Utilizing UV Disinfection in Municipal Drinking Water Facilities

Today, the world is in the middle of a serious global drinking water shortage, with over 2 billion people lacking access to safe potable water. The availability of clean drinking water is essential to protect public health from fatal health consequences caused by pathogenic microorganisms in water supplies.

With freshwater accessibility and general water quality declining, it is time to take action. This has made the demand for cost-efficient solutions to provide clean drinking water higher than ever before. 

The next generation of sustainable, safe, chemical-free disinfected drinking water is here, and it is called ultraviolet disinfection.  

Utilizing UV disinfection for the treatment of drinking water

UV disinfection is a vital component of the water treatment processes of the future, as it is capable of solving the safety challenge of bacteria and virus protection. Furthermore, it aligns with the growing need for a global transition towards sustainable water treatment methods, being both chemical-free and optimized for operational efficiency.

A common part of the drinking water treatment path is the use of chlorine, which has unfortunately proven to lead to several health complications such as respiratory diseases. Additionally, while chlorine has proven to be ineffective against Cryptosporidium and Giardia, UV treatment can inactivate these pathogens easily with very low UV doses. UV treatment is capable of inactivating all bacteria, viruses, molds, and spores that may be present in the drinking water while adding no chemicals or by-products to the process.

Despite UV systems requiring relatively large energy inputs, as well as the need for allocated space and infrastructure, new technological improvements have pushed UV technology towards becoming the new standard for drinking water facilities worldwide. With operational efficiency being one of the core drivers within the drinking water industry, many facilities now invest in assets that ensure long-term operational savings. 

UV disinfection can be utilized in a number of ways within the drinking water treatment path, depending on the defined disinfection policy. Utilizing UV systems as a part of a multibarrier disinfection policy, specific pathogens can be targeted, which might otherwise be impossible or too expensive for other technologies to achieve. This could for instance be to target Cryptosporidium, which other treatment methods such as chlorination have been proven to be inefficient against. 

Advanced water treatment solutions for taste and odor issues

With water availability becoming increasingly scarce, companies are now forced to use less stable sources for drinking water production. This has induced an increase in MIB & Geosmin contamination issues, which can even be present in more well-regulated water sources. These contamination issues can be caused by the natural presence of the compounds, or as a result of Cyanobacteria Algae blooms.

The primary issue concerning MIB & Geosmin contamination is the change of taste and smell, making the water taste musty or earthy. Very low limits are required before humans can detect a change in the taste and odor properties of the water. The unwanted taste and smell are often the primary cause of customer complaints by residential customers and business customers who use the water for other processes. 

As a result, ULTRAAQUA has developed a range of Advanced Oxidation (AOP) solutions, which are designed specifically to accommodate issues related to MIB & Geosmin, by breaking down and removing the related micropollutants causing the issues. The combination of UV photolysis and a suitable catalyst causes hydroxyl radicals (-OH) to be created which have a highly reactive disposition to oxidizing organic compounds such as MIB & Geosmin.

If you are experiencing related issues to taste and odor, our R&D department is able to provide full support from the very beginning of problem identification to the implementation of a full-scale solution.

UV systems in operation at a Danish drinking water facility

Located in Denmark, the drinking water facility of the municipality of Frederiksberg needed to secure a continuous supply of safe water for the residents. To ensure this, UV systems were included as a critical part of the treatment process. 

The UV systems functions as the final stage disinfection barrier, ensuring that every single drop receives a validated 40mj/cm2 RED dose, as verified by ÖNORM M 5873-1 bioassay testing. In total, the facility will treat 5.3 million cube meters of filtered, softened, and UV-disinfected water per year. This will ensure that the entire municipality of Frederiksberg as a part of the great Copenhagen area will remain supplied with high-quality potable water. 

The innovative project included a crucial emphasis on reducing carbon footprint, which meant that the most energy-efficient solutions and components were an ultimate requirement. 

Additionally, the reduction of limescale in the water entailed a significant reduction of operational costs, as well as improvements for other process steps. Avoiding limescale fouling provides a longer lifetime and more efficient water distribution within the municipality. This means that consumers will experience higher efficiency and longer lifetimes of home appliances while providing savings at wastewater treatment plants.

The installed UV systems will now contribute directly to supplying the residents with pathogen-free drinking water for many years to come while ensuring a substantial carbon footprint reduction.

UV sterilizers optimized for drinking water disinfection

Properly treated municipal water is the foundation of all communities. To meet the continuously increasing demand and quality standards for drinking water, the need for innovative water treatment solutions has never been greater. Strongly relying on innovation and in-field experience, ULTRAAQUA UV has developed a wide range of UV disinfection systems to solve the most complex municipal water disinfection challenges.

The state-of-the-art validated SSV UV series is optimized for drinking water disinfection, having undergone comprehensive biodosimetry testing according to the ÖNORM M 5873-1 standard, featuring the world’s most advanced and efficient UV disinfection technology. The series offers disinfection performances of more than 4 log with flow capacities ranging from 1 m3/hr to over 4000 m3/hr.

A key feature is the unique patented SWIRLFLOW™ technology, which enables optimal ultraviolet exposure of all pathogens. This effectively ensures 90% hydraulic efficiency at all water qualities, suitable for a wide UVT range – from 70% to 98%.

A few of the features include:

  • 3rd party bioassay validation – ÖNORM M 5873-1
  • Unique patented SWIRLFLOW™ technology enabling 90% hydraulic efficiency
  • Advanced automatic lamp dimming for increased operational efficiency
  • Advanced automatic ULTRAWIPER™ quartz sleeve and sensor window wiping system, ensuring a stable disinfection process

Read more about our range of solutions for drinking water disinfection by clicking here.

If you wish to hear more about what UV system is optimal for your treatment processes, please use the contact formula below. Our sales engineers are ready to assist with finding the right solution for you disinfection requirements.