Low Pressure UV Sterilizer
The absorbed UV light damages the genetic material of microorganisms. This results in sterilisation. This effect is achieved by continuously emitting UV radiation with a specific wavelength.
In most pond/aquarium situations (assuming good pre filtration & healthy bio filter) level one sterilization is all that is needed. Ensure that the flow rate to your UV is as per manufacturers flow rates for proper operation.
UV light is a very effective sterilizing and disinfection method, but it requires the proper equipment to be used correctly. This ensures the proper level of UV irradiation and exposure that is required for the desired results. There are several different types of UV sterilization systems available on the market, but low pressure arc tubes have proven to be the most effective for food processing and water treatment applications.
Low Pressure UV Sterilizers use a series of specialized mercury vapor lamps that emit a continuous radiation within the UV spectrum. These rays can cause damage to materials that are not transparent, such as plastics and rubber. They also require a warm up and cool down period that increases energy consumption and the risk of contamination.
Another option is the medium-pressure (MP) system, which operates at higher pressures and temperatures. This type of UV lamp has a polychromatic radiation that can inactivate microorganisms by damaging their DNA. MP systems also have a longer useful arc tube life than PXL lamps, but the initial cost is much higher.
Another disadvantage of the medium-pressure system is that it must be manually cleaned daily. This is because the quartz sleeve can crystallize Low Pressure UV Sterilizer over time, which reduces the penetration of UV rays. To avoid this problem, Agua Topone UVGI systems are equipped with automatic cleaning devices that can automatically clean the sleeve according to the reading of the ultraviolet intensity detector.
The short wavelengths of UVC light can penetrate water and destroy microorganisms. They are able to break their chemical bonds and kill them with no need for any chemicals, making UV sterilization an environmentally friendly option. However, it’s important to remember that UV only works in its light path and can be blocked by objects or other contaminates. This is why it’s crucial to follow manufacturers’ instructions on line-of-sight distance, exposure time and safety precautions for your specific device.
Moreover, the polychromatic output of medium pressure UV systems allows them to inactivate organisms through protein degradation and enzymatic breakdown, in addition to DNA destruction. This allows them to achieve more comprehensive disinfection than low pressure UV technologies, which are limited to destroying DNA and protein structures only.
When evaluating UV technology for your application, it’s important to work with an expert in sanitary processing to ensure that the right technology is selected. The type of process flow, water quality and desired level of disinfection performance will play an essential role in determining which technology is best for your operation.
It’s also important to note that many of the low-cost Category C UV Sterilizers on the market today (including Hang On Back, HOB and In Tank UV) can only do algae control and very basic bacterial bloom control. They are unable to achieve the high dwell times and Level 1 Sterilization required for disease control and aiding Redox Balance.
In fact, UV is a very reliable disinfection technology that has been used for decades in sterilization applications such as medical sanitation, sterile work and food processing. Dairies use it to sterilize surfaces of packaging materials for acid-fresh milk products to improve their shelf life and reduce returns of spoiled goods, which saves time, effort and money in disposal. The short wavelength of the UVC radiation is able to break chemical bonds, rearranging electron configurations and thereby killing microorganisms.
UVGI is often employed in microbiology laboratories to disinfect pipettors, glassware and other equipment between use. This is due to the fact that UV is able to kill bacteria and other pathogens quickly. It is also able to penetrate plastics and rubber, causing them to degrade. In addition, it is able to vaporize water forming ozone, which can further disinfect surfaces.
Flow rate plays a huge role in the effectiveness of a UV Sterilizer. The simplest way to ensure the highest level of effectiveness is to use a UV system that has been designed and tested to a specific flow rate that is appropriate for a particular application. This is why systems like the TMC UV line are so popular. They are backed by years of bio-assay testing, computer aided flow dynamics testing and millions spent on lamp and ballast/power supply development to achieve the best possible output per watt.
A specialized “High Dwell Time” Straight Tube UV Sterilizer is the best option for preventing bacterial diseases, single cell parasites (like Ich) & algae blooms in Aquariums/Ponds. It is also more effective than “standard” low pressure UV Sterilizers at destroying Red Tide dinoflagellates (which are becoming a serious problem in home/office marine reefs).
Low end compact & “in tank” submersible UVs at best can only control Low Pressure UV Sterilizer algae & very limited bacterial growth. These UVs are often misnamed as a UV Sterilizer and CANNOT perform the level one sterilization necessary for disease prevention & aiding Redox Balance (via proven lowering of oxidative stress).
To achieve proper levels of sterilization you need a minimum of 20-25 gph per watt of the lowest power available for your specific UV, a water turnover rate of 1 1/2 times an hour or more & a pre-filtration system that removes color, turbidity & particles that may shield microorganisms from the UV rays (this is very important).
Higher turn rates compared to slower flow rates in the UV allow pathogens a better chance of being exposed to the UVC light & being damaged or destroyed before they pass back through the same section of the aquarium/pond. This also allows a higher dwell time of the UVC Light which increases the killing efficiency of this type of sterilization.