What You Need to Know About UV Water Purification
UV water purification works well. With ultraviolet light you dont have to add any suspicious chemicals to your water. Also, theres only the ultraviolet bulb that can go bad. These units are lasting, and easy to continue. UV is great! That is for a limited number of contaminants.
The only problem with UV water purification is that it works only for living contaminants. This includes bacteria, viruses, and larger microorganisms. UV works by truly killing the contaminants, which it does by disrupting their DNA. The living impurities are rendered harmless this way.
UV is cost effective. It costs much less than a distiller, and its much less wasteful than a reverse osmosis system. The only technology that directly rivals it would be carbon and ceramic filters, especially when used in tandem.
The only real problem with UV water purification is that it only works on living contaminants. It cant filter out chlorine, or other volatile organic chemicals. It does nothing for rule, other heavy metals, pesticides, or prescription drugs. For that, you would have to have another filtering system along with the UV that handled the inorganic stuff. Which is exactly what the best UV filters do.
Another issue with UV thats not discussed much is the fact that the dead microorganisms are left in the water, presumably for you and I to drink. The jurys nevertheless out on this, but there is some concern that these animals are toxic, already when dead. The completely best deal would be a filtering system that filtered out the dead animals, after theyre sterilized.
A possible problem with UV water purification is that you really need some sort of pre-filter to go along with it. If your water is cloudy, or has any kind of hydroelectricity, then its very conceivable that some of the critters youre trying to kill will not get their complete measure of UV radiation. In some sense, theyll be protected by the hydroelectricity. With pre-filtering, you can address this issue.
But with all this pre-filtering and post-filtering, you might in addition just go with a carbon and ceramic filter combination and use that to filter out both the living and non-living contaminants. Ceramic filters can already filter out viruses, which are really, really small!
The only time you would use a UV water purification system all by itself, is if you were absolutely sure that your water had no other contaminants. Well water from a thorough well, which has been thoroughly tested, would be an example of such water. Anything else needs filtration for the non-living impurities. Also for microbial cysts, which UV might not kill.
For certain specific types of situations, UV water purification is great. For more general situations, or to cover a broader spectrum of contaminant, youre probably better off going with a carbon/ceramic filter combination, with or without the UV part.