Water Industry News
develops new, more effective, UV treatment for drinking water
Reported by Iddo
August 25, 2005
An Israeli company developed a new technology for water disinfection. It uses ultra violet (UV) light
claiming to be 10,000 more effective then existing techniques.
The move from chemical disinfectants to green non-toxic advanced disinfection solutions can improve the safety of the water while reducing its cost.
The most common method to disinfect water, (over 50% of the world market) uses
chemicals such as chlorine to kill biological agents. Although this method is
inexpensive research has shown that chlorine creates carcinogenic
by-products. Chlorine is also ineffective against such as
Cryptosporidium. And the chemicals themselves are dangerous to handle and can cause a variety of environmental
A less common water treatment method is “microfiltration” that actively blocks some of the bacteria. Although this method
is effective, its capital and operating costs are high. Many
filtration systems need high water pressure with resultant high energy costs.
A third method of disinfecting water is ultraviolet light. UV does not kill or remove the bacteria but rather inactivates the DNA so the bacteria can’t reproduce. UV systems usually do not consume large amounts of energy and are considered environmentally friendly.
However, current UV systems use
lamps that are immersed in water. This may cause uneven scattering of the UV rays leading to lower inactivation, increase in local temperature near the immersed UV lamps causing scaling and
high maintenance costs. This fouling must be cleaned with brushes or
wipers -- a breading ground for bacteria.
To avoid these problems Israeli-based Atlantium developed
a UV system that puts the UV source outside the flow of the water. In order to achieve effective inactivation
Atlantium uses a quartz tube as its reactor and bombards the flowing water with homogeneous dosages of UV radiation.
By taking the UV source out of the water and projecting it into
a quartz chamber, using a principal similar to fiber optic
technology, Atlantium's engineers are able to supply homogeneous distribution of the UV rays, eliminate the local heating and
the need for brushes to clean the chamber.
Atlantium says their
system has the added benefit of greater control of the temperature of the
UV lamp and control of the power needed by the light source.
Operating and maintenance costs are said to be reduced.
In tests conducted by the company using different species of microbes, spores and other microscopic life forms, the
Atlantium says it was able to inactivate water born organisms four orders of magnitude more effectively then existing UV
systems. That means, on average, one in 10,000,0000 organisms escaped inactivation.
Atlantium asserts it
can disinfect about 1 million gallons of water a day while consuming only 2.5 kWh.
This would make it one of the most cost effective disinfection systems in the world.
Early adopters of the Atlantium system include Tnuva, owner of the largest dairy in the Middle
East and a Turkish company specializing in breeding fish.
Atlantium is banking
on new US regulations to require drinking water to be protected against cryptosporidium and other pathogens
by 2006 and reduction of chlorine and ozone.
According to David
Waxman, Atlantium CEO, there is an annual world market of about
$5 billion for water disinfection systems that he expects to
grow dramatically in the next few years.
Full story at: http://www.isracast.com/tech_news/240805_tech.htm