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Disinfection of drinking water without chemistry

technology report online, April 2014

UV emitters from Heraeus Noblelight permit the environmentally-friendly disinfection of drinking water. A good alternative to conventional chemical treatment.

Water treatment with UV lamps
Efficient and environmentally friendly: Water treatment with UV lamps.

Drinking water is essential to life, but also a rare and precious commodity. Only 2.5% of the world’s water is fresh; the rest is saltwater. Clean drinking water is even scarcer.

The decontamination of drinking water is still often achieved with the help of chemicals such as chlorine or ozone – an effective but environmentally contentious method.

It is possible to treat the water in a much more environmentally friendly manner, as no chemicals are used, by means of high-energy ultraviolet radiation.

During this process, special UV lamps from Heraeus not only destroy micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi, but they also break down harmful chemicals. As the decontamination does not use chemicals and no chemical residues are left, the quality of the drinking water is affected in neither its taste nor its smell.

UV disinfection plant in New York
The UV disinfection plant in New York treats more than 8 million cubic meters of water every day.

Current example:

The water treatment plant put into service in New York at the end of 2013 is the world's largest UV disinfection system. Some 12,000 UV lamps in 56 so-called reactors, each the size of a truck, treat more than eight million cubic metres of water for the City of New York every day. Heraeus has supplied the initial UV lamp equipment. With this 'green' disinfection method, the city minimises its expenditure on maintenance and energy consumption for drinking water treatment to guarantee perfect drinking water for the metropolis.

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