Water disinfection is essential because it frees your water supplies from harmful microorganisms and pathogens, which can affect your household. UV water purification and Chlorine disinfection are two ways to treat your water supply and get rid of contaminants. In this article, we will talk about each filtration method and the differences in the UV vs Chlorine water purification debate.

UV Water Purification

UV light purifies water by destroying disease-causing pathogens by impairing their DNA. In addition, UV light emits a powerful wavelength capable of making these microbes sterile, and once they die, that’s the end of microbial infection in your water.

Using UV lamps to disinfect your water is eco-friendly and very effective. It can even be used for the production of treated wastewater. In addition, it’s capable of eliminating up to 99.9% of microbes. Another benefit of ultraviolet disinfection is that it doesn’t affect the odor and taste of your water because a UV water purification system doesn’t add anything to your water.

UV systems are very energy-efficient and are low-maintenance systems. They require you to install replacement parts yearly. UV systems consume just about the same amount of energy required to power a 60-watt bulb. UV light can kill water microorganisms such as yeast, molds, giardia, cryptosporidium, viruses, and bacteria. A UV system physically processes water that hasn’t been chlorinated or disinfected by other chemicals.

UV Water Purifiers With Other Water Filters

You can rid water sources such as rivers, private wells, and streams of microbes such as bacteria. However, UV light can’t eliminate other contaminants, odors, and tastes. In addition, they are incapable of filtering out chemical contaminants such as heavy metals. So to get a thorough filtration, you can combine UV equipment with filtration systems such as a water softener, carbon filters, sediment filters, and a reverse osmosis system.

We recommend using a whole house carbon filtration system to dechlorinate your water supply if you’re using city water. This is the ideal combination with UV units to ensure total water filtration.

Chlorine Disinfection (Chlorination)

Chlorine gas is one of the most popular methods of public water disinfection and wastewater disinfection as well. Chlorination works by killing the disease-causing pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, etc., in your water, but it isn’t all rosy with chlorination. There’s a price to pay for using chlorine for water disinfection.

Firstly, the smell and taste of chlorine will affect how your drinking water smells and tastes, but this is a small fish compared to another disadvantage of chlorination. Chlorine gas in water disinfection triggers a reaction with other elements in your water to form Trihalomethanes. These toxins are odorless and tasteless disinfection byproducts of chlorine, and it’s dangerous to human health.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there’s proof to back up a possible affiliation between bladder cancer, rectal cancer, and colon cancer with exposure to high Trihalomethanes levels over a long period.

To corroborate this, the Environmental Research Foundation references many studies connecting medium to heavy intake of chlorinated drinking water by pregnant women to higher birth defect and miscarriage rates.

Disinfection Alternatives to Chlorination

Due to the negative health impacts chlorine triggers, there’s no point in drinking water that has been disinfected by chlorine. To answer that, we’ll say that the negative effects of leaving your water untreated exceed the safety risks posed by Trihalomethanes.

Leaving your water untreated can lead to the contraction of waterborne diseases, some of which can lead to death. So, is there an alternative to chlorination? Yes.

Ultraviolet disinfection is another purification method that you and your household can depend on. It’s as effective as chlorination but doesn’t have the toxicity disadvantage of chlorination.

UV vs Chlorine Comparison Summary

Chlorination demands active attention and operation. On the other hand, UV lamp maintenance is low and requires a yearly bulb replacement.

Chlorine can trigger dangerous and toxic reactions with naturally occurring matter in your water. On the other hand, such danger is absent when it comes to the UV disinfection method.

High levels of chlorine affect the taste and odor of your drinking water. On the other hand, UV disinfection doesn’t add anything to your water, and it doesn’t create a toxic byproduct.

In summary, UV disinfection gives you better water quality. It’s a chemical-free, healthy, cost-effective, eco-friendly alternative to chlorination. It will be of great benefit to your household.

About the Author

Paul Morton

Founder and Editor

Paul is a retired plumber who now spends hours on home improvement projects. From fixing toilets to leaking pipes in crawls spaces, there is nothing Paul can't do or wouldn't try. Paul was running his own plumbing company and is our expert in regard to all types of water filtration systems.

View All Articles