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Ultraviolet.

Sterilize water by ultraviolet radiation.

Photo of ultraviolet radiation from the sun and a UV lamp

 

 

Due to its simplicity and efficiency, sterilization of water by UV radiation has developed considerably in recent years.

The UV lamp reproduces an ultraviolet wavelength (UVC = 253.7 Nm).

 

 

These UVCs thus emitted have a radiation of a much greater intensity than sunlight. Effective sterilization of water. A technology recognized to neutralize microbes, bacteria, viruses, protozoa, while respecting the environment. This process makes the water potable at the bacteriological level.

Note: the chemical parameters must also be satisfactory.

 

Types of water sterilized by ultraviolet radiation.

  • Rain:
    • broaden the range of applications with increased safety in use.
  • Drilling and well water:
    • prevent possible pathogenic contamination.
  • Public network:
    • guarantee a compliant water quality when this is insufficient.
  • Spring and surface water:
    • ensure constant health security.
  • Storage in tanks (caravan, boat, etc.):
    • for sanitary use of water when it has been stored.

 

Areas of use of UV sterilizers.

  • General food of the house, baths and showers.
  • Culinary preparations.
  • American fridges.
  • Chilled water fountains.
  • Aquarium.
  • Washing food.
  • Animal husbandry for beverage water without potentially pathogenic microorganisms.

 

Advantages of sterilization by UV devices.

  • Simple installation and use.
  • 100% physical disinfection by the UV process.
  • Treats water without adding chemicals (without risk of overdose).
  • Sterilizes without unpleasant taste and odor
  • Neutralizes pathogenic microorganisms for humans.
  • Does not create toxic byproducts.
  • Reduced maintenance.

 

Choose a good water sterilizer and its accessories.

Criteria:

  • The UV device must be compact.
  • Integrate a flow limiter (optimal sterilization).
  • A dashboard is essential for monitoring interviews.
  • Check the quality of the UV lamp (certification).
  • Check the certification of the quartz sheath.
  • Prove the effectiveness of UV radiation by a bio dosimetry test.

 

What is ultraviolet (UV) radiation?

Ultraviolet radiation is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength intermediate between that of visible light and that of X-rays. The sun emits around 5% of its energy in the form of UV radiation. The name ultraviolet means ULTRA “beyond” and VIOLET “purple color” being the color with the highest frequency (and therefore the shortest wavelength) of visible light. It was in 1801 that the German physicist Johann Wilhelm Ritter discovered them according to their chemical action on silver chloride.

Ultraviolet radiation from the sun

Ultraviolet emissions from the sun seen by the SoHO EIT telescope.
SoHO means Solar and Heliospheric Observatory means in French “Observatoire solaire et Héliosphérique”. It is actually an artificial satellite placed in orbit around the Sun. Its main objective is to study the Sun. It is the result of a collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA
.

 

Ultraviolet categories.

Ultraviolet is subdivided into near UV (380-200 nm wavelength) and extreme UV (200-100 nm). The range of UV rays is divided into three categories.

UVa (400-315 nm).

UVa, which has a relatively long wavelength, accounts for 95% of UV radiation reaching the earth’s surface and can penetrate deep into the skin. They are responsible for tanning and accelerate aging of the skin by modifying protein synthesis. Which destroys collagen resulting in the appearance of wrinkles. On the other hand, UVa is beneficial for certain types of skin pathologies such as psoriasis.

UVb (315-280 nm).

UVb has an average wavelength. They produce significant biological activity, but do not penetrate beyond the surface layers of the skin.

Health hazard.
  • The horny layer of the epidermis (melanin) absorbs them. They burn late, being able to produce very large amounts of free radicals in skin cells, sunburn and inflammation. Aging of the skin guaranteed by destruction of the collagen fibers. The sun’s capital of the skin is depleted, favoring skin cancers. High UVb intensities are dangerous for the eyes and cause photo keratitis (welder’s bow).
UVc (280-100 nm).

UVC is very harmful at high doses.

They cause skin cancers such as melanoma, or premature aging of the skin (wrinkles), burns (sunburn), cataracts. The UVC spectrum emits three emission bands:

  • UVc from 280 to 200 nm,
  • vUV from 200 to 100 nm (only used in vacuum),
  • xUV from 100 to 10 nm (electromagnetic transitions between UV and X-rays).

Short wavelengths, UVc are the most harmful and almost (theoretically) filtered by the ozone layer of the atmosphere. The Cintropur UV range of water purifiers uses 280-100 nm UVc to disinfect water.

Ultraviolet radiation emitted by a lamp specially designed for sterilization applications

These UVc lamps are germicidal and sterilize everything on contact. UV treatment is the future of ecological water disinfection.

This technique avoids the use of toxic chemicals.

Major groups in the water treatment sector use increasingly ecological solutions for water disinfection to meet the rapidly growing global need for drinking water.

 

A more ecological technique and much less expensive or polluting than chlorine.

Water disinfection by UV avoids the use of reaction products such as chlorine or bleach at more competitive costs. This technique still requires that the turbidity (cloudiness) be low. Recent innovations in the use of optical fiber will offset the concern for turbidity. The radiation disappears after a few seconds, which should reassure most specialists.

 

How does UV treatment in water sterilizers work?

UV rays modify the nucleic acid (DNA) of viruses, bacteria, molds and parasites. They can no longer reproduce (inactive). UV treatment does not alter the chemical composition of water since it does not add anything except energy. Microorganisms become harmless. Similarly, neither dirt or particles of heavy metals or hard minerals (limestone, magnesium, …).

 

Other equipment is needed to purify the water.

If your drinking water comes from the municipal network or if regular analyzes of your well water indicate that it is fit for consumption, you probably do not need a UV treatment system. With regard to the potability of well water, it is more prudent to subject it to UV radiation for safety.

 

Can we drink water treated with UV radiation?

The answer is unequivocally yes. Water is consumed safely. There is no physico-chemical modification.

 

Should we filter the water before or after sterilization?

Clarifying the water before sterilization is a good step. When the water is clear, UV radiation is more effective. Specialists recommend placing an activated carbon or zeolite crystal filter after UV treatment to optimize water purification in terms of purity and organoleptic qualities.