UV Light Treatment Outshines Chlorine to Treat Bacteria

by wfnblog on January 3, 2013

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated its rules regarding surface water treatment. Now, it’s going after different pathogens, like Giarda and Cryptosporidium, more aggressively.  These two microbes have been known to cause severe illness and sometimes death  and they are extremely resistant to chlorine based disinfection processes. The EPA is now recommending treating threatened water with ultraviolet radiation to deactivate the pathogen. The UV radiation also prevents the microbe from reproducing.

Tap Water

A UV treatment system is very unique. UV lamps are suspended in pipes where the illumination is monitored by nearby sensor units. Because each pathogen is killed by different wavelengths, it’s been hard to treat water this way until recently. Now, medium pressure UV lamp technology can allow UV light output at wavelengths less than 240 nano-meters  Now that scientists have been able to unlock the ability to kill viruses and pathogens in water using UV radiation, it’s possible it can be used in other ways to render other chemicals harmless. A collaborative project at the University of Colorado is under way to to answer these questions. It has the backing of the Water Research Foundation to help develop future testing systems.


While many filters can remove Cryptosporidium and Giarda, these viruses can find their way to you through the shower or bathroom faucets if there are no filters there. An easy way to protect yourself is to install a whole house filtration system and use a half (.5) micron activated carbon filter. This will greatly reduce the chances of icky viruses like Cryptosporidium, Giarda, and other cyst-like parasites from entering your home.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tman March 9, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Does any UV wavelength or lamp kill waterborne viruses that one finds while traveling abroad?


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