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How does a Residential UV Water system work?

How does a Residential UV Water system work?

Is there bacteria in your lake or well water? Do you want to make sure you never have bacteria in the water supply at your family's home, cabin or cottage?

If so, this blog post is for you! Follow along as Gary the Water Guy dives into how a residential UV water system actually works to kill bacteria and improve the taste and quality of your family's water. 


HUM Water Care Safe Water

If there is bacteria in your water supply, the easiest and most effective way to protect your family from this harmful bacteria is by installing a UV disinfection system in your home or cottage. 

A UV disinfection system consists of a metal cylinder that houses a UV lamp. Water flows through the steel chamber and any bacteria that may be present are exposed to high amounts of Ultraviolet radiation. This process kills any bacteria, disinfecting your water supply. 

UV water treatment systems rely on Ultraviolet light and do not add any chemicals to your water or change any of the water's properties, if there is bacteria, it will kill it, if there isn’t any bacteria, the water simply flows past the light. 


Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection is a great alternative to chlorinating your water because there is no chlorine residual to remove after the disinfection process, it takes up far less space, and is less costly.


Every UV system has pre-treatment requirements, such as: the hardness must be below 7 gpg, iron less than .3 ppm, UVT of greater than 75% and practically zero turbidity. Dirty water that is full of iron and hardness will quickly compromise that UV system. Typically, most families want to clean up their water anyway, but it becomes more necessary when using Ultraviolet for water disinfection.

A great example is this HUM Safe Water 10, 3-stage Minirack Ultraviolet Disinfection system. This type of system incorporates sediment and carbon pre-filtration to make sure the Ultraviolet light can do its job effectively. Once installed, it produces 10 gallons per minute of disinfected water for your family!

NOTE: If this is the UV unit you have or is a unit you are interested in installing in your home, you can find the corresponding combo filter pack for it here at discount pricing! 


STAGE 1 --> The first stage consists of a 5 micron sediment pre-filter to make sure that no particles larger than 5 microns get past the Ultraviolet light. This is important because particles of that size or larger could shield the bacteria and prevent the Ultraviolet light from killing them. Once past the light, they would re-infect your water supply. You don't want that to happen!

STAGE 2 --> The second stage is a carbon taste and odour filter to improve the taste of the water while absorbing odours. More importantly, this also absorbs chemicals from the water. Chemicals like herbicides, pesticides, gasoline and benzene must be removed from your water before you consider drinking it.

PRO TIP: You can even upgrade the carbon filter to one of these Matrikx Pb1 filters which feature 0.5 micron filtration to also remove cysts like giardia or cryptosporidium and lead.

STAGE 3 --> After the dirt and chemicals have been removed, the water is now ready to pass over the Ultraviolet Light itself. Much like the sun, Ultraviolet light kills the bacteria as water passes through its chamber!


Your UV lamp needs to be replaced every year as it loses its ability to kill bacteria after 12 months of use. For example, if you have a seasonal property that you only use for 6 months per year, where you shut down the system and drain the water, you would be able to get 2 seasons out of one UV lamp.

The carbon filter usually lasts 6-12 months and the sediment pre filters' life is highly dependent on how much sediment there is in your water, but must be changed at least every 12 months.


Absolutely! I always say there are two types of people who invest in UV systems: the ones that have bacteria in their water, and the ones that never ever want to have bacteria in their family's water. Which one are you?


Looking for an Ultraviolet disinfection systemWhether you are looking for a small UV purifier to supplement your Reverse Osmosis drinking water system or a large, monitored system for commercial applications, we have the UV Disinfection & Purification system you need.

Plus, virtually all our UV Water Treatment Systems are made in Canada and we offer FREE SHIPPING coast to coast in Canada. 

SHOP NOW by clicking here!



Looking for more? Go here for your next video on Ultraviolet disinfection filtration and I’ll see you there!

Video Transcript

Gary The Water Guy:
Do you have bacteria in your well or lake water? Maybe you want to make sure you never have bacteria in your family's water at your home, cottage or cabin. Maybe you've heard about ultraviolet disinfection system want to learn more about how they work, well this video is for you.

Gary The Water Guy:
Hi, I'm Gary The Water Guy, and I simplify water filtration to help you conquer crappy water for your family. Ultraviolet disinfection system's a great alternative to chlorinating your water because that chlorine, you got to get rid of that chlorine after it's gone through the disinfection process, that's the residual. With the ultraviolet disinfection system there's no disinfection residual, so you don't have to worry about that affecting your family, doing your laundry, things like that. So with an ultraviolet disinfection system, because it's light, the light is what's killing the bacteria. There are some pre-treatment requirements, you have to make sure the hardness is seven or less. You have to make sure the iron content is 0.3 parts per million or less. You have to make sure that there's no sand getting through, so you need a five micron pre filter and you need ultraviolet transmittance of 75% or greater. And that makes sure that the water isn't like a murky color or something like that because again, the light has to get through to kill that bacteria.

Gary The Water Guy:
So let's check out this Safe Water 10 ultraviolet disinfection system. This is a three-stage mini rack system, super easy to install, but let's talk about how it works. So water enters this side and it goes through the first filter, which is a sediment filter. So that's what's getting it down to five microns. This is what that sediment filter looks like, it's a polypropylene filter and the next stage is a carbon filter. So once we've removed the sediment from the water, the dirt basically, then we will want to go to a filter like this. So this is a carbon filter that removes chemicals from the water, herbicides, pesticides, that kind of thing. Now, if you want, you can even upgrade that to a different kind of carbon filter, one like this, that in addition to removing the chemicals from the water, it also removes VOCs which are volatile organic compounds. This one will actually remove lead and also sis like cryptosporidium and Giardia. And then from there, it goes through the ultraviolet light. As it passes by the ultraviolet light, it kills the bacteria and then it goes onto your home.

Gary The Water Guy:
So this is a continuous process as the water runs through it kills the bacteria in the process. So this is the sleeve that fits inside here, the bulb fits inside the sleeve. And so this is the sleeve that needs to be kept clean and as you can see, I'm handling it with the cloth. And this is the UV lamp itself, so again, that sits inside here. So none of the water actually touches the UV lamp, it all sits inside that quartz sleeve and it flows over. So when we're talking about the pre-treatment requirements, that's what that quartz sleeve needs to be perfectly needs to be kept clean and as the water flows over. That's why if you have high hardness or you have a lot of iron in your water, then that sleeve would need to be cleaned more often. Or like I say, if you adhere to those pre-treatment requirements then you don't worry about any of that. As the water passes through, disinfects the water for your family, no disinfection residual, there are great system.

Gary The Water Guy:
So the beauty of these three stage mini rack ultraviolet disinfection systems is they all come assembled the way you see them here. So the water flows in one side goes through the sediment filter, the carbon filter goes to the UV lamp, and then it goes onto the whole house. Super easy to install for the do it yourself-er for your local plumber. I always say there's two kinds of people that invest in ultraviolet disinfection system for their family, the kind that has bacteria in their water and they want to get rid of, and the kind that wants to make sure they never have bacteria in their water. Go here for my next video and ultraviolet disinfection, and I'll see you there.