July 2022

· 2 min read

Lighting Up: A New Way To Keep Your Drinking Water Safe

Our experts discuss how UV light systems can destroy almost 100% of the disease-causing bacteria in your water.
A picture of a young woman drinking water at home - UV Light Disinfection Systems in Drinking Water Treatment | NSF

There are many innovative ways to treat your drinking water and save energy too. One is UV light treatment systems, which can potentially destroy almost 100% of waterborne disease-causing bacteria and viruses.

While non-disinfecting LEDs are found in everyday applications, such as lighting fixtures and consumer electronics, “the use of ultraviolet LED technology for drinking water treatment is a relatively recent innovation, which has led to the development of new state-of-the-art testing methods that have been incorporated into NSF/ANSI 55,” says Jessica Evans, Director of Standards Development at NSF.

This new testing method developed to evaluate UV LED disinfection systems provides a way to make sure the technology is an effective option for at-home water treatment. I asked our NSF experts to explain how UV light systems work on your water and how NSF helps ensure effectiveness.

  1. What Is UV?

    UV light is part of natural sunlight. It cannot be seen visually, as it falls between visible light and X-rays on the spectrum. It kills germs by entering microorganisms with its energy, stopping their growth.

  2. Saving the Planet

    Ultraviolet rays can penetrate the harmful pathogens and microorganisms found in water, which means that the water can be disinfected in a simple and environmentally friendly manner.

  3. Go Shopping

    I often hear from consumers who ask, “How do I choose a UV light system?” Most UV light disinfection systems across the globe carry an NSF mark, which means that the technology has met the American National Standards to certify the manufacturer’s claims, the product’s safety and its performance.

  4. Two of a Kind

    There are two types of UV systems certified by NSF. They use different strengths of UV light based on the incoming water conditions. If you have untreated well water, you may want to search for an NSF-certified Class A system. Choose an NSF-certified Class B system if you wish to use the UV system on your city water.

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