Drinking Water Treatment with UV Disinfection

Ultraviolet (UV) rays are part of the light that comes from the sun. The UV spectrum is higher in frequency than visible light and lower than x-rays. As a water treatment technique, UV is known to be an effective disinfectant due to its strong germicidal (inactivating) ability. UV disinfects water containing bacteria and viruses and can be effective against protozoans like, Giardia lamblia cysts or Cryptosporidium oocysts.
UV has been used commercially for many years in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, beverage, and electronics industries, especially in Europe. In the US, it was used for drinking water disinfection in the early 1900s but was abandoned due to high operating costs, unreliable equipment, and the expanding popularity of disinfection by chlorination.

Because of safety issues associated with the reliance of chlorination and improvement in the UV technology, UV has experienced increased acceptance in both municipal and household systems. There are few large-scale UV water treatment plants in the United States although there are more than 2,000 such plants in Europe.

Used alone, UV radiation does not improve the taste, odor, or clarity of water. UV light is a very effective disinfectant, although the disinfection can only occur inside the unit.

Quick Facts about UV Water Treatment

1. UV disinfection does not add chemicals to the water.
2. UV is effective against bacteria and viruses; and may be effective against Giardia lamblia or Cryptosporidium if the system custom designed to meet these disinfection requirements.
3. UV disinfection has no residual disinfection.
4. Minimum lamp exposure of 16,000 µwatt-sec / cm^2 .
5. UV often last device in a treatment train of water treatment devices.
6. UV device should have audible UV emission detector to notify user when lamp intensity is inadequate.
7. Regular maintenance and lamp replacement is essential.


As a nutritionist, host of the popular radio show, Dishing Up Nutrition, and owner of Nutritional Weight and Wellness, I have recommended Richard’s Custom Water Systems to thousands of clients and listeners.
When clients of mine contact Richard’s Custom Water Systems, I appreciate Richard’s factual approach to their water problems. He simply states the facts and let’s these potential customers make their own decision as to how they will achieve clean pure water.
For more information about water purity and filtration systems, listen to the most recent Dishing Up Nutrition podcast on July 9th, 2016 when Richard Grassie answered questions on the air, some of which you may also have about water.

Darlene Kvist, MS, LN, CNS; owner of Nutritional Weight and Wellness; and Host of Dishing Up Nutrition on 107.1