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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
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.
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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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?
AwwaRF Related Research:
(Select from the list below for a list of projects, final project reports,
project updates, and other supporting information.)
25 Final Reports
5 Project Updates
AwwaRF Staff Subject Matter Expert(s):