UV disinfection isnt working

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by cilcil, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. cilcil

    cilcil New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    California
    Thanks Gary for the detailed shocking method. And Smooky thats super helpful sources, thanks.

    Is it real important to drain the water heater of all chlorinated water? It's a lot of water, and people dont drink it, so whats the harm of letting it be used up naturally?
    We do have septic, so thats one drawback. But apart from that?
  2. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,142
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    You should put something in your Septic tank to get the bacteria going again, with all of the chlorine that you have been using.

    The chlorine will eat at the elements and other parts in the water heater and other appliances.

    Your TDS readings may get thrown by the chlorine also.

    Why not just install a RO unit in your kitchen, or do you have one ?

    With the flow restriction you will have to deal with Low Flow issue, another UV system may have been a better choice.

    People get paranoid over a little bacteria, no wonder people get sick so easily.


    Good Luck
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013
  3. cilcil

    cilcil New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    California
    Thanks for thoughts!
    Bought some septic enzyme booster bottle. I drank it all, but dont feel any less paranoid.
    RO, removes .5 micron, but don't you still need UV for coliform/e coli? Most internet pages seem to say this.
    Low flow yes, but $50 restrictor seems easier than a $500 UV firstly. Plan B is a giant UV system big enough to double as a hot water heater.
    newborn on the way, I dont mind toughening em up the old-fashioned way, but others in the house aren't so keen on this approach.
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,987
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    That's like the guy that was prescribed suppositories for his 'roids. He told the doctor, "For all the good it did me, I may as well have just shoved them up my ass".
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,142
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    The good RO systems have UV also.

    The enzyme booster should work after you take a shit and flush the toilet. You may be farting a lot until then.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I found those that didn't have an internal flow control to be a bit less quality and usually the class B lights. In my other post I led people to believe that the strength is either 16 or 32,000 and I should have added most class As go to 40,000.

    cilcil... I don't suggest draining a hot water tank, there wouldn't be enough chlorine in it to justify that.

    To disinfect a water heater all you have to do is raise the temp to 140f for 30 minutes to an hour, and prevent anyone from being burned. That kills all types of bacteria.

    Unless the glass lining of a water heater is broken, chlorine can not harm a water heater.

    E-coli bacteria is a serious health risk and it can not be detected by smell, taste or seen. It can make people very ill in a short period of time.

    Internal fllow controls are usually made by Dole and in the form of a washer called a button, with an engineered flow directional hole to meet the specific max gpm. They use the same buttons in their external flow controls.

    All water softener and backwashed or regenerated control valves use the same type internal flow control buttons. They, Dole, usually are very accurate because they are flexible to meet various pressures and flows up to their max rated flow.

    You probably could not disinfect/sanitize a used septic tank with bleach if you tired to. Even if you filled it with straight bleach, or hydrogen peroxide.

    And if you could, using the toilets again adds enough bacteria to start it working again anyway. just like when it was new and never used.

    RO should never be used on health related bacteria contaminated water or on water that has harmless bacteria in it such as iron. manganese or sulfate reducing bacteria.
  7. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,142
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    So the Pre UV treatment before a RO unit with UV would not work ?

    If that is the case then the problem and where the contamination is coming from needs to be fixed.

    The Health Department would shut you down and make you move if it is that much of a Health problem, and they knew it.


    If is smells like Shit and it Taste like Shit, then it must be Shit.
  8. Smooky

    Smooky Member

    Messages:
    622
    Location:
    NC
    If he wants to drink bacteria that is up to him, as it should be. With him having a baby is his motivation to get it fixed. Most health departments do not regulate private homes. Some lending agencies require good water samples because if you default on the loan it is hard to sell a home with a bad well. The health department may take action on a permitted or licensed facility. Most health departments do not accept UV because they want a residual such as with continuous chlorination. Some permitted places that do not have continuous chlorination, put UV in as a backup in case the well gets contaminated between samples. In those places the health department takes the sample before the UV light.
  9. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,142
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    That makes sense.

    I would boil any water for baby use.

    Maybe continuous chlorination system would be a better option.

    Or get a Waste water purifier from one of the old Space Shuttles, The Astronauts could drink their own urine after it was filtered properly. Yuck, just the sound, but it is safe and they have done it for test.


    In Texas we have flammable water, I just need a cheap way to run the automobile off of it.
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    There are few to next to no ROs that have the UV as part of it as was shown in a picture here or a link.

    That type of UV/RO is point of use (POU) and most UV is sold as point of entry (POE) meaning all the water in the building is treated instead of only one faucet (the RO's). No state would allow POU to treat a bacteria contamination.

    And my comment about RO was about an RO, not one with a pre UV on it but, I wouldn't sell or use that type of RO if I had bacteria contamination.

    My experience is that many states do allow UV IF it has the options required like an auto shut off of the water flow if the light fails. Fails is based on a UV monitor that measures the specific UV light range, minimum allowed strength and the dosage required.

    I installed many UVs under PA DEP regs although they really would have preferred chlorination; UV was listed as an approved method in their regs. In most states only commercial establishments fall under state regs. Private wells usually do not.

    Most if not all states require a basic water test be passed at the time of sale. The tests are usually for Coliform bacteria, nitrates and nitrites. Today there may be more tests required in some states or specific locations.

    The FHA/VA required many more including hardness, iron, manganese, TDS, pH, sulfates, chlorides etc. etc. and treatment equipment if any were over their guidelines. Then if there was a bacteria problem, equipment to kill it and retesting proving all items were corrected before they would allow closing of the property sale. With the exceptions of bacteria, those items are the same requirements all UV manufacturers' require be treated to use UV.
  11. VAWellDriller

    VAWellDriller Member

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
  12. VAWellDriller

    VAWellDriller Member

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Also wanted to clarify a previous statement UV A, B and C..... that UVB was twice the strength of A..not really sure where anyone got that.

    A, B , and C refer to the wavelength of light that is emitted by the bulb. "C" is the part of the spectrum that is lethal to microorganisms and I'm pretty sure that all water disinfection equipment operates in the C part pf the spectrum. That being said, the effectivness of the unit has to do with the wattage, clarity of the water, and flow rate through the chamber.
  13. cilcil

    cilcil New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    California
    Update: installed Dole flow control ( 7 gpm) and a cool transparent flow-meter (Omega device off ****). Running two showers and two sink faucets only pulled 5 gpm. But re-filling the plumbing, displacing the air, easily went up to flow-meter max 15 gpm- the Dole flow control isn't magic, it doesnt work during non-typical (air-in-the-system) situations.

    I re-chlorinated after the carbon filter during this refill of the internal plumbing. Previously, I was following some instructions that had me remove a cartridge to fill up a housing with chlorine. I havent plumbed in a shutoff right after the filter, so after I shock the plumbing with the chlorine, letting the plumbing sit chlorinated for a day, I then have to drain the house's plumbing to change the cartridge back in. But re-filling the entire house's plumbing might have defeated the purpose, if the incoming water is dirty- that surge challenges most flow controls, I think, from watching the flowmeter. So chlorinating with the cartridges in, and not needing to drain the system after that, might help preventing a break-thru of bacteria past the UV. WHich is what I did. And I never drained the hot water heater, to avoid the surge of refilling that. Sorry septic tank.

    And the lab result came back totally non-infected, below detection levels. Thats almost too good- I am a little worried about residual chlorine. But a better result. I think I now have to remove cysts, with some .5 micron or less? Looking at ultra filtration .2 micron. RO not an option on a well, in a dry/drought area, in my opinion, due to "waste" water.
    Turbidity is 4.4 NTU, post Pura UV20, but I think the water was pretty clear before that too.

    Thanks
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
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