Assessment of a low-cost, point-of-use, ultraviolet water disinfection technology

TitleAssessment of a low-cost, point-of-use, ultraviolet water disinfection technology
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsBrownell SA, Chakrabarti AR, Kaser FM, Reygadas F, Lang MJ, Connelly LG, Peletz RL, Kammen DM, Nelson KL
JournalJournal of Water and Health
Date Published11/2007
Keywordsdrinking water treatment, low-cost, point-of-use, ultraviolet disinfection

We describe a point-of-use (POU) ultraviolet (UV) disinfection technology, the UV Tube, which can be made with locally available resources around the world for under $50 US. Laboratory and field studies were conducted to characterize the UV Tube's performance when treating a flowrate of 5 L/min. Based on biological assays with MS2 coliphage, the UV Tube delivered an average fluence of 900±80 J/m2 (95% CI) in water with an absorption coefficient of 0.01 cm-1. The residence time distribution in the UV Tube was characterized as plug flow with dispersion (Peclet Number = 19.7) and a mean hydraulic residence time of 36 s. Undesirable compounds were leached or produced from UV Tubes constructed with unlined ABS, PVC, or a galvanized steel liner. Lining the PVC pipe with stainless steel, however, prevented production of regulated halogenated organics. A small field study in two rural communities in Baja California Sur demonstrated that the UV Tube reduced E. coli concentrations to less than 1/100 ml in 65 out of 70 samples. Based on these results, we conclude that the UV Tube is a promising technology for treating household drinking water at the point of use.

Short TitleJournal of Water and Health
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