Is RO or UV Better to Eliminate Microbial Risks?

U.S drinking water supplies are some of the best in the world, and all municipal systems are required to follow the EPA standards. Unfortunately, a great deal of our infrastructure is aging, creating many potential points of contamination. Even our own faucets can be a source of Legionella and Pseudomonas. Consumers are also experiencing more boil water notices due to illness outbreaks related to drinking water contaminants. This means that it is crucial that we ensure our water is purified, but which option is best RO or UV? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

RO Basics

RO or Reverse Osmosis forces water under pressure through a semi-permeable membrane. This is a highly effective way to eliminate contaminants including 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. The RO membrane provides an excellent barrier that can even be used to remove pesticides, arsenic, cysts, and lead. Unfortunately, over time, the pore size of the membrane can grow, as contaminants are pressured against it continually.

UV Basics

UV or ultraviolet water treatment involves exposing water to a specific light frequency. This is perfectly safe for humans, but it alters the DNA of bacteria and viruses, preventing them from reproducing. UV water treatment doesn’t use chemicals and can eliminate 99.99% of bacteria, but it is ineffective at removing any dissolved impurities.

Choosing the Best System

Since both types of water treatment system have their specific advantages and disadvantages, it can be challenging to choose the best system. In order to determine the best system for your home, you need to identify the specific characteristics of your water. If you have water with traces of dissolved contaminants, UV may not provide adequate protection. Fortunately, there is no need to have to choose between one system and another. It is possible to have a system tailored to your specific requirements. This means that you can have an RO or UV filter included in your water treatment system. This type of tailored system can remove physical contaminants such as sediment before the water is passed through additional layers of treatment, providing maximum protection.

You can opt for a POU or point of use system in your kitchen, so all of the water you use for drinking and cooking is protected, or a POE or point of entry system to ensure that your entire water supply is free of contaminants. While POU systems are highly effective, if you have concerns about specific types of microbial risks where exposure through skin contact is possible, you’re likely to prefer a POE system. This will ensure that the water in your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room and any other area of your home is treated to eradicate microbial risks.

If you have concerns about bacteria, viruses and other contaminants in your water, you should speak to a water treatment specialist. An experienced and fully WQA certified technician can not only test your water supply to determine potential contaminant risks, but also guide you through the treatment options that meet the industry standards and will offer the best solution for your home.

By Mark Williams (NicMar President Mark Williams holds degrees in Applied Science and Industrial Thermodynamics, along with Agricultural Mechanization and Systems Engineering from Ohio State University.  He also holds the highest possible industry ranking, being WQA (Water Quality Association) LEVEL 6 Certified.)

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Nicmar Water
999 Baltimore Road York SpringsPA17372 USA 
 • 800-542-8649

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