The Water Blog Drinking Water Issues

UV Water Treatment to Kill Legionella

Posted on August 28, 2015

blogimage Legionella

Legionella bacteria is a disease-causing pathogen that is responsible for the vast majority of cases known as "Legionnaires Disease". This was until the mid 1970's a mystery illness and at that time was given it's name after attendees at a convention of the American Legion became ill with the disease and several died.

The Legionalla bacteria is traditionally associated with things like cooling towers, swimming pools, hot springs and even dental equipment. Infection in a person happens when the bacteria is inhaled (typically from tiny droplets of water or condensation) and this can lead to full-blown illness in some people.

The use of Ultra Violet (UV) light to kill Legionella is well documented, and the bacteria is relatively easy to kill with an adequate UV dose applied to the water in such systems. UV works to destroy the bacteria almost instantly while the water is exposed to germicidal wavelengths of UV light inside a sealed UV chamber. The process is completely chemical-free and there is never a risk of UV overdose.

UV disinfection may be applied to a wide variety of commercial and residential applications to ensure Legionella destruction. The HVAC industry in particular is showing renewed interest in UV disinfection systems for cooling tower applications and the same UV technology may be applied in smaller scale applications as mentioned. UV uses no chemicals but provides primary disinfection to one-pass type systems, and continues to provide repeated disinfection when used with recirculating type systems.

The amount of UV energy that needs to be applied to destroy Legionella in water is relatively small. All Wyckomar UV Disinfection Systems will provide a UV dose much larger than the minimum dose required (usually by several orders of magnitude) so that you may be certain that all disease-causing pathogens will be destroyed.

Wyckomar is a Canadian company manufacturing UV water treatment systems since 1978. Contact us for more information on UV Disinfection for HVAC applications and for applications involving drinking water which is our primary focus.


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