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Understanding Ultraviolet Sterilization

Ultraviolet Sterilization — Water in Southeast. FL
Whether or not you realize it, the fact remains that pathogens can easily contaminate residential water sources. From viruses to bacteria, to waterborne parasites, these unwanted bugs can end up making you and your family very sick. For that reason, choosing to invest in a sterilization system will pay dividends for your family over the long run.
Ultraviolet sterilization represents one of the most effective means of destroying pathogens in water. Better yet, you can easily implement an ultraviolet sterilization system as a point-of-use solution not just for residential sinks, but also for water coolers, boats, and RVs.

If you would like to learn more about how an ultraviolet system works, read on. This article will provide a useful overview of this sterilization technique.

The Basics

Ultraviolet is a form of light ray with a wavelength between 10 and 400 nanometers in length. This spectrum remains much too short for the human eye to detect. Although ultraviolet light may be artificially generated, it also represents a naturally occurring phenomenon, with approximately 10 inches of the sun's light output falling on the ultraviolet spectrum.
Ultraviolet light can be thought of as invisible radiation, capable of causing damage even to the relatively robust human body. For this reason, quality sunglasses are designed to reflect ultraviolet rays away from your eyes. Microorganisms possess an even greater vulnerability to ultraviolet, which, if it strikes their cells directly, can cause irreparable damage to their DNA.

Ultraviolet Criteria

In order to be effective, ultraviolet must pass through the water with enough strength to kill all of the potential microorganisms. In other words, the dosage must meet certain minimum criteria. Experts measure ultraviolet dosage in terms of a unit known as microwatt seconds per square centimeter, expressed as µws/cm2.
Different microorganisms require a different dosage of ultraviolet in order to destroy. To ensure thorough and consistent results, the majority of ultraviolet units generate a minimum dosage of 30,000 µws/cm2. This gives it enough power to destroy almost all common pathogens, with the notable exception of mold spores, which are simply too hardy for most residential ultraviolet systems.

Ultraviolet Safety

Many people have reservations about the effect that ultraviolet will have on their water. They often imagine that ultraviolet will add some potentially harmful substance to the water. This fear stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of how ultraviolet works. Ultraviolet light does not alter the water on a chemical level.
Furthermore, ultraviolet does not add anything to the water. It also does not remove anything from the water. Even the sterilized microorganisms will remain present. The only thing that will change about your water is that those potential health-affecting microorganisms will no longer be capable of harming you or your family.

Ultraviolet Limitations

Homeowners should not overlook the fact that ultraviolet purification will not remove other types of contaminants from the water. Things like dirt, sediment, and heavy metals will remain suspended in the water. For this reason, ultraviolet systems are best implemented in conjunction with some type of manual filter to remove larger contaminants.
Water should pass through this physical filter before it gets to the ultraviolet disinfector. This will reduce the likelihood of larger particles shielding microorganisms from ultraviolet light. Otherwise, those microscopic organisms may be able to bypass the ultraviolet light by burying themselves within the surface of particulate matter.

Water Experts

When it comes to destroying waterborne pathogens, ultraviolet light represents one of the most effective of all sterilization sources. Of course, to get the most from a purification set-up, you will want to have it installed by an expert with the requisite knowledge. For more information about what ultraviolet can do for your water, please don't hesitate to contact the professionals at Reverse Osmosis.​