Affordable Water Treatments of Manitoba

UV water filters what you need to know

Typically, water passes through several tests before it is supplied into our homes. The local municipalities employ different treatment methods to make water fit for use. However, there may be several accidents or leakages that add impurities into the water. For homeowners who use private wells, the risk of contamination in their water increase manifold. Most people use standard filtration systems like reverse osmosis systems, which offer a certain level of protection against impurities.The best filtration system to treat bacteria is the UV water filter.

People use ultraviolet lights for different purposes such as tanning or hygiene and infection control. It is no surprise then that UV lights are being used for water disinfection and purification. UV water filters eliminate microorganisms in water without using any chemicals and kill 99.9% of bacteria in the water. The bacteria are exposed to UV rays, rendering them inactive as they destroy their DNA, preventing them from growing and multiplying.

Coliform or E.coli in the water
Coliform or E.coli in the water

What are UV water filters?

A UV water filter refers to a purifier that eliminates harmful microbes in water through the use of germicidal ultraviolet light. The UV light in the filter destroys the nucleic acid in the DNA of the microbes rendering them unable to multiply and reproduce. The filters have unique lamps that emit UV light at a particular wavelength (254 nanometers). This wavelength creates radiation with more intensity than that produced by sunlight.

The success of a UV water filter depends on many factors, such as the intensity of radiation, exposure time, and water quality. This filtration system will not alter the taste, color, and odor of water if used alone.

UV Water Purifier
UV Water Purifier

What do UV systems eliminate?

Because there are no microorganisms resistant to UV light, the process eliminates most microbes such as cysts, algae, molds, viruses, and bacteria.

Why should you get a UV water filtration system?

UV treatment systems have many advantages over other treatment systems in the market. They include:

  1. Other methods such as chlorination use harsh chemicals to treat water, change the chemistry, and impart a bad taste. UV systems do not use any chemicals and do not impact the chemistry or taste of the water in any way. If used in high concentrations, the chlorine will react with other chemicals in the water to produce toxic substances.

  2. UV water filters are very cost-effective, and they only require an annual bulb change for maintenance.

  3. UV treatment does not waste any water in the filtration process, unlike RO systems which remove a lot of water during the process.

  4. UV systems are eco-friendly since no by-products are produced during the filtration process.

  5. They are hassle-free since they don’t have any dirty or worn-out parts that need to be disposed of.

UV Treatment Vs. Boiling Water

Throughout history, people boiled water to kill microorganisms. However, this process has several limitations and does not remove all microbes.

  1. Water needs to boil for at least 20 minutes to kill all microbes.

  2. There is always the possibility of some microbes remaining even after boiling.

  3. Water needs to cool down after boiling and before consumption. Reinfection may occur if left unattended.

  4. The process of boiling water uses a lot of energy.

  5. Boiling changes the taste of water.

Conversely, the UV filtration process instantly provides safe drinking water free of 99.9% of microorganisms. The process does not alter the taste or chemistry of the water and does not require as much energy as boiling.

Some demerits of UV systems

UV filters have certain limitations. Apart from microorganisms, the main one is that they do not remove other water impurities such as heavy metals, inorganic compounds, and hardness-causing salts. They are only effective in eliminating pathogen contamination. Thus they need to be used with other water filters.

Second, UV filtration systems are not as effective in muddy or cloudy water. The particles in the water will decrease the intensity of UV light on microbes which may even hide beneath the suspended particles and altogether to avoid the rays.

UV light installed
UV light installed

When should you use UV treatment?

In most cases, a public water supply should be safe from bacterial contamination. However, contamination may occur as a result of accidents and leakages. When this happens, your local municipality will issue a boil water notice. This is a perfect time to use a UV filtration system.

If you are a private well user, there is a high possibility that your water is contaminated with pathogens. This is also a perfect time to use UV treatment, but you might need to use it in conjunction with other filtration systems that remove chemical and inorganic compounds in water. To be safe, you should get your well water tested.

Consequently, a UV treatment will be very beneficial if bacteria or other pathogens are discovered in your home water. The water professional might recommend other filtration systems to be used alongside a UV filter.

You may need to add a pre-filter before adding a UV filtration system. Many units add a 5-micron pre-filter before letting the water into the UV filtration system. This is done to clear out particles from cloudy or muddy water to increase the effectiveness of the ultraviolet light and the lifespan of the UV filtration system.

Signs your well water is contaminated

How do you maintain a UV treatment system?

UV filters need annual maintenance for efficient performance, just like all other water filtration systems. You need to take good care of your system if you want it to continuously defend you against germs, bacteria, and other pathogens.

In UV lamps, the germicidal property is impacted by mercury. As time goes by, the mercury will continue to deplete, which means that the lamp will not be able to eliminate microorganisms. The lamps in the UV filters should be replaced after every year. They have a lifespan of about 9000 hours which can be translated to 375 days.

You also need to clean the quartz sleeve surrounding the lamp before adding another lamp. Ideally, this sleeve ought to be replaced every two years.

It would be best if you also replaced the UV system’s O-rings and the pre-filter. The rings ensure that the seal is waterproof and does not leak though they weaken over time. The lifespan of the pre-filter depends on the type of water and may last between 6 and 12 months.

UV light componets
UV light componets