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Ultraviolet Disinfection and Treatment
Ultraviolet radiation, in cost-effective doses, effectively inactivates common pathogens such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia and most bacterial pathogens. UV radiation, at drinking water treatment doses, does not create significant levels of disinfection by-products (DBPs). These factors make UV treatment an attractive option for utilities seeking to control pathogens in both ground and surface waters.

AwwaRF-funded research originally discovered UV's efficacy in inactivating Cryptosporidium. An explosion of research ensued into UV's practical application in drinking water treatment. Research has established that the ease of operating UV systems, their small footprint, and reasonable costs make the technology a competitive option for inactivating pathogens.

Recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) rules for the inactivation of Cryptosporidium provide guidance on UV treatment, clearing the way for broader use of this technology. AwwaRF-funded research has made a significant contribution to the USEPA's guidance on UV dosage levels, design, and monitoring requirements in forthcoming regulations and guidance documents. UV treatment has been incorporated into the Long-Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2ESWTR), Groundwater Rule, and Stage 2 Disinfectant/Disinfectant By-Product Rule (D/DBPR).

Having established UV treatment's efficacy in the inactivation of water-borne pathogens, influenced USEPA to include this technology as an acceptable treatment option, and explored design and retrofit issues, AwwaRF research currently is focused on implementation challenges.

AwwaRF Mission: Provide research to help utilities design and operate ultraviolet (UV) disinfection systems and explore other uses for the technology, including oxidation of active compounds and other undesirable substances in drinking water.

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Key Findings:

Q: How effective is UV for inactivation of various pathogens?


Q: Have practical UV dosage levels been determined?


Q: How effective is UV for oxidizing chemical contaminants?


Q: What is the direction and nature of ongoing AwwaRF studies on UV?


Q: What work has been done on implementation issues?


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