Does a UV Water Filter Remove Chlorine?

Author: Rory Mullan - Published: 2022/09/09 - Updated: 2022/09/09

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It’s not unusual to find chlorine in household water as it is one of the most commonly used chemicals for water treatment by public water utilities.

However, even if it’s meant to clean water, chlorine comes with issues of its own, not the least of which is the fact that it can leave a strange smell and taste in your water.

One way to deal with leftover chlorine is to install a water filter, but not all systems can handle it with the same effectiveness.

If you are curious about the chlorine filtering capabilities of UV water filters, read on to find out.

So, here is our guide answering the question, does a UV water filter remove chlorine?

What Exactly is a UV Water Purifier, and How Does it Work?

A UV water filtration system kills microorganisms such as bacteria in a water supply by using ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Bacteria are unable to reproduce when their DNA is scrambled by UV light.[1]

A competent UV water purifier can effectively remove 99.99% or more germs from your drinking water. When combined with effective pre-filtration to eliminate floating particles, you may significantly improve the safety of your drinking water when compared to other methods.

UV water filtration systems are often directly connected to the home’s plumbing and process any water that travels through them. Point-of-use models and portable filters (in bottles with an integrated UV light) are also available.

Components

A typical UV water purifier is made up of numerous parts.

In its center, a UV light bulb emits light in all directions. A sleeve protects the bulb by keeping it out of contact with water. The sleeve is composed of quartz, which maximizes its ability to transmit UV radiation.

Water travels through the space surrounding the quartz sleeve. All of this is contained within an exterior chamber typically composed of stainless steel. The chamber features an input and output outlet connecting to the water supply.

Can a UV Water Filter System Remove Chlorine?

does a UV water filter remove chlorine thumbnail

Indeed, one way to remove free chlorine from water is ultraviolet filtering. Many users mistake UV water treatment for only destroying bacteria, viruses, and cysts, but it can accomplish much more. However, you will need a powerful purifying system to accomplish this.

To successfully dechlorinate water, you must use at least a medium-pressure UV lamp. If your system meets the requirements, this could be one of the most effective ways to remove free chlorine from water.

However, you must expressly confirm that your UV water purifier uses a medium-pressure bulb. Dechlorination will be substantially less effective or may not be achievable at all without it.

Other Water Contaminants Removed

UV water purifiers kill close to 100% of germs found in drinking water, which also includes algae as well as fungi. Some viruses that are resistant to traditional filtration methods can be easily eradicated using a UV water filter, too.

It is crucial to note, however, that UV water purifiers do not physically remove anything from the water supply. UV light damages germs’ DNA but does not physically eliminate them.

In addition, many UV purification systems include a pre-filtration process to remove different particles from the water. A pre-filter is critical for guaranteeing the UV bulb’s peak functioning.

About Boiling, Activated Carbon & Sodium Metabisulfite for Dechlorination

Three typical ways of removing chlorine from water include UV light, activated carbon, and sodium metabisulfite. When nothing else is available, boiling is possible as well, but it is not as convenient as utilizing a specialized filtration system.

Each of the three ways has advantages and limitations. However, UV radiation is a very convenient and effective method of dechlorination. It works quickly and is very consistent and dependable. It also consumes no water.

One advantage of UV water treatment over other systems, such as SMBS[2] filtration or activated carbon, is that it requires significantly less maintenance. You only need to replace the light bulb once a year and the quartz sleeve once every two years (approximately).

In contrast, the other two methods necessitate more frequent part replacements and other forms of maintenance.

In terms of overall effectiveness, all three approaches are fairly reliable and capable of water dechlorination as long as the systems in question are kept in good working order.

UV Water Filtration Applications

UV water filtration, as previously said, is often used to sanitize home water and make it safer to consume. However, it has additional applications, including industrial ones. Industrial-grade UV systems are substantially more complicated, using advanced components not normally present in home setups.

What’s more, if you have an aquarium, you may have seen a UV water filter in operation. UV purification is often used in home aquarium systems to improve the purity of the water and make it more suited for particular fish species. It also helps to reduce aquarium care, especially when combined with other types of filtration. However, it does not eliminate the need for maintenance, so don’t expect to be able to leave your fish unsupervised.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of UV Light Water Treatment

UV water filtration isn’t perfect, so while it has many benefits it also has its share of drawbacks.

Let’s take a look at both the pros and cons of using UV water filtration:

Benefits of UV Water Filters

Effectiveness

bacteria under microscope

A UV water purifier is always effective. There will be no variation in performance as long as the unit has been properly maintained and the water conditions are as required.

Reasonably Priced

An UV filter system is often more affordable to buy and install than other filtering options. You can hire professional installation services if you are unsure about your abilities. These systems are also widely available, with numerous vendors on the market offering various configurations.

There Are No Chemicals Involved

In terms of chemicals, UV water filtering does not use any. It only uses UV light, so your water is never in physical contact with any disinfectants, which means it doesn’t affect the flavor or odor of your water.

Easy to Install

It is unnecessary to make any drastic changes to your home’s water supply to install and operate UV water purification. You can fit a system quite easily as long as you have complete access to all components of your plumbing, and accessing it for maintenance after that is pretty basic as well.

Drawbacks of UV water filters

Incomplete Contaminant Removal

UV water filtration is effective at disinfecting water, but it does not remove anything; even free chlorine is not eliminated but converted into chloride.

However, additional pre or post-filtration may remove the majority of remaining pollutants.

Pre-Filtration

That takes us to another disadvantage: UV water purification often necessitates pre-filtration to function properly. If your water is not filtered before entering the purifier, it may include particles that block UV rays and prevent the UV light from performing as effectively as it should.

Electricity

UV water purifiers require electricity to function. If you lose power in your home for whatever reason, you will also be unable to have your water treated.

Is it Safe to Use UV Water Purifiers?

UV water purification is one of the most secure water disinfection methods available today. Overall, this is a dependable and successful approach for increasing the cleanliness of your water and making it safer to consume.

Compared to other accessible techniques, there are very few drawbacks to using a UV purifier. Acquiring one can easily be a viable long-term investment that will last many years with almost no upkeep. Simply invest some money in replacement UV bulbs and quartz sleeves.

Conclusion

UV water filters remove a great deal of contaminants, including chlorine.

However, you’ll need a sufficiently powerful UV lamp to ensure that your UV system can actually deal with chlorine. Specifically, a medium-pressure UV lamp that works with 180 to 400 nm wavelength.

Further Reading

Resources

Meet Rory Mullan

Rory Mullan Rory has joined the Water Masterz team as a contributing writer. He has covered all sorts of topics in the last several years.

Outside of his writing work, Rory enjoys photographing the Irish landscape and making music!

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