UV (Ultra-Violet) Water Purifiers – Pros and Cons

Last Updated on 13 February, 2024 by Sourav Roy

UV water purifiers are devices that disinfect water using germicidal Ultra-Violet (UV) ray. In this article, we will discuss the UV (Ultra-Violet) water purifier and its pros and cons.

UV (Ultra-Violet) Water Purifiers – Pros and Cons

“Water, water, everywhere; nor any drop to drink” – like what was said by the English poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, more than 200 years ago, is now happening in this world.

Although water covers 70% of the earth, only 2.5% of it is freshwater. Of this small per cent of freshwater, an even smaller portion of only 0.5% is drinkable. Others are locked up in glaciers, polar ice caps and soil.

We, the human being, are polluting this minimal amount of potable water by our irresponsible and reckless activities. Groundwater pollution is one of the major problems in India at the moment. Natural water that we find in wells, rivers, and ponds are not at all pure anymore. Even the rainwater is getting polluted, often known as acid rain.

The municipal corporations try to supply pure water to residences through a water supply network. Still, very often the water is polluted by bacteria and harmful elements because of low maintenance and leakage. Last year, a study by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) showed that most of the major cities of India failed to provide 100 per cent safe quality of its municipal water supply.

Polluted water contains a lot of bacteria, virus, cysts, inorganic elements, dissolved salts and heavy metals. They are hazardous to health and cause severe diseases, including diarrhoea, cholera and dysentery.

Although these facts and figures are terrifying, there are some fantastic solutions as well. One such solution is a water purifier. Water purifiers remove all the impurities as mentioned earlier from water and provide pure drinking water.

Three most widely used water purifiers are:

This article will discuss the UV (Ultra-Violet) water purifier and its pros and cons.

Recommended Reading: 9 Best Water Purifiers In India 2024– Reviews & Buyer’s Guide


What is UV (Ultra-Violet) Water Purifier?

What is UV (Ultra-Violet) Water Purifier

A UV (Ultra-Violet) water purifier disinfects the water using germicidal Ultra-Violet (UV) ray. Its chamber has a lamp inside that emits germicidal wavelength as water flows around it. The UV ray is effective in killing viruses, cysts, spores and other bacteria present in the water.

Municipal Corporations add chlorine to purify water. It’s a standard process to purify water in India. But UV water purification is much better than chemical purification.


How Does UV Water Purifier Work?

How Does UV Water Purifier Work

Water is disinfected as it runs through a stainless-steel chamber containing the UV lamp. As water flows past the light, illness-causing microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses and cyst, receive a lethal dose of the UV ray, that scrambles their DNAs and kills them. The dead bodies of the germs remain in the water, but they can no longer reproduce and thus not harm any more. UV water purifier ensures 99.99% germs-free drinking water.

Most of the UV water purification systems come with adequate safety mechanisms. A quartz glass sleeve surrounding the lamp provides this protection and makes sure that the power does not get direct contact with the water.

The UV water purifier requires electricity to operate. It uses the same amount of energy that is utilized by a 40-Watt light. You can connect your UV water purifier to a UPS or inverter if there is a power outage.

Advantages of UV Water Purifier

  • The UV water purifier is easy-to-install, user-friendly and automatic.
  • It does not require any special attention or measurement.
  • It is a proven and trusted purification system which does not add any chemical in the water.
  • The UV water purifier only deals with living germs and destroys them.
  • A UV purifier system does not alter the taste, odour, pH or conductivity, nor the general chemistry of the water.
  • This energy-efficient water purifier is cost-effective and involves less operating expenses compared to other purifier systems.
  • A UV water purifier can give purified water instantly, whereas other water purifiers take much more time to purify.

Disadvantages of UV Water Purifier

  • UV water purifier kills bacteria and viruses but can not remove dissolved impurities such as pesticides, rust, arsenic and fluoride.
  • The germicidal ray coming from the UV lamp needs to target microorganism in the water to disinfect it. However, many barriers, including suspended visual solid and not-visual particulate matter, may affect the UV performance.
  • Physical scale deposits on the quartz sleeve caused by iron, manganese or calcium carbonate may also create obstacles in emitting sufficient UV energy.
  • Moreover, as UV light is invisible, it is tough to know whether the UV purifier is working or not. If the UV ray stops working and the user fails to figure it out, the cleaner will deliver impure water.
  • The UV water purifier requires electricity to run. In rural areas where frequent electricity outage happens, operating this purifier may pose challenges.


UV (Ultra-Violet) Vs RO (Reserve Osmosis) Water Purifier

UV (Ultra-Violet) Vs RO (Reserve Osmosis) Water Purifier

Besides the UV water purifier, there is another popular purification system called RO (Reserve Osmosis) water purifier. RO water purifier passes water molecules through a semi-permeable membrane, which allows only water molecules to move to the other side of the membrane, leaving behind the dissolved salts and other impurities.

Hence, RO purified water is free from harmful bacteria and other dissolved contaminants.

A RO water purifier can purify contaminants such as arsenic, nitrates, sodium, copper, lead, and organic chemicals, which are very common in India.

Recommended Reading: RO (Reverse Osmosis) Water Purifiers – Pros and Cons

RO water purifier needs periodic service. User can buy spare parts from the local market if needed. And UV lamp requires replacement every year for getting the best performance from the device.

Nowadays, both UV and RO water purification systems are ruling India’s water purification market. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. The following table will help you to compare these two water purifiers.

UV Water PurifierRO Water Purifier
UV water purifier purifies water by using ultra-violet ray.RO water purifier works by using a semi-permeable membrane.
A UV water purifier can not remove arsenic, nitrates, lead, etc.RO water purifiers remove arsenic, nitrates, sodium, copper, lead, etc.
UV purifier can kill living organisms such as bacteria, viruses, cyst etc. RO purifier can remove bacteria, viruses, cyst etc.
The UV water purifier is unable to remove salt from water.RO purifier removes dissolve salt from water.
UV purifier can not convert hard water into sweet and soft water.RO purifier helps to convert hard water to sweet and soft water.
It has no chance to change the taste of water.It can improve the taste of water.

Recommended Reading: RO vs UV vs UF – Water Purifiers

Final Words

The UV water purifier can effectively provide pure drinking water by killing bacteria, viruses and cysts using UV ray. However, it can not remove dissolved solids and salts from the water, which are very common in water provided by municipal corporations.

The UV water purifier has not been successful in providing 100% safe drinking water. That is why the best RO water purifiers are most preferred over UV purifiers.

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