What are UV water systems and their advantages
UV Water systems are designed for the disinfection of microorganisms in fluids, such as water, using UV-C irradiation. This provides a disinfection solution that is chemical free which is seen as a preferred way to treat water, particularly as we move towards more sustainable ways of living. Disinfecting water with UV light is a cost-effective solution that is also very effective in inactivating the viruses and bacteria present in water. Compared to other disinfection methods such as ozone, chlorine, UV water systems cost less to run and have an immediate treatment process. Therefore, this also reduces the need for holding great volumes of water for periods of time. Hundreds of gallons of water can be exposed to UV light for pennies of operating cost.
UV disinfection also has no effect on the water in regard to taste, appearance or smell, making the use of UVC light an ideal method of water purification.
How do they work
A UV water system is typically a stainless-steel chamber consisting of multiple UV lamps, connected to a control panel. Each UV lamp sits within a quartz sleeve which provides protection of the lamps.
When exposed to UV light, the DNA of pathogens changes molecular structure and renders the pathogen inactive. Using a wavelength of 254nm, UVC light can inactivate all known microorganisms and one of the safest, easiest and most effective ways of treating your water. Providing the system has been properly designed and fitted for your building, then UV systems can achieve a 99.99% reduction in the presence of pathogens.
This disinfection effect occurs as the water for your building passes through the UV system, it is exposed to the high-intensity UVC disinfection light. In this time period, any water-borne bacteria and viruses are inactivated. The UV system in place will have been designed and fitted to do this in relation to the speed of the flow of water and the type of microorganisms you are trying to protect against.
After this process, the water available for your building has now been quickly and effectively treated and suitable for safe use.
Where are they used
UV systems can be fit for most commercial applications. Industries such as offices, hospitality, breweries, food processing, manufacturing, the agricultural sector have been using this technology for decades.
Why they need servicing
UVC lamps degrade over time and therefore require maintenance every 12-24 months, depending on the type of bulbs used in your UV system. UVC bulbs typically have a lifespan of 8,000 hours, with longer lifespan bulbs lasting up to 16,000 hours. Once your bulbs have reached their life expectancy, there will effectively be no disinfection effect and there will be no further protection against the bacteria and viruses present in your water. At this point, water is passing through the system untreated. This is why it’s important to service your systems to make sure your systems are working effectively.
It is also advised to clean the quartz sleeve that the UVC bulbs sit in every 3 yeas, as this becomes dirty over time and reduces the total exposure of UVC light onto the water. Iron, manganese and total dissolved solids causes staining on the quartz sleeve and impacts the ability for UV light to transmit. The sleeves can also become scratched or foggy on the inside, and this can also impact UVC exposure.