UV home water systems are not for everyone. It depends on where you live and what your specific concerns are when it comes to your drinking water. In this article, we will talk about the purpose of UV light treatment and whether or not your situation calls for one. In the end, of course, it’s up to you to decide.
How do you UV light treatment systems work?
These systems use concentrated UV light to disrupt bacteria and viruses that may be in your water. UV light does not actually kill the bacteria or viruses nor does it actually remove them from the water. Instead, it damages the DNA of these microorganisms to the point that they can’t reproduce. Thus, you are still drinking these microorganisms, they just can’t do any harm to you (if they can’t reproduce, they are completely harmless). We talked about this in our SteriPEN review, a travel product which also uses UV light.
Let’s be clear about a few things. UV light does not remove sediments, water contaminants, or heavy metals. It is intended to make water safe for drinking. For more on this topic, see our article on the difference between water treatment and water purification.
Who should buy a UV light water treatment system?
These systems should be purchased by people who live in rural areas without access to municipal water supplies. UV light is extremely effective at rendering harmful microorganisms inactive and if you don’t have a treatment system, this would be a good option.
If you are connected to a municipal water supply, there is already a disinfection process occurring (usually with chlorine). This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t purify your water, only that you don’t need to treat it. It’s already safe to drink. Now, you just need to purify it.
UV light systems usually start at around $300, but they can go up to $1000 or more, depending on the capacity of the system and how difficult it is to install. Some systems require professional installation while others are straightforward and require no plumbing experience whatsoever.
If you are connected to a municipal water supply, the only other reason I can think of for investing in a UV light system is if you don’t trust the city to properly treat your water. This is a legitimate reason, I think, and it would certainly provide you with some extra peace of mind. It’s just a matter of what your priorities are and whether or not you have the money available to make such an investment.
If you have a UV light system installed in your home or if you have used one before, please share your experience in the comments below.