At present we are spending lots of money on the purification of water. But is the spending of money appropriate before knowing the details of the water purification process and the difference between water purifiers – RO vs UV vs UF?
You may be knowing that our body structured with 55 to 70 % of water. Even our forefathers said that water is life. But we don’t count it in our primary needs that are food, clothing and shelter. Because we need to pay for our fundamental needs, but water is freely available.
In the coming decades, the world would be facing vast cries of water. It is said that the third world war would be happening for drinking water.
Let’s get to know about the water in detail. Water covers 71% of Earth’s surface, and on Earth, 96.5 % of the planet’s water is found in oceans.
Out of the remaining 3.5 %, more than 2.5 % of water exists in the form of ice, clouds, vapours and biological bodies.
Less than 1 % is available in the form of waterfalls, lakes, reverse, wells and bore wells for humans, animals, trees, farms, factories etc.
If we think only about India, it has lots of water. We should correctly use this water for India and our Earth.
RO vs UV vs UF Water Purifiers
Let’s have a look at the table below to understand the primary difference between RO vs UV vs UF water purifier.
RO Purifier UV Purifier UF Purifier
Electricity Needed Kill Bacteria and Viruses Remove dead bodies of Bacteria and Viruses Remove dissolved Toxic Elements Works with Dirty Turbid Water
1. RO (Reverse Osmosis) water purifier
Now let’s turn on to the water purifying process. Let us consider RO (Reverse Osmosis) technology first, which is most popular and believed to be advanced technology of water purification.
Do you know how RO technology works on purifying water? Let’s see, in this process water under high-pressure pass through a semi-permeable membrane having pores diameter of 0.0001 microns. That allows only water molecules to pass through it.
In such a minute filtration, more than 90% of minerals, heavy metals, arsenic and all the microorganisms get filtered. It is similar to the natural purifying process, where coconut tree absorbs purified water from the sea.
Advantages of RO purifier
RO technology can remove more than 90% of arsenic, heavy metals, pesticides and minerals from the water. RO technology can change the taste of water and make it sweet.
For a human body, the primary source of getting minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron is through food, but water is regarded as an additional source. RO technology reduces excess minerals of the hard water and makes it sweet.
Problems of RO purifier
When water passes through the RO membrane, due to chlorine in water, the membrane sheet gets deteriorated after some time, which weekends the layer. It gets choked due to scaling turbidity and enzymes created by bacteria. It finally results in broken membrane sheet due to the excess pressure. Once it is broken, impurities and bacteria can easily pass through it.
In any domestic RO system, the total water wastage could be 70%. It means to get one glass of water, three glasses of water get wasted.
If you think of RO based technology purifiers, the maintenance cost would be two to three times higher as compared to other technology purifiers.
Recommended Reading: 9 Best water purifiers in India 2019
2. UV (Ultraviolet) water purifier
Now we’ll consider the old and most famous technology that is UV technology.
Bacteria grow with multiplication. It means one bacteria gets divided into two, two into four, four into eight bacteria, and so on.
Advantages of UV purifier
In UV technology, a high dose of ultraviolet energy at a wavelength of 254 nanometers destroys pathogenic microorganisms by affecting the DNA in the cell. And multiplication of microorganisms gets stopped, and they cannot reproduce. As a result, within 20 to 25 minutes, when lifespan gets over, they die entirely.
If you intend to buy UV based purifier, please consider that the UV chamber needs to be in a horizontal position rather than in a vertical position. In the upright position, the moment of water is straight. But in the horizontal position, the water passes with a churning motion. It ensures that all the germs get in touch with UV rays.
Problems of UV purifier
Middle of UV chamber should be ideally food graded stainless steel. In spite of this, UV chambers manufactured by some companies are made out of aluminium. The aluminium oxides which get discharged through this are harmful to the human brain.
The intensity of the UV lamp available on the market today would not maintain the same intensity, that it had at the initial stage. When the intensity of the UV lamp decreases from 254 nanometers wavelength, it cannot destroy the DNA structure of microorganisms.
The UV tube light cannot be immersed directly into the water. So to protect it from the water, there is a provision of a quartz jacket. But over some time there is scaling and soil deposit formed on the quartz jacket, and this obstructs the UV rays, which in turn decreases the result and quality of UV purification system.
UV rays are effective for many species of bacteria and viruses but not all.
3. UF (Ultra-filtration) water purifier
This technology does not need electricity. In this process, no chemical is used. In UF (Ultra-filtration) systems, the water passes through hollow fibre membrane with 0.01-micron pore size, which does not allow bacteria, virus and turbidity pass through it.
The process is similar to plant tissues absorbing purified water from the dirty subsoil water. Therefore, UF technology is the best option to purify soft water.
Advantages of UF purifier
In the UF membrane with 0.01-micron filtration, we can easily remove microorganisms and turbidity from water, without disturbing its natural mineral.
The advantages of UF technology are the ability to remove microorganisms and turbidity from water. It does not require electricity, low price and less maintenance.
A few years ago, some scientists from Bhabha Atomic Research Center developed water purifier for Indians, in which they used UF technology.
Problems of UF purifier
It Can not remove dissolved harmful solids like lead, arsenic, fluoride from the water.
Recommended Reading: Water Pollution Causes, Effects & Prevention
RO vs UV vs UF – What type of water purifier do you need?
We need to understand the type of water and suitable technology.
You should consider a few essential factors before selecting the best water purifier such as sources of water, types of contamination, TDS value etc.
Let us take Mumbai first. If I ask you from where Mumbai gets the water And how it comes? Don’t know? Mumbai receives two types of water first is lake water, that is the surface water. Mumbai gets more than 90 % of the water from dams like Bhatsa, Upper Vaitarna, Lower Vaitarna and Tansa. Mumbai needs 3000 million litres of water per day, which is supplied through the pipelines, spread more than a hundred kilometres. But there are some areas where this water can’t reach. People over there use bore wells or wells water.
Dams which provide water to Mumbai are situated in Thane forest area. All dams are safe as there are no farms and industrial wastage in it. It is rainwater, so its mineral level is also less than the permissible limit. Much more than that, Mumbai’s water is good in taste because of that RO Purification may not be necessary for Mumbai’s water though it depends on several other factors.
If you have any confusion, please read the article Best Water Purifiers In India. That article covers everything you need to know about water purifiers, including the buyer’s guide and the list of best water purifiers in India. I hope that the article will clear all of your doubts and help you to select the best water purifier for your home.