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Frequently Asked Questions About Ultraviolet Purification

1. What is UV?
Ultraviolet (UV) light is at the invisible, violet end of the light spectrum. Even though we can't see UV light, we are exposed to UV rays from all light sources, including the sun.

2. How does ultraviolet light purify water?
UV-C rays penetrate the cells of harmful bacteria and viruses in our drinking water, destroying their ability to reproduce. Without this ability, these organisms die and no longer pose a health threat. It is a simple but very effective process, with the system destroying 99.99% of harmful microorganisms.

3. Why not use chlorine instead?
Chlorine changes the tastes and odor of water. Chlorinating also produces harmful by-products called Trihalomethanes (THMs) which are linked to incidence of cancer.

4. Does a UV system use a lot of energy?
No, the UV unit will use about the same amount of energy as a 60 watt light bulb. It is a cost effective, natural way to increase water quality.

5. Why do UV purifiers require sediment pre-filtration?
UV systems require pre-filtration to maintain effectiveness as sediment and other contaminants in the water can create a "shadow" which prevents the UV rays from reaching and disinfecting the harmful microorganisms.

6. How often does the UV light bulb (lamp) need to be replaced?
It is essential that you change your UV lamp annually. The ability of the lamp to emit UV light decreases over one year in operation. Remember - UV light is invisible! Even though the lamp is still glowing after one year, there might not be enough UV light reaching your water to be effective.

7. How often do your need to replace the sleeve?
The sleeve doesn't need to be replaced unless it is broken, but it will need to be cleaned several times a year in order to keep the bulb effective in delivering high water quality.

8. How does the UV light actually kill microorganisms?
UV does not kill microorganisms like chlorine does, but instead UV inactivates them. UV light at a specific wavelength of 254 nm is readily absorbed by the genetic material of microorganisms. The DNA strand is coded with a specific sequence of something called base pairs. The sequence of these base pairs codes for certain characteristics. UV light at 254 nm is readily absorbed at the point on the microorganism's DNA strand which codes for reproduction. A microorganism that cannot reproduce, cannot make colonies and therefore cannot infect when consumed. In other words, the microorganisms have been sterilized or neutered. They will eventually die off.

The picture on the left shows a DNA strand of a microorganism. You can see where the UV light is absorbed and how a blockage is formed, causing the microorganism to become sterile.


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