sub-Micron Post-Filter as these filters will help to remove microscopic particles that can hinder the UV light from sterilizing the water. To simplify further, the Sub-Micron Post-Filter removes items that can block the UV filter from doing its job, which is why the UV Filter is the last filter water passes through before it is sent to your faucets.
The UV lights are contained in lamps that are housed inside a sleeve inside the water chamber but never physically make contact with the water. The water is passed through transparent tubes that allow the UV light to come in contact with the water and destroy microorganisms.
The UV Filter is the final stage in a comprehensive water filtration system and is effective at killing 99.99% of harmful organisms that may be present in your water. Used in water filtration, ultraviolet lights are a safe and effective way to eliminate bacteria and negate the use of harmful chemical disinfectants such as chlorine that are present in municipal filtration processes. UV filtration does not alter the taste, color or odor of water, and is virtually maintenance free. Used in conjunction with a Sub-Micron Post-Filter, the chances of organic and sediment particles or bacteria and viruses passing through your water supply is virtually eliminated.
While the UV Water Filter is an optional system, a private water test will help you determine if your water is at-risk for potential impurities that exist in your private or municipal water supply. However, for the ultimate peace of mind, a Whole House Water Filter with proven bacteria-eliminating properties is a wise choice.