What is UV Sterilization?
The Emperor Aquatics Approach to Successful UV Sterilization
Successful UV Sterilization lies in the details! Science combined with established engineering guidelines. Ultraviolet (UV) sterilization
is unmatched in its efficiency, simplicity and dependability when applied as a microorganism disinfectant. Understanding the science
(the effect that UV-C light has over a living microorganism) is only the beginning. Learning and following the established engineering guidelines provides
control and an objective to achieving successful germicidal disinfection.
The Object of UV Sterilization
To render unwanted or harmful waterborne microorganism's incapable of reproducing using ultraviolet light (specifically the spectral area of UV-C).
Ultraviolet light is a spectrum of light just below the range visible to the human eye (see "Light Spectrum" chart). UV light is divided into four distinct
spectral areas and they are Vacuum UV (100-200 nm), UV-C (200-800 nm), UV-B (289-315 nm) and UV-A (315-400 nm). These spectral areas are very specific.
UV-C (200-280 nm) is the most lethal range as a germicidal disinfectant (capable of altering a living microorganism's DNA, keeping it from reproducing).
UV-C, with 264 nanometers being the peak germicidal wavelength, is known as the germicidal spectrum.
UV Sterilizations Benefit & Limitations
It is critical to first identify the microorganism! Each type of microorganism requires a specific UV-C radiation exposure rate to successfully
complete the disinfection process. The targeted microorganism must be directly exposed to the UV-C radiation long enough for the radiation to penetrate
the microorganism's cell wall. However, it takes only seconds for UV-C light rays to inactivate waterborne microorganisms by breaking through the
microorganism's cell wall and disrupting their DNA. This often totally destroys the organism or at the very least, will impair its ability to reproduce.
Germicidal disinfection (directly exposing microorganisms to UV-C light) is unmatched by ozone or chlorine for simplicity
and safety. Chlorine/bromine leaves a residual in the water that can irritate the skin and eye tissue of mammals, reptiles and birds. Ozone, if not
measured and controlled properly, is capable of causing severe tissue damage, even death with fish and invertebrates. In contrast, UV treatment only takes
place inside the UV exposure chamber and leaves no residual downstream, and therefore is harmless to the animals in the pond. UV sterilization is a proven
solution to waterborne pathogens, viruses, algae, bacteria and protozoa commonly associated with aquatic re-circulating systems.
UV sterilization treatment takes place inside the UV exposure housing. Exposure time between the waterborne microorganism and the
UV-C light is critical in achieving successful UV disinfection. The condition of the application's water will determine how well the UV-C light penetrates
through it (UV transmittance). UV-C is absorbed by the targeted microorganism or by other organic waterborne particles, it is for this reason that UV
equipment should be positioned after the mechanical filter, where it receives solids-free water.
4 Steps to SMART UV Sterilization Success
Using a UV Sterilizer successfully begins with:
- Identifying the "Target Microorganism" (example: Waterborne Algae)
- Identifying the Target Microorganism's required UV Dose (example: 22,000 µWs/cm²)
- Receiving Accurate UV Flow Rate Information from the Manufacturer
- Selecting the correct UV model that delivers the required UV dose at your application's flow rate