A Look At UV Water Treatment

Spas are a favorite water pastime and present in many recreational aquatic facilities, especially those with that offer hydrotherapy treatment.  However, the warm water is also a breeding center for many water-borne micro-organisms. And the warm water has more evaporation than drinking water thereby making the halogen treatment more volatile. Today, Ultraviolet water treatment for spas is gaining use more and more as a valid alternative for water treatment in recreational spa facilities as it adds NOTHING to the water while keeping water clean and improving the air quality around the unit. 

Recreational aquatic facilities are turning to UV water treatment not only because of local health requirements but also because of their ease of use, reduced chemical consumption, health advantages, and environmentally friendly benefits. As UV treats the water that passes through the UV Light Chamber and does not add anything to the water such as ozone or chlorine gas, the resulting water treatment is not corrosive or damaging to the spa equipment. Since the total water volume of a spa is turned-over in a relatively short period of time through the filtration and UV cycle, the warm spa water is frequently sanitized. 

UV Water treatment is based on using the power of germicidal light to disinfect the water thereby consuming less chemicals and allowing them to be more effective. UV-C eradicates micro-organisms that pass through the UV Light chamber, but it does not act as a residual. UV Light Technology only works on the water flowing through the Light Chamber; it does need chemical sanitizers, but only in low concentrations since the UV Light is doing the bulk of the work.  Less chemicals that are more effective since they are not consumed treating micro-organisms that the Clean light has already eradicated. Reducing chemicals means cleaner, less aggressive water that is easier to balance.  

What is UV?

Ultraviolet radiation is an invisible light emitted from the sun.  Over 100 years ago European scientists from different countries discovered the top surface of lake-water was sterile when exposed to sunlight.  Investigation led to the discovery of Ultraviolet light and to the invention of UV bulbs.  Ultraviolet (UV) light is situated in the electro-magnetic spectrum between X-rays and visible light.  UV light is split into four main categories, UV-A, UV-B, UV-C and Vacuum UV.  The area between 240 and 280 nanometers (nm) is UV-C, commonly known as germicidal light.   This is the UV light that is used to sanitize spas and hot-tubs. 

How does UV Sanitize water/ improve water quality?

UV-C light has the ability to cause permanent damage to a wide variety of microorganisms in water. Certain species of microorganisms, such as Legionella, and the news-making protozoa Cryptosporidium, are not completely sanitized with traditional disinfection techniques such as chlorine. UV-C light is not a biocide but disrupts the micro-organisms DNA ensuring that organisms present in water are unable to replicate and remain inert.  All germs, virus, bacteria,etc., are thus de-activated and can no longer reproduce.  Unlike other sanitation treatments, UV does not affect the taste, color, or pH of the water being disinfected. 

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