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Light is electromagnetic radiation - or radiant energy traveling in the form of waves. Ultraviolet (UV) energy is found in the electromagnetic spectrum between visible light and x-rays and can be described as invisible radiation.The energy employed for UV water treatment is further categorized into two primary levels measured as wavelengths: 254 nm and 185 nm, where nm = 1/1000 of a micron. For disinfection and ozone destruction applications, the 254 nm wavelength is utilized. For TOC reduction and chlorine destruction applications a unique wavelength is utilized.
The UV light penetrates the outer cell wall of the microorganism, passes through the cell body, reaches the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and alters the genetic material. The microorganisms are destroyed in a non-chemical manner (Figure 1). The 254 nm UV light is also used to destroy residual ozone present in a water stream. The 185 nm UV light, used in TOC reduction applications, decomposes the organic molecules. The 185 nm light carries more energy than the 254 nm light. The 185 nm light generates hydroxyl (OH·) free radicals from water molecules.
UV Technology and Water Treatment
Ultraviolet (UV) light treatment is a widely recognized and proven method of disinfection of water. It is a physical treatment, not chemical, so it doesn't alter the water chemistry. UV doesn’t add color, odor, taste or flavor to the water and doesn’t generate harmful by-products.
It only imparts energy to the water stream in the form of UV light to accomplish the process of disinfection, TOC reduction, ozone destruction or chlorine/chloramine destruction. UV disinfection produces no residual disinfectant to the finished water.
Aquafine UV systems feature low-pressure mercury discharge lamps. The lamps are constructed with a special quartz envelope material that looks like glass, but is actually a discriminating filter. This exclusive design allows predominantly 254nm or 185nm UV energy to be transmitted into a water stream as it flows through the UV system's treatment chamber.