Used in conjunction with carbon filters, UV, or ultra violet, water filtration systems are your best line of defense against bacteria and viruses. UV water filters utilize the electromagnetic energy of the light to offer protection against harmful substances in water by attacking them at their genetic core. The UV energy destroys illness-causing microorganisms by altering their DNA and eliminating their ability to reproduce. UV disinfection is tested and proven to kill 99.99 percent of bacteria and viruses that may be present in your tap water or well water.
UV water filtration is particularly appealing to homeowners because they are an extremely effective way to disinfect the water that enters the home. These systems safeguard against common bacteria and viruses such as E.coli, cryptosporidium and giardia and do not require the addition of chemicals (which can alter your water’s taste and/or odor). UV water filters are typically used with other filters because UV filters by themselves do not eliminate other contaminants such as Volatile Organic Compounds, chlorine, or heavy metals such as lead or mercury. The other benefit of UV water filtration is the energy and maintenance requirements; they use very little energy and the bulbs only need to be replaced every year or so.
Local municipalities, and specifically those in Canada, have made considerable progress in controlling the pollution from industrial and domestic sources. However, there are persistent concerns regarding pollution from sources such as Alberta’s oil sands, the Great Lakes and soil pollution from chemicals. The E.coli outbreak in Walkerton in 2000 is just one example of where a water treatment plant insisted clean water but where laboratory tests – and public sickness – revealed a much larger public water issue.
Scare tactics aside, the peace of mind you get from combining a Whole House Water Filter with an UV Filter is well worth the costs for the heedful consumer. Had the citizens of Walkerton installed UV filters that treated water at the point of entry to the home, perhaps far less casualties would have been sustained. The main takeaway here is that the quality of water that comes from municipalities is generally safe but there may be unforeseeable circumstances that result in the contamination of water that can only be treated on the individual level such as with the installation of a point of entry water filtration system with added UV protection.
UV light is found on the electromagnetic spectrum between x-ray and visible light. Of the different spectrums of ultraviolet light (UV-V, UV-A, UV-B and UV-C), UV-C is the wavelength (256nm) that disinfects. In order for the UV light to kill microorganisms, the UV rays must actually strike the cell to sterilize them. The process does not remove any particles from the water or alter it chemically, it simply prevents its DNA reproduction.
In UV water filtration systems the UV lamps never make contact with the water; they are either housed in a sleeve inside the water chamber or mounted outside transparent tubes which transport water. The flowrate at which the water is exposed to the UV light is an important factor as a flowrate that is too high will not provide the water ample time to be exposed and a flowrate that is too low can cause too much heat to build up and damage the UV lamp. It is for these reasons professional-grade water filtration systems with added UV protection are the ultimate choice for treating water for infection as well as heavy metals.