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How Do Ultraviolet Sterilizers Work?

How Do Ultraviolet Sterilizers Work?

Ultraviolet sterilizers, a technology used since the start of the 20th century, are used to disinfect and to control the spread of infections. It uses UV light with an electromagnetic radiation that has a wavelength falling in the range of 10 nanometers and 400 nanometers.

Ultraviolet light types are, because of their differing wavelengths and electron voltages, divvied up into various sub-types. As it relates to sanitization for water filtration and purification systems, the applicable sub-type is Ultraviolet C (UVC). It is alternatively known as short wave or germicidal. The wavelength range of UVC is 100 nanometers and 280 nanometers with an electron voltage range of 4.43 and 12.4 electron volts.

Viruses no match for Ultraviolet C

The Ultraviolet C sub-type is especially effective at targeting and destroying microorganisms such as protozoa bacteria and disease causing viruses such as influenza, legionella pneumophila, salmonella, e-coli and hepatitis A. And since there are no known microorganisms that have developed a resistance to UVC radiation, ultraviolet sterilizers are ideal for purifying water systems from germs and other microbes.

UV sterilizers in water purification systems

Ultraviolet sterilizers in water purification systems work by subjecting a water supply fed force to Ultraviolet C. The ultraviolet light is generated by an enclosed lamp within the filtration system. Incoming water passes through an enclosure chamber that is fitted close to the lamp.

When microorganisms are exposed to the light emitted by ultraviolet sterilizers, their DNA structure will become altered to the point of leaving the microorganisms sterile. This means that these microorganisms, after being rendered sterile, will have zero effect even if ingested.

UV sterilizers won’t solve all filtration needs

While ultraviolet sterilizers are extremely effective against biological pathogens, they are ineffective against inorganic matter, chemicals and compounds. This means that ultraviolet sterilizers, while suitable for solving water purification needs, won’t address water filtration needs.

Adding filtration features to ultraviolet sanitizers

Many manufacturers have combined the best elements of ultraviolet stabilizers with reverse osmosis or with activated carbon block filters. What this combination does is provide the most comprehensive and effective filtration solution.

However, most households that get treated municipal water don’t actually require the advanced capabilities of these comprehensive solutions. These combined technologies, however, may meet the needs of larger organizations.

Available in Stores

Ultraviolet sanitizers are now widely available in retail outlets so that consumers can purify the water in their own homes. In terms of price points, units start at about $200 for the more basic models to $2,000 and above for larger units. Larger systems that supply numerous gallons of water daily that are purified with ultraviolet sterilizers are less common than are the point-of-use variants.

Get water tested before making a purchase decision

Before moving forward with an ultraviolet sterilizer purchase, homeowners and businesses should retain the services of a filtration company to conduct a water test and to then suggest the right solution.

Ultraviolet sterilizers, while an old technology, continue to effectively combat microorganisms that would otherwise prove to be harmful if ingested. A water test conducted by a filtration company can help homeowners and businesses to determine how to proceed.

filed under: Technical Articles

Category: Technical Articles

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