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Water Filtration: UV Light and Ozone

In nature ultraviolet light is used at the earth’s stratosphere to create ozone. So in one way ultraviolet light and ozone share a commonality. Within water purification each method performs similar tasks, but in different ways. Each is effective at eradicating microorganisms like bacteria, viruses and molds. Ozone is more versatile and effective than UV for it also oxidizes metals, chlorine and other contaminates.

Communities Worldwide Use Ozone For Water Purification

In 1893 Oudshoorn, Netherlands became the first community in the world to use ozone to purify water. In the hundred plus years since ozone’s beginnings over 3,000 communities worldwide have installed ozone equipment for water purification. Currently the biggest is in Los Angeles where 600 million gallons of water can be disinfected daily.

Ozone destroys contaminants almost instantaneously by releasing one of its three oxygen molecules into the water where it attaches to the harmful substance, destroying it. This process of destruction is a little different depending on if the contaminant is organic like a virus, or inorganic like a metal. For organics the oxygen molecule blows a hole in the bacteria, virus or mold, effectively killing it. With inorganics it is more of an oxidizing that occurs. The oxygen adheres to the substance, transforming it into a harmless material.

UV Light Is Often Used With Other Systems

Ultraviolet water purification
units are generally used with other systems like whole house or reverse osmosis. UV does not completely purify water, but is often the last phase of a multiphase system. Basically UV burns viruses, bacteria, and other organics without heat or chemicals.

There are three wavelengths of ultraviolet light; long, middle and short. Both the long and middle wavelengths produce few germicidal effects. It is the short wavelength, which the earth’s atmosphere stops from reaching the planet’s surface that has the ability to destroy the organics in water.

UV sterilizers produce their light with a mercury vapor lamp. This lamp is housed in the center of a quartz (glass) tube. Water then flows all around the outside of the tube which is purified by the UV light. It is vital the quartz be kept clean, for a film or cloudiness on the glass will diminish the sterilization process. The UV lamp will also need to be replaced, usually within a 12 month period of time.

Promolife carries two models of UV water sterilizers. The Hallett is for those who require up to 600 gallons per minute. By far, our most popular model is the Viqua. It will eliminate nearly 100% of pathogens and is excellent for household use.

In Conclusion

Water purification is a complicated subject. Every major society has had to deal with impure water, whether they realized it or not. The Romans helped poison their water supply through lead piping. Waterborne killers like the Vibrio Cholerea (Cholera) bacterium have wiped out whole populations without the people ever knowing what was attacking them. It has been discovered that the Egyptian society took a huge nosedive when years of drought dried out the land, leaving only the Nile delta area with water.

Today we at least know water pollution exists. Most of our communities try to stay out in front of the problem, but as the population grows and more toxins are created, the perplexities of the issue will become more difficult to both detect and control. Can one ever really prepare for every contingency? Probably not, but there is much the individual can do.

It is Promolife’s goal to help educate and provide the equipment needed to ensure your water supply is safe for consumption. We realize this series on water can not answer every person’s question as to how they can best acquire safe drinking water. So, we invite you to call us at 1-888-742-3404 and talk to one of our water purification experts as to how you can improve your water quality.