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Pros and Cons of Ultraviolet Water Purification

You’ve probably seen UV light being used in some hospitals to disinfect surfaces from bacteria and viruses.

But did you know that the same principle can also be applied to water? That’s right, ultraviolet water purification is a real thing, and it’s highly effective.

However, there are certain things you should know beforehand. To get a better understanding, we’ll start by giving you a brief presentation on how it works. From there, we’ll go through a list of pros and cons, and then explain how to get all the benefits while avoiding its downsides. Let’s begin.

What Is Ultraviolet Water Purification?

Ultraviolet water purification relies on UV rays that penetrate the water to disable microorganisms’ capabilities at their DNA level.

UV water filters are installed at the plumbing system’s point of entry, right after the pre-filtration system. Ultraviolet water purification has gained a lot of popularity in recent years due to both its low maintenance and cost, and effectiveness as a water treatment solution.

Even if your local water treatment plant does a good job most of the time, it’s not immune to failures. There’s a reason why they issue boil water notices. Public water can get contaminated if there’s damage in the plant’s system, if an equipment failure occurs, and much, much more. This is why having your own disinfection method is necessary.

And this is exactly why ultraviolet water purification is sought after. It’s the fastest and most effective way to neutralize bacteria, fungus, viruses, parasites, and other pathogens that can contaminate water. People have avoided infections with E. Coli, Cryptosporidium, Legionella, and other nasty diseases thanks to ultraviolet water purification.

When Is Ultraviolet Water Purification Needed?

Due to the nature of private wells and water storage methods, we highly recommend using an ultraviolet water purifier.

Water that sits still for a high amount of time can start developing bacteria from the surface that it comes in contact with. Rust, dust, and other contaminants can also contaminate the water inside.

Even the most modern private wells, although usually better maintained than public systems, are still susceptible to bacteria and viruses. And, of course, if you get your water from a public source, we already mentioned the good ol’ boil water notices. Plus that other public filtration methods such as chlorination aren’t always 100% full-proof. So it’s better to be safe than sorry.

uv purified water

The Pros of Ultraviolet Water Purification

Now that you know how ultraviolet water purification works in a fair amount of detail, let’s go through some of the major benefits.

High Efficiency Against Microorganisms

While there are other types of filters that can block or reduce the number of pathogens, none stand a chance against UV water purification.

UV filters can remove up to 99.99% of all fungi, parasites, bacteria, viruses, and basically any other microorganism that you can think of. Because the UV rays target these microorganisms at the DNA level, they practically disable their ability to multiply and infect others.

Even microbiologists use UV purification to eliminate intruders in the microorganism samples that they want to study. As you can tell, UV rays are highly effective considering all these factors.


UV water purifiers don’t add any chemicals or waste any water whatsoever. They simply work by targeting microorganisms at a molecular level and that’s it. And if you’re worried about energy consumption, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out that they don’t consume any more than a neon lightbulb.

Extremely Low Maintenance

UV water filters are simple to maintain because you only need to change the UV bulb once per year.

Changing the bulb is completely hassle-free on the vast majority of models, and you’ll be able to do it in under five minutes with the help of the instruction manual.

You Can Use Other Filtration Methods in Tandem

Many people are rightfully worried that a filtration system they’re interested in won’t be compatible with their existing one.

If you’re interested in an ultraviolet purification system, know that it will be compatible with any existing filter. We actually recommend pairing a UV water filter with a filtration system for sediment, chemicals, and dissolved solids to enhance the UV purifier’s capability.

No Nasty Smell or Taste

Like we said earlier, ultraviolet water purification is completely natural. It adds no chemicals to the water supply. Unlike chlorination, it won’t alter the taste or smell.

If you want the same great-tasting water that you’ve had before, but without the risk of contracting any germs, UV water filters are the way to go.

The Best Protection Method Against a Boil Water Notice

Finally, probably the best part about having a UV filter, you won’t need to boil your water in case your local power plant issues a boil water notice.

Boiling water isn’t necessarily hard, but it’s a tedious process. At higher altitudes, above 6,500 feet, you need to keep the water at its boiling point for minimum three minutes for pathogens to be completely eradicated.

But if you have a UV water filter and running electricity, you won’t contract any microbes whatsoever. Regardless of water pressure, ultraviolet water filtration always works flawlessly.

testing pool water

The Cons of Ultraviolet Water Purification

That’s a pretty impressive number of benefits. Now let’s get on to the downsides of UV water filtering. It’s best to know these things beforehand before purchasing a UV water purification unit.

You Need a Pre-Filtering System

Ultraviolet water filtration only eliminates living microorganisms. Don’t expect it to eliminate sediment, chemicals, metals, or any other inorganic pollutant.

As such, a pre-filter is a necessity. Research what common pollutants can be found in your area to determine what types of filters you need. Doing so is important not only to avoid said pollutants, but because they also block the UV rays. As such, the ultraviolet water filtration system won’t be able to kill microorganisms.

Incompatible With Hard Water

The same principle applies if you live in an area with hard water. Most Americans do, so your chances of not needing a water descaler are quite low.

We don’t recommend using a water softener because it puts sodium in your water supply. As such, you’ll get soft water, but you won’t be able to drink it without risk of increased blood pressure and other problems.

Doesn’t Work Without Electricity

If the power goes out, then there’s no way the UV water filter can work unless you have a backup generator.

In such cases, you’ll need to rely on boiling the water on a stove the classic way. As you can tell, it’s not a great option for this type of emergency situations.

Other Considerations About Ultraviolet Water Purification

Now that you know all the pros and cons about this subject, it’s high time to choose a model that can benefit you the most.

Here at Yarna, we have two UV water filters, one for 13 GPM, and one for 18 GPM. What makes our models special is the SpiralLight technology that allows water to be exposed to the UV-C rays for far longer.

This way, you can rest 100% assured that any and all microorganisms will be eliminated. No more worrying about getting infected with E. Coli, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and other nasty pathogens.

But wait, there’s more. We also offer you a complete one-year money-back guarantee. This applies both for our UV filter and our water descaler lineup. If, for whatever reason, you’re not satisfied with the results in one year from the date of purchase, we will refund every single penny.

Still not convinced? You should also know that we offer a 10-year warranty for all our products when you register them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is installing the UV filter difficult?

Not at all. With the help of the included guide, you’ll be able to figure it out and do it on your own in about 15 minutes.

Which UV light is used in water purifier?

Our model uses UV-C rays, which are similar to the ones emitted by the sun during peak hours at the beach.

In case you were wondering why so few people catch a cold during summer, this is the reason. The UV-C rays are the most efficient when it comes to eliminating any and all microorganisms. And with a UV water filter, those rays get up close and personal to the water, eliminating every pathogen effectively.

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Is UV water safe to drink?

Absolutely! Since no chemicals are added and the water’s structure isn’t altered in any way, shape, or form, it maintains its hydrating properties.

The Bottom Line

If you’re worried about bacteria and viruses in your water supply, ultraviolet water purification is by far the best way to go.

There are no chemicals or alterations to worry about, so you can safely drink the resulting water without thinking twice. As long as you pair the filter with a good water descaler and a reliable pre-filtration system, it’s unlikely you’ll encounter any problems. Just don’t forget to change the light bulb once per year and you’re good to go.

17 Best Backpacking Water Filters + Purifiers

Drinking water is one of the most important items to carry with you on your hikes and backpacking trips. It is one of the ten essentials. I always carry more water than I know I need. And often I run out before I return to the trailhead. And of course, on a backpacking trip at some point you will definitely need to tap into a local source of water to keep you going. Some hikers choose to do this on long day hikes to in order to cut down backpack weight. Trail runners definitely prefer to carry a water filter and some type of bottle or reservoir.

More critical than water itself is a supply of clean drinking water. If you are traveling into the backcountry for an extended trip you must bring a water filter, a water purifier, a chemical water treatment, or all of the above depending on where you are travelling.

For sure, some water sources, in some locations is drinkable. In Canada, I have done many long canoe trips without using any filtration devices. In the 1990s filtration devices and purifiers simply were not commonplace. However, why take a chance on getting sick nowadays since the technology exists and is super affordable? If you drink water before filtering or purifying it there is a good chance you could suffer from diseases such as giardiasis or cryptosporidiosis that are caused by parasites. Viruses are found in water sources outside of Canada and the USA. Acquiring these diseases is not fun. I have seen (thankfully not felt) the results first hand. The impact of giardia can sideline you for days.

To stay healthy and hydrated you need to filter your water before you drink it. In this guide we cover all the newest and best backpacking water filters and water purifiers. Another method to clean water is to use a form of chlorine dioxide water treatment. You can also boil water but this isn’t always practical and takes much longer to get it to a drinking temperature.

Best backpacking water filters and water purifiers

How to choose a backpacking water filter or purifier

There are so many products that will filter or purify water in very different ways.

Some are small and lightweight making them better for use on long day hikes in the event that you run out of water.

Others are designed to be used on backpacking trips where you need to filter or purify water in bulk on a daily basis to keep hydrated.

Another accessory that may be required is a water pre-filter. A pre-filter allows you to remove large particles (glacial sediment, silty water, leaf and other debris) from your water before treating it with other products.

If you want to get right to the best water filters and best water purifiers for hiking and backpacking scroll down!

Water filters vs. water purifiers

When you start to get familiar with the product offering you will notice there are two main groups. Water filters and water purifiers. They sound very similar but do protect your health differently.

So, what’s the difference?

Water filters protect you against protozoa (Giardia, Cryptosporidium) and bacteria (such as E. Coli and Salmonella). Water purifiers go further and also protect you against viruses (Hepatitis A and the Norovirus).

If you are hiking or backpacking exclusively in Canada and the United States you should be okay with using a water filter. If you are venturing out internationally, it is recommended to use a water purifier.

Straw water filters

Straw filters are inexpensive, fast and easy to use, small, and lightweight. They work well in locations where there are frequent water sources. Some people prefer to not carry any water, and use this product when necessary.

However, straw water filters are awkward (you must get right down and face the water), and do not allow you to filter and store water in bulk quantities.

For most hikers, straw water filters are best used in for emergency use in the event that you run out of water.

Bottle water filters and purifiers

As the name implies, bottle water filters combine a water bottle and a built in filter that is part of a screw on lid. Bottle purifiers have built in purification devices that are either a press system or a UV light.

Simply fill up the bottle, attach the lid, and drink. Some bottle water filters require suction while using a bite valve. Others are a soft bottle that you can squeeze. They typically hold up to one liter of water.

The advantages to bottle water filters and purifiers are that they are versatile, convenient, packable, lightweight. and relatively inexpensive. Drink on the go, or fill up a regular water bottle for extra water. Great for personal use on long day hikes. Super easy.

Cons: Not suitable for large groups, or cooking on overnights and extended trips.

Squeeze water filters

Squeeze water filters are very similar to bottle filters but are lighter, smaller, and less durable. They are quick and easy to use. The filtration cartridges are replaceable. Squeeze water filters are also a relatively less expensive option.

Gravity water filters and purifiers

Gravity water filters and purifiers are great for backpacking trips. They allow you to filter or purify up to 10 liters of water. Essentially, they are a storage systems much like hydration reservoirs with a filter.

Simply fill up the reservoir, hang it up, and use gravity to filter the water downwards into another receptacle. Now you have enough water for cooking or drinking.

The main benefit of gravity filters is that they provide a bulk supply to satisfy an entire group.

The cons are that sometimes it is difficult to find a hanging spot, or fill the reservoir up in shallow water. This could make it take longer to filter your water.

Pump water filters and purifiers

Pump water filters combine a basic pump, a filtration or purification mechanism, and a collection container.

The internal filter cartridge or purification element is replaceable. Simply pump the amount you require.

A benefit to this type of water filter device is that you can pump water from shallow water sources.

The main disadvantages is that the device is bulky and heavier, requires cleaning, and pumping becomes more difficult as the filtration/purification element lifespan increases. But, if you are carry extra filters and elements, and don’t mind extra weight, no big deal.

Ultraviolet (UV) water purifiers

UV water purifiers are super easy to use. Simply press a button and stir your water. Ease of use is the most obvious benefit in addition to purifying water rapidly. No cleaning of elements is required. They work like magic.

However, they are more expensive, they do require batteries, may demand a pre-filter of your water, and require multiple treatments for bulk quantities.

Chemical water purification

The final option on this list of products is not a device but rather a chemical treatment. They are effective against protozoa, bacteria and viruses. They are iodine, or chorine based treatments.

The main advantages are that they are easy to use, inexpensive, and ultra light and small in size.

However, you have to wait 30 minutes to 4 hours for the treatments to work and become effective. Other drawbacks are that iodine products produce a chemical taste, aren’t effective against Cryptosporidium, are a concern to pregnant women or those with thyroid conditions.

Boiling water

If you are traveling with a pot and stove you can clean your water by boiling it. Bring the water to a rolling boil and maintain for 1 minute. If you are above 6500 feet boil it longer, about 3 minutes.

The pros of boiling water (sufficiently) is that you will kill off anything in it that can make you sick. And if you are already carrying the equipment, you are cutting down your total weight.

The only real downsides are that you have to wait for the water to cool off and use a little extra fuel than you might if you did not use this method.

Our Top Picks

Okay, now that we understand the pros and cons of the different types of water treatment devices, let’s take a look at the newest and best products. These are organized roughly from smallest size, weight, and capacity to the largest.

1. Sawyer Mini Water Filter

This is a very small (1x 5 inches) and lightweight (2 ounces) water filter that is super versatile in that it functions in a number of ways. It has a hollow-fiber membrane that provides a high flow rate. It is rated to filter up to a mind blowing 100,000 gallons! The 0.1 micron filter removes 99.99999% of all bacteria (salmonella, cholera and E.coli) and removes 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. All of this crowns the Sawyer Mini the best water filter straw you can buy.

Get down close to the water source and use it like a straw. Slurp! Or, attach it to the included reusable 16 fl. oz. pouch. It also attaches to the size of water bottles you find at stores. You can also use it as an inline filter if you purchase the required adaptors and hoses.

Flow rate is maintained by using the included syringe to back-flush the filter. All in all an amazing little device.

2. LifeStraw Water Filter

Another small (1.2×8.8 inches), super lightweight (also 2 ounces) option that uses a hollow-fiber membrane and high flow rate. It has a 0.2 micron filter that removes 99.9999% of all previously mentioned bacteria and 99.9% of all protozoa. You can use this product to filter up to 264 gallons or 1000 liters!

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Both the Sawyer Mini and the LifeStraw are great to have in case of emergency or for trail runners and power hikers that don’t wish to carry water bottles or other devices. Of course, you must know where and how often you can access a water source, so plan ahead!

3. Platypus QuickDraw Microfilter System

Okay, now we are moving on from straws to bottles.

This is a brand new and very popular water filtration system for this year. I own the Platypus QuickDraw and keep it in my backpack at all times so that I can filter mountain water and keep hydrated all day long.

The whole system weighs just 3.3 ounces (95 grams). You get a Platypus QuickDraw water filter, and a collapsable 1-liter water bottle. This system filters the water very quickly (fastest) providing you three liters of water per minute. The Platypus QuickDraw filter removes 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa.

The QuickDraw water reservoir is taste-free, durable, has a wide mouth, and has a handle that makes it a breeze to fill up at any type of water source. The filter itself has a rugged design with protective flip caps on either end. The caps create a secure seal when closed. Each filter has a lifespan of approximately 1,000 liters. The filter is small and compact (2×5 inches) in dimensions. This water filter adapts to fit smartwater bottles, and other sizes of Platypus bottles and water reservoirs.

To clean the hollow fiber filter, simply shake-to-clean. To maintain fast flow rates you can perform a tool-free back-flush.

4. Katadyn BeFree Collapsible Water Filter Bottle

The Katadyn BeFree is another awesome lightweight (2.3 ounces) water filtration device in the form of a soft collapsible 20 fl. oz. bottle that is relatively small (9.1 x 2.8 x 2.8 inches) in dimensions.

It can filter 2 liters per minute and holds a total of 0.6 liters to drink on the go. It is super easy to use. Just tilt back and lightly squeeze the bottle.

This water filter bottle can filter a total of 264 gallons or 1000 liters. The BeFree bottle has a 0.1 micron microfilter to remove protozoa (99.99%) and bacteria (99.9999%) to EPA standards. This product has a 43mm wide mouth opening that provides plenty of space to fill it up.

If you want to go bigger for a long day hike or backpacking trip, you can get a 3-liter bag!

Don’t forget to replace your filters from time to time. It is a good idea to check your filtration system each Spring to make sure it is in good working order.

5. Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter System

Another relatively compact water filter system. The Sawyer Squeeze includes two (11×6 inch) durable Mylar foil water pouches and weighs in at 3 ounces. Another hollow-fiber membrane filter removes 99.99999% of all bacteria and 99.9999% of all protozoa. This product can filter 1.7 liters per minute. It has a built-in push/pull cap for easy dispensing. The Sawyer Squeeze really packs in value. It includes inline Adapters so you can hook up to a hydration pack, and gravity tubing so you can hook up the Squeeze Filter as a gravity filter. Also includes a syringe to back-flush the filter in order to maintain a consistently high flow rate. Super versatile and a great price.

6. LifeStraw Go Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Filtration

We covered all the best squeeze-style water filter bottles, and now we are going to take at the best water filter bottles for hiking and backpacking. The first is the LifeStraw Go Filter bottle. It holds 34 fl. oz., weighs 8.6 ounces, and is 9.5 by 3.5 inches in size. The 0.2 micron hollow fiber membrane removes 99.999% of all bacteria and 99.9% of all parasites, and 99.99% of micro-plastics and turbidity, including silt, sand, and cloudiness. The filter will clean up to 1000 gallons or 4000 liters before you need to replace it. This bottle is made of BPA-free ABS plastic.

7. LifeStraw Go Stainless-Steel Vacuum Bottle

Want to keep your water nice and cold in a more durable container? Then the LifeStraw Go Stainless-Steel Vacuum bottle is the one to get. The double-wall vacuum insulation will keep your water cool for up to 24 hours. This bottle weighs 17 ounces is 9.4 by 3.3 inches in size, and holds 24 fl. oz. of water. The filtration and lifespan specifications are the same as the last water filter bottle on this list.

8. LifeStraw Universal Bottle Adapter

Do you have a favorite water bottle for hiking? You may be able to turn it into a water filter device with this LifeStraw universal adapter. This package includes 2 cap sizes (standard and wide), plus 2 mouthpieces (standard and sport) so you can make them work with a variety of water bottles. The filtration and lifespan specifications are the same as the previous two bottles.

9. Grayl Ultralight Compact Purifier Bottle

If you plan on traveling for hiking and backpacking adventures then consider this product. The Grayl Ultralight Purifier bottle weighs in at 10.9 ounces, is 9.5 by 2.7 inches in dimensions. It works like a press and it filters and purifies 16 fl. oz. per 15 seconds and operates at 2 pump strokes per liter. The cartridge lasts for approximately 40 gallons or 150 liters. This bottle removes 99.99% of viruses (such as Hepatitis A, SARS, Rotavirus) and 99.9999 of bacteria (E. coli, Salmonella). In addition, it removes and 99.9% of protozoan cysts. Now you can clean your water wherever you go. Totally awesome.

10. Grayl Geopress Water Purifier Bottle

Want a relatively compact water purifier bottle that is a touch more robust for your travels? This is the one. The Geopress water purifier bottle weighs 15.9 ounces, 10.4 by 3.4 inches in dimensions, and purifies 24 fl. oz. per 8 sec at 1.4 pump strokes per liter. Cartridge lasts for 65 gallons or 250 liters. Purifying specifications are identical to the Grayl Ultralight.

11. Katadyn Hiker Pro Clear Microfilter

Moving on to pump-style filters. The Katadyn Hiker Pro weighs 11 ounces, is 6.5 x 3 x 2.4 inches in size, and will filter 1 liter of water with 48 pump strokes per minute. It is a versatile water filter that has quick-connect fittings for easy installation and removal of the input and output hoses that connect directly to hydration reservoirs with 0.25 in. drink tubes. This device has a pre-filter that will remove large contaminants and debris before the water flows through the main 0.2 micron water filter that captures 99.9999% of all previously mentioned bacteria and 99.9% of all protozoa.

12. MSR MiniWorks EX Water Filter

The MSR MiniWorks EX is the water filter of all water filters that will perform in the most demanding of situations. This product is built for heavier duty and more frequent use compared to some of the lighter-weight products listed above. Not to say the others are not good filters, just that the MSR MiniWorks is really designed for more usage than most hikers are going to deploy. This filter can pump out 1 liter per minute and the flow rate is easily renewed in the field without the use of any tools. The MiniWorks water filter meets NSF protocol P231 and removes 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.9% protozoa (99.9%) and in “worst-case” water. It weighs 14.6 ounces and is 7.5 x 5.5 x 2.5 inches in dimensions. The cartridge will last for up to 2000 liters.

If you would like the added protection against viruses go for the MSR MiniWorks EX Water Purifier.

13. MSR Guardian Purifier

We just mentioned the MSR MiniWorks EX water purifier, but if you want to step things up a notch to face off against the worst backcountry water imaginable, then check out the MSR Guardian. This purifier was originally designed for military use. So you can imagine how and where it can work. The device pumps 2.5 liters per minute, the filter lasts to 10,000 plus liters, it is very durable (stands up to 6-foot drops), can withstand freezing, and is self-cleaning. What an excellent product. It weighs 17.3 ounces and is 8.25 x 4.5 x 3 inches in dimensions.

14. Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter System 4L

Okay, moving on to gravity water filters. These are great devices for your campsite when backpacking, canoe tripping, or car camping for that matter. All you have to do is fill up one bag labeled dirty water, hang it up, and let gravity pull the water into the clean bag. Super easy. Gravity water filters work fast.

The Platypus GravityWorks water filter cleans water at 1.75 liters per minute or all 4 liters in just 2.5 minutes. And there is virtually no work to be done. Bonus. The microfilter will clean up to 1500 liters of water. There is a shutoff hose clamp on the clean water hose that provides on-demand water control to fill up your water bottles, hydration reservoirs, or cooking pots. Cleaning out the system is a snap. Just raise the clean bag above the dirty bag and gravity will back-flush the filter. This product weighs 11.5 ounces, and dimensions are 2 by 8.5 inches for the filter and 17.7 by 9.1 inches for the reservoir. It removes 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa.

As previously mentioned, the main drawback is that in some areas it may be difficult to find a spot to hang the system up.

15. MSR Trail Base Water Filter Kit

This is another option if you are interested in getting a gravity water filter.

The MSR Trail Base is a versatile modular system that can be used as a gravity filtration device or dismantled and used as a pocket-sized water filter on the trails. This kit consists of a dirty water bag and a clean water bag, tubes, and 3-in-1 caps for easy filling, drinking, and pouring. Available in both 2 liter (1 pound) or 4 liter bags (1.2 pounds).

The Trail Base kit is effective against bacteria (99.9999%), protozoa (99.9%), and particulate. You can filter your water at one liter per minute.

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16. RapidPure Trail Blazer Gravity Purifier

The name says it all. The RapidPure Trail Blazer gravity purifier will purify 4.1 liters per minute. The filter will purify 470 liters of water. The Trail Blazer purifier removes up to 99.9999% of pathogens, including bacteria, protozoa, cysts, chemicals, and viruses. The total weight is 18.6 ounces and the dimensions are 13.75 by 13 by 3.25 inches.

17. Katadyn Steripen Ultra UV Water Purifier

UV water purifiers are totally different from every other product we have looked at. The Katadyn Steripen Ultra UV water purifier seems like a magical wand. It operates using an internal rechargeable battery so you should invest in a solar panel charger. Ultraviolet (UV-C) light rays destroy 99.99% of protozoa, bacteria, and viruses. Water must be clear in order for this product to be effective. One click will clean 0.5 liters in 48 seconds, two clicks will clean 1 liter of water in 90 seconds. The lamp life is 8000 activations. The purifier is 7.3 by 1.6 by 1.3 inches in dimensions

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Do *NOT* Buy A UV Water Filter Until You Read This

Getting a UV water filter means that you have a filter that uses ultraviolet light to treat and purify your water.

You can get a UV water filter in a stand alone version or add it on to your whole house softener so that it can help improve the taste and remove any bad smells.

auqsana UV sterlight

All home UV filters should be equipped with a pre-filter system.

This is because a UV filter is not so good at dealing with large bits of dirt, sand, debris or particles.

So using a pre-filter to remove any larger pieces of dirt will make the UV filter work more efficiently.

It is also important to note that UV water filters do not eliminate chemical contaminants.

This also includes things like VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), heavy metals or suspended solids. They can, however, disinfect relatively clean water and destroy harmful microorganisms.

For a more complete filtration I recommend adding UV water filters to an existing whole house filter or softener.

This article will review some of the best stand alone UV filters as well as those available as a whole house filter upgrade.

UV Treatment Private Water Supply

Some UV filters for the entire house can be supplied with filter cartridges that can also attack other contaminants. For example, the SW UV Water Purification System water filter system is supplied with a filter block for carbon blocks.

This reduces the bad taste and odor, chlorine, salt. But also other substances like, cysts, cryptosporidium and giardia from your water.

Some of the contaminants eliminated by UB filters include:

  • Microorganisms (e.g. Cryptosporidium, Giardia, E-coli, Pseudomonas, etc).
  • Chemical disinfectants and their derivatives. For example, hormones, VOC’s volatile organic chemicals, organic, herbicides, toxins and pesticides.
  • Heavy metals.
  • Sediments.
  • Fluoride.
  • Hydrogen sulfide.
  • Bad taste, bad odors etc.

These types of UV filters are best as an add on to whole house water filter. They are also the most expensive.

Ultraviolet Water Treatment Systems Home Use

HQUA-TWS 12 Ultraviolet Water Purifier Sterilizer Filter for Whole House Water Purification

More and more people are deciding to invest in their own water treatment systems to address the growing potential risk of water pollution in private and community water sources.

It is believed that giardia, cryptosporidium and e. coli are the major microbial problem that often occurs in private water sources that cause disease in humans.

Most people are familiar with e.coli because it is often discussed in the media as a contaminant in food, but it is also a water polluter.

The UV water purification system is considered an effective device for these problems. Not only does it provide a better taste, it also provides additional health insurance for your family.

The ultraviolet (UV) treatment process is an extremely fast physical process. Ultraviolet light mutates and / or degrades DNA. When DNA is damaged, the organism can not function because its “instructions” are distorted or missing.

An organism without instructions can not work or multiply and can not cause infection. It is harmless and eventually dies.

In UV disinfection, the water is purified while passing through a stainless steel chamber (also called a “reactor”) containing a special UV lamp. When the water passes through the lamp, the microbes in the water receives a lethal UV dose.

HQUA-TWS 12 Ultraviolet Water Purifier Features

The HQUA UV water filter is a water treatment device that needs to be assembled but easy to set up.

Each part has its own function:

  • 12 GPM 55 watts 21 inches long and 3.5 inches in diameter. MNPT inlet / outlet: 3/4 “inch DN20.
  • This is the latest design that is a smaller size. The result is an easier to install UV filter that you can integrate into your existing pipe system.
  • There is no secondary pollution. No chemical connection to the water supply.
  • 9000 hours life of the UV lamp.
  • Efficient sterilization: disinfection of 99.99% of bacteria and viruses.
  • Comes with a professional manual. Installation, maintenance and troubleshooting are easy to perform.

HQUA-TWS UV water filter replacement bulbs are FREE – contact customer services.

Dashed Line

UV Water Treatment System

Aquasana 10-Year 1,000,000 Gallon with UV Filter

The Aquasna 10-year is a durable, powerful water filter for healthy, tasty water throughout your home, up to 1 million gallons or 10 years.

Aquasana Whole House Features List

Sterilight UV Filter provides comprehensive protection for your home to protect against bacteria and viruses.

It is ideal for you if you are worried about bacteria and chlorine-resistant cysts.

A UV filter upgrade to your whole house water filter is one of the best ways to protect yourself from bacteria and viruses that may be present in your water.

The powerful UV filter kills 99.99% of viruses, bacteria like e.coli and cysts. It also kills things that are resistant to chlorine, such as cryptosporidium and giardia.

There are some extra features that you should know about:

  • It comes with a pre-filter. This removes sediments, captures rust and salt.
  • Provides you with water that is effectively “smooth” without the need to use salt. It does this by preventing “hard” minerals from sticking to your pipes and plumbing.
  • Reduces chlorine, water-soluble heavy metals and inhibits the growth of bacteria and algae in your water.
  • Uses an extra layer of filtration via an activated carbon filter. This reduces herbicides, pesticides and other chemical compounds from your water.
  • There is also an extra sub-micron post-filter. This will remove any leftover sediment or remaining organic particles by up to 0.35 μm.

The UV filter is an extra layer that will remove any thing that is left over from the extensive multi-stage filtration process. This will mainly be things like any left over bacteria and viruses that may be present in the water.

Aquasana Sterilight UV water filter replacement bulb here.

Get an extra 50% OFF Aquasana Filters with coupon code AQGEEK50.

aquansana apply promocode

UV Water Filter Price?

A stand alone basic UV filter can cost upwards of $250. This does not includes professional installation and you may have to up a pre-filter to deal with large particles.

A UV add on / upgrade to an existing whole house filters can cost between $2500 – $3500 (for the whole filter package). High performance water filters and those that can deal with larger capacities can cost double or even triple that amount.

This is especially the case if they combine filters with carbon filters, ceramic filters or activated carbon granulate filters. And they process the water in a multi-stage fashion like Aquasana 10-year Rhino or OptimH20.

The bottom line is they are worth it because the process of these filters reduce an impressive number of contaminants.

Common UV Filter Problems

Here is a list of some of the common mistakes that people make when using UV filters. Understanding these problems will mean that you avoid them and that you can use your UV filters worry free.

People always get tempted to buy the cheapest UV filters they can find. There are many cheap plastic / low quality material ultraviolet water systems that are usually Asian import models available online.

auqsana UV sterlight

Don’t be seduced by the low prices as they are very unreliable and sometimes extremely dangerous.

If you can not afford to get a quality UV filter then choose a cheaper water filter method like reverse osmosis or simply buy a water filter jug.

Buying a stand-a-lone UV filter is not always a good idea unless you are only worried about low-medium amounts of bacteria.

The best UV filters are part of a multi-stage water filter like the upgrade options for the Aquasana Rhino and OptimH20.

A UV filter on its own is unlikely to take care of all your water needs e.g. hard water issues, lead contamination or debris like sand and dirt.

If you’re going to spend that type of money then you should really get something that will take care of everything like the OptimH2O.

The Best Domestic UV Water Filter?

Mr Water Geek Thinking

Ultraviolet (UV) water treatment systems are primarily for the treatment of private water supplies.

Supplies such as local water companies, water tanks, wells, or water sources that are susceptible to bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms.

UV systems are also strongly recommended if you have problems with things like legionella.

Aquasana Whole House Features List

Especially as this is resistant to chlorine treatment from your water company.

UV water treatment systems may be the best way to kill bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms in water.

As this type of water purifier does not use chemicals or produce byproducts: they are safe, reliable and extremely economical.

The best stand-a-lone domestic UV water filter is from here.

However, if you’re getting a whole house water filter then you should get one from Aquasana and then OptimH20.




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