The Best UV Light for Well Water – 6 Treatment System Reviews 2022

Author: Jason Hollow - Published: 2022/05/26 - Updated: 2022/06/17

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Choosing the right UV water purifier can seem overwhelming, and even more so when you are looking for a purifier for well water. There are so many UV filtration systems available on the market, as well as factors to consider, that comparing them quickly becomes a herculean task.

At their core, all UV water purifiers use the same process to kill microorganisms. However, they have differences in terms of the flow rate they can handle, whether they are meant to be used for the whole house or just one spot, and obviously their price.

That’s why we went through the trouble of finding, comparing and reviewing the best UV water purifiers for well water.

In this article, we’ll share this list with you as well as a breakdown of why we chose them and important information regarding UV well water purifiers in general.

So, here is our collection of the 6 best UV systems for well water. Enjoy!

Contents

Best UV Systems for Well Water – Top Picks

UV SystemSpecs & FeaturesWhere to Buy
#1 for Whole House
SpringWell SPRW-UVC5-15 UV Water Purification System SpringWell SPRW-UVC5-15 UV Water Purification System

SpringWell SPRW-UVC5-15

★★★★★
  • Price: $$$
  • Type: Whole House
  • Flow Rate: 15 Gallons Per Minute (Up to 6 Baths)
  • Wattage: 50
  • Best For: UV Disinfected Water at All Outlets

Coupon Code (5% Off): Masterz5

Or read our review

#1 for Single Tap
Acuva ArrowMax 2.0 UV-LED Water PurifierAcuva ArrowMax 2.0 UV-LED Water Purifier

Acuva ArrowMax 2.0

★★★★

  • Price: $$
  • Type: Point of Use
  • Flow Rate: 0.5 Gallons Per Minute
  • Best For: Safe Drinking Water

Or read our review

#1 NSF-Certified
Pentair Pelican Standard UV Disinfection System Pentair Pelican Standard UV Disinfection System

Pelican Standard UV

★★★★☆
  • Price: $$$
  • Type: Whole House
  • Flow Rate: 8.9-15.8 Gallons Per Minute (Up to 6 Baths)
  • Wattage: 25-40
  • Best For: Whole House Applications

Or read our review

Best UV Light for Well Water Reviews

The order of the following UV well water filter reviews is deliberate. Our favorite products are at the top.

1. Best for Whole House Use: SpringWell SPRW-UVC5-15 Water Purification System

Coupon Code (5% Off): Masterz5

First on our list, and our personal favorite, is the SpringWell SPRW-UVC5-15 whole house water filter. It’s the best UV system for well water in 2022.

This powerhouse purifies well water for your entire home, killing 99.9% of all microorganisms like bacteria. So if you are looking for a whole house UV purifier for well water, this is it.

One of the things that makes it so good is how well it pairs up with SpringWell’s PF-10 and PF-20 sediment pre-filters, which we can’t recommend enough. This will help keep the UV disinfection system effective by eliminating dirt and other particulates that could affect it.

Not only that, the SPRW-UVC5-15 is super easy to install and takes very little space. It also includes a system that monitors performance and allows you to keep tabs on your UV lamp’s life.

SpringWell SPRW-UVC5-15 UV Water Purification System

★★★★★

See More Product Images at springwellwater.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: Whole house water filter
  • Flow rate: 15 gpm (up to 6 bathrooms)
  • Wattage: 50
  • Lamp life: 9,000 hours
  • Yearly bulb replacement cost: $110
  • Best for: The SpringWell SPRW-UVC5-15 is best for UV well water purification for a whole house.

Pros

  • UV filter kills 99.9% of microorganisms, including viruses and bacteria.
  • Eliminates fungi and algae.
  • Uses double the standard UV dose (30 mJ/cm²) to ensure not even the most resilient microorganism will survive.[1]
  • Easy to install and use.
  • NSF/ANSI certified lead-free components.
  • The UV disinfection system controller is easy to use and can give you troubleshooting diagnostics and performance data, and it even lets you know how much life the lamp has left. You can even upgrade to a UV sensor to monitor UV intensity.
  • The UV disinfection system controller is protected by a splash-proof case.
  • The UV bulb lasts for a year, is contained inside the UV chamber, and has an affordable replacement cost of $110.
  • SpringWell has a superb customer service team.
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty, and a 6-month satisfaction guarantee.
  • Free shipping as a bonus.

Cons

  • The product’s lifetime warranty is voided if you use it prior to installation of a sediment water filter.
  • The SpringWell SPRW-UVC5-15 won’t work effectively under the following water conditions:
    • Iron levels higher than 0.3 parts per million (ppm).
    • Water hardness higher than 7 grains per gallon (gpg).
    • Turbidity higher than 1 nephelometric turbidity unit (NTU).
    • Tannins at a higher level than 0.1 ppm.[2]
    • Manganese at a higher level than 0.05 ppm.

2. Best for Point of Use: Acuva ArrowMax 2.0 UV-LED Water Purifier

If you are looking for a point of use UV disinfection system for well water, instead of a whole house one, the Acuva ArrowMax 2.0 is the way to go.

Being the best UV light for well water for a single faucet, it will kill up to 99.9999% of all microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria and other harmful stuff.

Not only that, but this UV water purification system will even improve the flavor and smell of your water, making it a delight to drink. How? It comes with its own pre-filter!

Acuva ArrowMax 2.0 UV-LED Water Purifier

★★★★

See More Product Images at amazon.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Type: POU
  • Lifetime capacity: 31,700 gallons (7+ years)
  • Pre-filter life: 4,000 gallons or 12 months
  • Flow rate: 0.5 gpm
  • Yearly filter replacement cost: $50
  • NSF: 55
  • Best for: The ArrowMax 2.0 is best for POU well water disinfection.

Pros

  • The ArrowMax 2.0 has an NSF/ANSI 55 (Class B)[3] certification that supports its claims of killing 99.9999% of the microorganisms in your water supply with a high UV dose.
  • The unit comes with an NSF-approved pre-filter that removes 99% of chlorine, mercury, nickel, lead and chromium 6. It also removes 95% of fluoride and lowers the levels of other elements like asbestos.
  • The pre-filter also traps sediment for a more effective UV treatment, which also reduces turbidity. Thanks to the filter, the water smells better and has an improved flavor.
  • Easy installation, easy to use.
  • Purifies all water within range through a burst of LED UV lights.
  • Requires virtually no maintenance. You only need to change the pre-filter every year or after 4,000 gallons of water.
  • 1 year of warranty with a 30-day return policy.
  • You can request an optional brushed nickel smart faucet that tells you if the unit is working correctly by glowing blue.

Cons

  • As far as point of use systems go, this system is on the expensive side.
  • It has a limited flow rate of 0.52 gallons per minute (gpm), though it’s more than enough to fill a standard cup quickly.

3. Best for Whole House + NSF-Certified: Pentair Pelican Standard UV Disinfection System

While the SpringWell system is our top choice for whole house disinfection, the Pelican Standard whole house UV water purifier is nothing to scoff at.

Not only does this UV water purification system have just as much power, it’s even NSF certified. This backs up the claim that Pelican UV water filters provide 99.9% well water disinfection! Plus, you get a choice of pelican systems depending on the size of your home. If you have a smaller home, you can choose the PUV-8-P, and for larger homes, you have the PUV-16-P model.

Pentair Pelican Standard UV Disinfection System

★★★★☆

See More Product Images at pentair.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: Whole house UV
  • Flow rate and wattage depend on which filter size you choose
    • PUV-8-P: 8.9 gpm (1-3 baths, smaller homes), 25W
    • PUV-16-P: 15.8 gpm (4-6 baths, larger homes), 40W
  • Lamp life: 9,000 hours
  • Yearly bulb replacement cost: ~$120-135
  • NSF: 55
  • Best for: The Pentair Pelican UV water filter is ideal for people searching for a whole house ultraviolet water system that’s NSF-certified.

Pros

  • This UV purification system has a Standard 55 Class B NSF/ANSI rating, meaning its 99.9% success rate at disinfecting well water from cysts, bacteria and viruses is supported by rigorous testing.
  • A simple DIY installation makes this one a breeze to set up.
  • This UV water purification system is virtually maintenance free. If there is a problem, it lets you know via its indicator light and sounds.
  • You can monitor the lamp’s current intensity and remaining life thanks to the LCD display, as well as other filtration performance data.
    • The lamp has 9,000 hours of life and only needs to be replaced about once a year.
  • The sleeve of the UV filter lasts about 2 years before it needs changing.
  • The combined cost of replacing the lamp and the sleeve is around $150 to $170, a great deal considering their effective life.
  • Access to electrical parts and power supply is secured through a safety cap, protecting children.
  • The UV lamp, quartz sleeve and sensor have a 1-year warranty.
  • The electrical hardware and other components of the filter have 3 years of warranty.
  • The UV chamber has a 10-year warranty.

Cons

  • To achieve maximum effectiveness, the Pelican Standard UV filter needs the following water conditions:
    • Less than 7 gpg of water hardness.
    • Lower turbidity than 1 NTU.
    • Less than 0.05 ppm of manganese.
    • Less than 0.3 ppm of iron.
    • Less than 0.1 ppm tannins.

4. Best POU for Low Budgets: Crystal Quest CQE-UV-00101 1 GPM Ultraviolet Water Sterilizer System

For those looking for a more affordable point of use system than the Acuva, look no further than the Crystal Quest CQE-UV-001101 UV purification system. This UV filter has a great price point, a pretty good flow rate and a great effectiveness rate[4] of 99.99% when it comes to removing bacteria.

This UV water treatment system will clean the well water going into any room of your house, without impacting flow rate.

Crystal Quest CQE-UV-00101 1 GPM Ultraviolet Water Sterilizer System

★★★★

See More Product Images at crystalquest.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $
  • Type: POU
  • Flow rate: 1 gpm
  • Wattage: 11
  • Lamp life: 9,000 hours
  • Yearly bulb replacement cost: $80
  • Best for: The Crystal Quest CQE-UV-00101 is best for lower budgets and POU applications.

Pros

  • According to Crystal Quest, this UV filter system eliminates 99.99% of harmful bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms.
  • You can choose between 110v and 220v.
  • It works great with existing under-sink water filtration systems.
  • Thanks to its 304 stainless steel body, the reactor chamber is durable and long lasting.
  • Once installed, the UV filter works on its own without any user input.
  • Replacement bulbs are affordable.
  • It includes a sound alarm to let you know if there’s a malfunction with the filter system.
  • Its flow rate is much higher than other ultraviolet water POU models and almost double the Acuva’s.
  • Has a 1-year warranty.

Cons

  • UV filter installation needs to be performed by a licensed professional or qualified plumber or the warranty is void.

5. Best for Very Large Homes: US Water Systems Pulsar Ultraviolet Disinfection System

If you live in a large home and need a whole house unit that can give you a powerful flow rate, the US Water Systems Pulsar is the system for you. It works by using germicidal wavelengths to target harmful viruses, bacteria and more, leaving your well with highly purified drinking water.

Plus, you have 3 filter options to choose from depending on the size of your household. For smaller homes, the 405-PUV-200-10-BGF can handle 1-3 bathrooms thanks to a flow rate of 10 gallons per minute. For medium households, the 50-BGF’s flow rate is 15 gpm. And finally, the 20-BGF can handle more than 7 bathrooms, thanks to its 20-gpm flow rate.

US Water Systems Pulsar Ultraviolet Disinfection System

★★★★☆

See More Product Images at uswatersystems.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: Whole house
  • Flow rate depends on which UV filter size you choose
    • 405-PUV-200-10-BGF: 10 gallons per minute (1-3 baths)
    • 405-PUV-200-50-BGF: 15 gpm (4-6 baths)
    • 405-PUV-200-20-BGF: 20 gpm (7+ bathrooms)
  • Wattage: 49
  • Lamp life: 9,000 hours
  • Yearly bulb replacement cost: $110
  • Best for: The US Water Systems Pulsar is ideal for very large homes.

Pros

  • The US Water Systems Pulsar model has simple installation and is easy to use.
  • It transmits UV waves at 30 mJ/cm², double the standard rate. These UV rays eliminate bacteria and other microorganisms in water.
  • You have the option of getting a 1-micron pleated polyester sediment pre-filter, which is almost a must for well water. This pre-filter helps eliminate solids and sediment.
  • The UV chamber is made out of stainless steel which retains UV rays, increasing its durability and life.
  • Waterproof power supply.
  • The system allows you to see the UV lamp’s remaining life and includes visual and audio alerts to let you know when replacement is needed.
  • The lamp life is 9,000 hours, only needing to be replaced about once a year.
    • UV lamp can be replaced without interrupting the water flow, and the lamp replacement only costs $110.
  • The UV chamber has a lifetime warranty.
  • The electronics have a 3-year warranty.

Cons

  • The optional sediment pre-filter lowers the water flow to about 12 gpm.
  • No trial period offered.

6. Best POE for Low Budgets: iSpring UVF55FS Whole House UV Water Filter

And last but not least, we have iSpring’s UVF55FS. This whole house filter is a great choice for those looking for a well water UV lamp that’s more affordable but will still kill bacteria and other microbiological contaminants.

However, it bears mentioning that this lower price point might come at a cost, as there have been complaints regarding the quality of the UV unit.

It’s important to note that iSpring recommends the use of pre-filtration in order to achieve the best performance, which you should always do when filtering well water. This unit requires a TDS/hardness level of less than 120 parts per million (ppm) and an iron level of less than 0.3 ppm.

iSpring UVF55FS Whole House UV Water Filter with Smart Flow Sensor Switch

★★★

See More Product Images at amazon.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Type: Whole house
  • Flow rate: 12 gallons per minute (4 bathrooms)
  • Wattage: 55
  • Lamp life: 9,000 hours
  • Yearly bulb replacement cost: ~$70
  • Best for: The iSpring UVF55FS is best for low-budget POE applications.

Pros

  • Includes mounting clips for DIY installation.
  • Its upgraded ballast has a smart flow sensor switch, which makes it simpler to monitor and control filtration.
  • The lamp has a life of 9,000 hours or about 12 months. You should install a water router bypass for UV lamp troubleshooting and maintenance purposes.
  • They have a tech support team based in Atlanta.
  • 1-year warranty upon registering your product.
  • iSpring offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Cons

  • The installation instructions aren’t very clear.
  • The system has issues with leaking.
  • Reported issues with the system have brought its overall quality into question. One reviewer reported that their UV lamp burned out with just 24 hours of use, and another mentioned his UV unit stopped working just 2 days after installing it.

Best UV Filter for Well Water Comparison Chart

How do the best UV filters for well water perform when directly compared to each other?

System$$$TypeWater FlowWattageLamp LifeAnnual CostBest ForDetails
SpringWell SPRW-UVC5-15$$$POE15 gpm501 Year$110Best for Well Water and Whole House UseUses Double the Standard UV Dose to Purify Contaminated Water
Acuva ArrowMax 2.0$$POU0.5 gpm?31,700 Gallons$50Best for Well Water and Single OutletTop Rated POU UV Purification System
Pelican Standard UV Disinfection System$$$POE8.9-15.8 gpm25-401 Year~$120-135Best for Whole House and NSF-Certified PurificationChoice of Whole House UV Water Filters Depending on Home’s Flow Rate
Crystal Quest CQE-UV-00101$POU1 gpm11375 Days$80Best for Lower Budgets and POUExcellent Flow Rate for Purified Water
US Water Systems Pulsar$$$POE10-20 gpm49375 Days$110Best for Very Large HouseholdsVery Easy to Install Whole House Filter
iSpring UVF55FS$$POE12 gpm551 Year~$70Best for Lower Budgets and POEDecent Whole House Filtration System at Affordable Price

Buyer’s Guide – How to Buy a UV System for Well Water (+ How We Tested)

A UV water purifier has many benefits, IF you choose one that’s up to standards. But what does that even mean? Well, here’s our buyer guide with everything you need to know about how to buy the best UV light for well water.

UV Dose

UV filters emit their rays in megajoules per square centimeter, usually written as mJ/cm² or µwatt*sec/cm².

UV lamp light is used because it scrambles the DNA of the microorganisms found in water. This not only eliminates them but also stops them from reproducing.

The minimum mJ/cm² UV dose to destroy harmful cysts and bacteria in water systems was designated as 16 mJ/cm² by the US Department of Health and Human Services back in 1960. However, nowadays a higher power UV dose of 30 mJ/cm² is recommended instead. The reason for this is that it allows a larger safety margin, while also being more effective at destroying viruses.

NSF/ANSI Certifications

When researching and comparing UV filters, you will occasionally come across the term “NSF” and “ANSI” certifications. These certifications are assurances that specific purification systems have been tested and verified to deliver the results they claim to.

You don’t necessarily have to limit yourself to certified UV filters, but it’s definitely recommended, as you know that they have gone through rigorous testing.

The 2 main certifications are:

  • NSF/ANSI Standard 55 Class A: the better of the two standards. This one is for UV filters that have been proven to identify and remove microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and cysts.
  • NSF/ANSI Standard 55 Class B: a UV filtration system with this certification will eliminate some kinds of bacteria when disinfecting water.

More Purification

UV Water purifiers are excellent when it comes to eliminating harmful microorganisms from your water, but they won’t change anything else about it, such as its composition. This means that traditionally, UV water filtration won’t affect the flavor or smell of the water, for better or worse.

If you want to do that, you’ll need to use an additional filtration system. One such example is using an activated carbon filter to decrease the number of chemical byproducts in the water.

pressure tank with whole house water filter

Well Water Conditions and Pre-Treatment

For a UV water purifier to deliver the best possible UV water purification, the water it’s treating must meet certain conditions. These are mostly related to the number of physical particles in the water. The reason for this is that microorganisms can hide behind other particles, preventing them from being killed by the UV filter rays. This is known as shadowing.

That’s why sediment pre-filters are important for a UV disinfection system. Especially when dealing with well water, where there’s bound to be a higher degree of solids.

A standard pre-filtration system should be enough to eliminate most suspended solids. For example, a sediment filter of 5 microns. However, this will depend on the hardness of your water, as it might require further softening for the UV purifier to effectively eliminate all microorganisms.

Before you invest in a UV water purifier, you should have your well water tested to know what kind of pre-filtering you’ll need, for example for sediment filtration. These are the conditions that most filters need to work at maximum effectiveness:

  • Water hardness lower than 7 grains per gallon (gpg)
  • Iron levels lower than 0.3 parts per million (ppm)
  • Tannins lower than 0.1 ppm
  • Manganese lower than 0.05 ppm
  • Turbidity lower than 1 nephelometric turbidity unit (NTU)

Water Flow Rate and Household Size

How fast your water will flow will depend on the size of the UV disinfection system. Furthermore, to allow proper water disinfection, enough UV light must reach it, which means that for larger households you will need more powerful lamps.

That’s why the water flow rate and UV lamp intensity are intertwined, as they are responsible for proper ultraviolet disinfection.

Consequently, you need to know the specifications of your water supply when looking for a UV well water purifier. The more water that needs to be UV purified for the household, the bigger the system you’ll need.

You should have a mental picture of the number of rooms your ultraviolet disinfection system will manage, particularly bathrooms and kitchens.

Here’s a short reference for household size in relation to flow rate:

  • If you have 1 to 3 bathrooms, you’ll need a system with a 10 gallon-per-minute flow rate.
  • For 4 to 6 bathrooms, you’ll need a 15 gpm flow rate.
  • For 7 bathrooms or more, you’ll need a 20 gpm flow rate.

Cost of Purchase and Maintenance

As is often the case, a more expensive product will tend to have better quality. UV water filters are not an exemption from this. If you purchase a cheap disinfection system, you might have issues with it. Some of these could include:

  • Lower lamp life: traditionally, the lamp life of a UV filter should last about 9,000 hours. If you have a lower quality lamp, it could need to be replaced much more often. Smaller lamp life could end up costing you more in the long run.
  • Bad sleeve quality: a quartz sleeve of lower quality will most likely be weaker, which could cause it to crack more easily. A cracked sleeve must be replaced immediately.
  • Leakage: it’s more common to see leakage with cheaper UV purifier systems. Leaks need to be addressed right away, so having to deal with them constantly would offset any price advantage from a cheaper model.

Nobody wants to break their bank account, but when it comes to something as important as water filtration and purification, you need to know that you are buying something that will deliver. You are better off paying more for a better quality system.

Power Usage

The power use of a UV lamp bulb isn’t much different from a traditional bulb, as they have similar wattage. A whole house UV water purifier will normally have a 25-to-60-watt bulb to power it, while a point-of-use filter would use a 10-watt one.

Space

You’ll want to know how much room the UV filter system will take, though traditionally UV water purifiers don’t take up a lot of available space. UV filtration systems are much smaller than traditional softeners or filters. However, for whole house systems, you need to remember that they have to be directly connected to the main water supply.

What Exactly is a UV System for Well Water?

best UV light for well water thumbnail

UV purifiers or filters are types of ultraviolet disinfection system, designed to disinfect a water supply and kill potentially harmful microorganisms through the use of ultraviolet light. They accomplish this thanks to the germicidal wavelengths in UV light that the lamp emits.

This process renders the microorganisms harmless by scrambling their DNA, which also removes their ability to reproduce.

Traditionally, a UV system is composed of a UV lamp, a protective quartz glass sleeve, a controller unit, a steel chamber and O-rings to seal the unit.

There are many possible uses for UV water filters, one of which is for purifying well water.

How Does UV Light for Well Water Work?

Within the chamber of the UV purifier, the water is exposed to ultraviolet rays with wavelengths of precisely 254 nm, which scrambles the DNA of microorganisms like bacteria, viruses and cysts.

UV water purifiers work to disinfect water by neutralizing these threats and also helping to reduce contaminants like algae and fungi.

What a UV purifier can’t do on its own, however, is get rid of physical particles or dissolved solids in the water.

For the most harmful contaminants, such as the Rotavirus, Hepatitis A and the Polioviruses, a greater intensity of UV rays than normal is required. Most normal contaminants, such as chlorine or E. Coli, only need relatively small doses of UV light.

UV Well Water Purifier Components

A UV water filter is made up of 5 components, which are:

  1. Ultraviolet (UV) light lamp
  2. Protective quartz sleeve
  3. Reactor chamber
  4. Controller unit
  5. O-rings

Each part has a role to play in the purification process. Here’s what they all do:

1. Ultraviolet (UV) Light Lamp

The main component in an ultraviolet disinfection system is the ultraviolet lamp. This is a gas-discharge lamp, which has an electric arc to power it.

UV lamps use small beads of solid mercury to produce their light. The beads dissolve gradually and end up being vaporized, which is one of the reasons why the lamp needs replacement after some time.

2. Quartz Glass Sleeve

Because UV lamps use electricity, it’s important that they don’t come in contact with water. The purpose of the quartz glass sleeve is to serve as a barrier between the lamp and the water, while still allowing the rays to be transmitted.

Quartz instead of regular glass is used for the lamp sleeve due to its higher purification levels, which allow more light to pass through while reducing the effects of solarization on the glass.[5]

3. Stainless Steel Reactor Chamber

The UV lamp and quartz sleeve are located within a durable stainless steel chamber, where the water also flows through. But stainless steel isn’t only used because of its durability. It will also keep the UV waves from escaping the chamber without absorbing them, which can happen with materials like plastic.

You don’t want your stainless steel chamber to absorb UV light due to free radicals. These are unbalanced electrons that wear down on a material such as plastic, which would compromise the integrity of the chamber.

4. Controlling Unit

A UV purifier uses an electric controller that controls, manages and maintains the power and intensity of the UV light. In some cases, the controller unit will also display the remaining life of the lamp, use visual or audio alarms to let you know when lamp replacement is needed, and allow you to troubleshoot the unit through a screen.

5. O-Rings

These are simple gaskets that seal the steel chamber and prevent leaks from affecting the lamp. Traditionally a few are used to ensure proper sealing.

When Should You Use a UV Well Water Purifier?

Well water doesn’t have the same treatments as city water, so disinfection is important. A UV purifier is a very effective way to disinfect well water, and it works just as well for residential or industrial locations.

No matter where you are, you’ll want an ultraviolet water purifier that can destroy microorganisms: all the bacteria, viruses, cysts and protozoa. UV filters not only do this for well water, but also eliminate algae and fungi.

bacteria under microscope

The one thing an ultraviolet water filter system can’t do is remove floating or dissolved elements, such as sediment, from the water. Furthermore, because they don’t alter the water’s chemical composition, a UV filter has no effect on its flavor or smell.

Private Well Water

If you have a private well, it likely needs thorough treatment. In fact, you should have your water tested to know what you are dealing with in terms of hardness and contaminants. A UV water purifier supported by a pre-filter system will effectively disinfect private well water.

UV Well Water Purifiers vs Standard Well Water Filters

There are a few important differences between standard water filters and UV water purifiers when it comes to well water.

One distinction is that while all water filters should function as water purifiers, not all UV purifiers function as water filters.

That might sound confusing, but the reason is that the processes used to purify the water might not necessarily filter some elements out of it.

A UV purifier treats well and tap water and can eliminate microorganisms through the use of ultraviolet light which, while extremely effective, doesn’t remove anything from the water. It also doesn’t affect its hardness nor changes its taste or smell.

That’s why UV water purification and standard water filtration are not the same, even though sometimes they are thought of as such.

A standard water filter directly removes impurities from the water in different ways:

  • Ion exchange
  • Activated carbon filtration
  • Redox reactions (KDF)

These are the types of filtration methods that can remove elements such as heavy metals, chemical agents and salts from your well water.

Because elements like chlorine and heavy metals can affect the taste or smell of the water, removing them will also usually lead to an improvement in both.

Pros and Cons of a UV Well Water Treatment System

UV water purifiers have many perks, but like any system, they are not perfect.

Pros

The advantages of UV water purification includes:

Provides Disinfected Drinking Water

A UV water filter system is scientifically proven to rid well water of all microbes.

Ease of Use

Easy installation and simple to use, as well as very affordable.

Chemical Free

UV purifiers don’t require you to add any products to your home’s water supply, such as chemicals or harmful elements like chlorine.

They don’t alter the chemistry of your drinking water at all. The UV light from the lamp simply renders the microorganisms harmless. This produces drinking water that’s safe to consume, and as a bonus keeps your pipes in better condition.

Won’t Affect Taste or Smell of Water

Since a UV water filter system doesn’t affect the chemical composition of your drinking water, they also don’t alter its taste or smell. It will retain the same taste and odor.

Doesn’t Need Much Maintenance

One great perk of ultraviolet treatment systems is how low maintenance they are. All you’ll need to do is swap out the bulb annually, and change the quartz sleeve every two years. That’s a long effective life.

uv light bulb

Cons

On the other hand, an ultraviolet water purifier will have these drawbacks:

Won’t Remove Contaminants

Contaminants like TTHMs or lead will remain in the water after UV purification. Even the microorganisms that the UV purifier renders harmless remain in the water, they just don’t pose any threat.

If you are looking for something that removes contaminants from your well water, you’ll need additional water systems.

Won’t Improve Water Taste/Odor

We brought this up in the advantages, but it can also be a disadvantage to UV purification depending on the situation. As your UV purifier won’t change the taste and odor of the water, that can be a bummer if your water doesn’t taste great. You might need an additional filtration system to remedy this.

Requires Power to Function

A UV water purifier uses a lamp, which means it needs power at all times. While the power consumption is rather small, it’s still a factor. Not to mention, it won’t work if there’s a power outage.

Heating

The UV lamp doesn’t only emit light, it also emits heat, like any light source. The water going through the chamber absorbs this heat. Normally, this is not very noticeable. However, if the water hasn’t been used in a while, it could heat up to noticeable levels.

Installation Instructions

Point of use UV systems don’t require much effort to install, but a whole house system will require some level of plumbing (installation). That’s because these UV purification systems need to be installed directly in the main water supply.

For a lot of the UV water purifiers available in the market, DIY installation is possible if you have at least some plumbing experience. It’s not that different from installing any other water filter.

Let’s take a glance at what the process looks like:

Step by Step

  1. The first thing you’ll need to do is switch off the water supply of your existing plumbing.
  2. Once the supply is shut off, open the faucets around the home to drain all the water from the pipes.
  3. Cut your primary water line using a saw, pipe cutter or other similar tools.
  4. Connect the input and output ports of the entire unit to the primary water line and use plumber tape to seal all ends.

Optional: Installation of a bypass system or shut-off valves on either side of your UV purifier can make future maintenance easier.

  1. Insert the quartz sleeve with the UV lamp inside the purifier’s chamber.
  2. Carefully turn on the water supply and inspect the unit for any leaking or other issues.
  3. Lastly, plug in your unit and switch on the controller.

Maintaining a UV Water Purifier

While UV water purifiers require very little maintenance, it’s still important that it’s done when required and properly. Here’s the maintenance needed for a UV system:

Replace the UV Lamp Once a Year

You’ll have to replace the UV lamp annually or after 9,000 hours, which is about a year. That’s because UV lamps lose their UV intensity and effectiveness over time, reducing their ability to eliminate contaminants.

To change UV bulbs, you just have to take out the lamp sleeve from the steel chamber, remove the lamp from the sleeve, and finish by installing a new one. Traditionally, UV replacement lamps will cost around $100.

Cleaning the Quartz Annually and Replacing it Every 2 Years

It’s important to keep the quartz sleeve that protects your UV lamp cleaned and in good condition. You shouldn’t need to do it often, usually at the same time that you are replacing the lamp is good enough. However, if your water has a high hardness level you might need to clean it more often.

No matter how clean you keep the sleeve, you’ll eventually have to replace it. This is because the sleeve darkens over time to a point that it can’t be fixed. The quartz sleeve of a UV water filter should only need to be replaced about once every two years. If you have to replace it more often, you might need to soften your water more.

Monitoring the System

It’s not common for a UV water filter to have problems. This usually only happens with lower quality or cheap models. However, you should still check on your unit every now and then to make sure it’s working properly and there’s nothing you need to address, such as leaks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ thumbnail

Can you drink well water disinfected with a UV light?

With proper disinfection and the right UV system in place, you can produce clean drinking water from wells, yes.

Is a UV filter necessary for well water?

A UV filter can be necessary for private wells if your water supply contains harmful microorganisms. That said, UV disinfection isn’t the only available method. Shock chlorination is one popular alternative.

What are the disadvantages of UV on water?

The main disadvantage is that UV water purification does not remove any other contaminants from water. A UV water filter only kills living pathogens.

How much does a UV system for a well cost?

Whole house filtration systems come in at around $250 to $1,000. POU units can be purchased for as little as $150.

Does UV light remove odor from water?

No, UV filter light does not remove odor from water, but it can kill odor-causing bacteria.

Conclusion

A UV water purifier can make a great addition to your home well. You just need to install one of the right quality and size. Our first choice for POE use is the SpringWell SPRW-UVC5-15. For point-of-use applications, we recommend the ArrowMAX 2.0 by Acuva.

If you have any questions about these or other UV purification systems for well water please leave a comment below!

Further Reading

Resources

Meet Jason Hollow

Jason Hollow Jason is the founder of Water Masterz and head of content creation. After six years in the industry, he has tremendous knowledge and first-hand experience on all things related to water treatment.

His credo: Not a single American should have to drink unhealthy water at home.

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