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How Does The UV Water Filtration System Work?

Ultraviolet water filtration systems utilize UV radiations to interfere with the reproduction of microbes like bacteria and viruses. Such microorganisms contaminate the water, making it unsafe for consumption. UV systems can also help minimize airborne pathogens to provide safe water for the entire household.

UV Water Filtration

Ultraviolet or ‘UV’ rays come from the sun. It is a type of energy that we find in the electromagnetic spectrum, laying between the shorter visible light and longer X-rays. The ultraviolet wavelengths range from a frequency of 10 nm to 400 nm. However, the frequency of UV light that is used to kill microorganisms in water is 254 nanometers.

A UV water purifier makes use of germicidal ultraviolet light to treat unsafe water contaminated by such harmful microbes. It can fight pathogens without the need to add anything to the water, except UV light. You may have heard that UV rays are dangerous during sun exposure, but UV light from water purifiers is not at all cancerous but rather quite safe. All it does is offers the benefits of filtered water so you can enjoy water free of germs and contaminants.

The terms microbe refers to any living micro organisms that may be present in water. These can be of various types, such as viruses, parasites, bacteria and even cysts. Some common contaminants that are found in water are E.coli, algae, giarda and cholera. If ingested, these microbes can lead to serious health issues, such as pneumonia and various gastrointestinal illnesses.

This makes it important to disinfect water before consuming it. While chlorine and chloramines have common uses in removing contaminants from water, it requires quite a large amount. Not to mention, some microbes in water can also be chlorine-resistant.

How Do UV Water Filters Work?

UV photons contain high energies that can easily cause atoms to ionize. In simpler language, UV light breaks chemical bonds, damaging living cells to prevent them from reproducing. You may have experienced sunburn due to exposure to sun. The cell-damaging properties that cause our skin to burn come from the UV radiation in sunlight.

UV light can be artificially produced through different methods. One of them includes passing electric current through a vaporized gas such as mercury. When harnessed correctly in a UV water filtration system, radiations emitted from a UV water filtration system damages the cells of microbes contaminating water. It is an effective way to disinfect water as the UV radiations damage the DNA of harmful micro organisms by piercing through cell walls. When the radiations successfully damage the DNA structures of bacteria and other microbes, it becomes impossible for them to reproduce.

The germicidal wavelength of an intensity of 254 nm falls from a UV light source that is usually placed at the front inside a flow chamber. This is where the contaminated water passes from. The flow chamber holds the entire system. The UV lamp is held by a glass quartz sleeve that allows wavelengths to pass through. The glass quartz sleeves also protect the UV lamps from water, making them an important part of the system. As water passes through the flow chamber, it is exposed to UV radiation, which neutralizes the contaminants in water.

The UV filtration methods or UV water purifiers are used at all levels of water treatment, small and large scale. For instance, it is used for spring water, lake water, surface water and even well water. In addition, municipal water suppliers use it as well.

Advantages of Purifying Water by UV Radiation

1.      Safe

UV water filters only make use of ultraviolet rays to kill harmful microbes in the water. It does not involve any dangerous chemicals that can impact your health negatively. Because it doesn’t use chlorine, you don’t have to worry about byproducts.

2.      Effective

These water filters are extremely effective at eliminating up to 99.9% of disease-causing microorganisms.

3.      Odor and Taste Free

Since UV filters do not use any chemicals to disinfect water, water retains its original taste, odor, and color, unlike methods that make use of chlorine.

4.      Eco-Friendly

Some water filtration methods tend to waste water during the filtration process. They also leave behind some by-products. This is not the case with UV water filters, which makes them quite environmentally friendly as no water goes to waste and no by-products are formed.

5.      Easy to Install

UV water filters can easily be attached to whole house systems. This feature makes them easier to replace, if needed.

6.      Low Maintenance

Maintenance of a UV filter only requires changing the UV bulb once a year. Other maintenance includes cleaning the quartz sleeve and replacing it every two years.

7.      Energy-Efficient

These water filters require little energy to run. It needs the same amount as a 60 watt light bulb.

8.      Cost-Effective

Getting a UV water filter is quite a budget-friendly option, whether you need a single water purifier, or a whole house system. Since it is low-maintenance and energy-efficient, you’ll enjoy plenty of savings.

9.      Approved by FDA

The US Food and Drug administration (FDA) approves of four water disinfecting methods, which include the use of ultraviolet radiation.

Some Advantages of UV Water Filtration

Unfortunately, UV light only works best when the water is clear. It becomes difficult for the light radiations to reach water particles if other particles are present in the water. Also, UV radiation is only effective at treating viruses and bacteria. It does not do much for other contaminants like salts, chlorine, and metals. In case your water contains traces of heavy metals, you should opt for reverse osmosis (RO) water filters as well. Reverse osmosis can also remove fluoride and other hard-to-remove elements. Pairing it with the UV filter can provide you with the safest drinking water.

How to Choose the Right UV Unit Size?

Do you use water drawn from a private water supply? If so, you need a water treatment system for your entire home. This makes it important to pick the right sized UV water filter. You can do this by measuring the peak demand flow rate of your house. This means determining how much water flows through your main water line when all the water outlets are open at the same time.

You can refer to the guide below to ensure satisfaction:

Number of Bathrooms: Flow Rate (GPM)

  • 5
  • 5
  • 12
  • 5


The use of UV radiation to treat microorganisms in water is a natural process that does not make use of any harmful chemicals. It is a safe disinfection method that is highly effective as well as environmentally-friendly. You should install these water filter systems in your home to ensure water that is protected from viruses, bacteria, cysts and harmful disease-causing contaminants.

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