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What To Consider When Treating Water With Ultraviolet Light And Reverse Osmosis In Canada
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What to Consider When Treating Water With Ultraviolet Light And Reverse Osmosis In Canada

UV water treatment systems are becoming one of the best neutralizers of bacteria and viruses in the market. With the ability to kill pathogens as they pass by the ultraviolet light makes these water treatment systems the least invasive. Compared to chemical injection systems using chlorine or ozone, UV is a far better option. The only downside to these kinds of systems is that it is a single pass through which means that if there is bacteria introduce anywhere after the UV, it is free to grow, where as oxidizers like chlorine stay in the water throughout keeping bacteria from reproducing.

So what we need to do is install these kinds of systems in a manner that reduces or eliminates this flaw in the technology. One method is position, what we call "point of use". We install the UV closest to the fixture so as to ensure that reintroduction of bacteria is minimized. This design, though, is cost prohibitive when dealing with more than one faucet. To overcome this problem we actually create a loop and put the UV inline with a recirculating pump. Each outlet is a tee off this loop and when this branch, otherwise known as a "dead leg", is as short as possible we achieve a clean system.

Deciding on whether a UV system should be pre-treatment or post treatment in a water treatment design is also very important. Installing before an RO system may increase maintenance downtime due to the quartz sleeve being fouled with minerals and decreasing the UV lamps effectiveness. Installing the RO before the UV may increase downtime on the RO system due to fouling from bacteria. Knowing what is in your water and generally where you are pulling it from will help in determining which should go first.

In many residential applications, we have UV water treatment systems with a light sensor to read the amount of UV light dosage being transmitted in the unit. This acts as a indicator to help consumers know if the system is or is not working properly and in consequence when maintenance is required. This sensor also can be fouled with minerals over time and may need to be replaced. So when maintaining this kind of system, the lamp should be replaced first and the quartz sleeve be inspected during replacement to ensure proper UV dosage. If you still get an alarm after that then the sensor will need to get replaced which is the most expensive component on the system.

Ultimately we look to install with safety first, being pathogen removal, service, second, being position and access, and finally third,aesthetics, basically the wow factor for observers and just as a reminder, reverse osmosis water filter systems are only to meet aesthetic goals, not for safety.


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