UV Disinfection for Municipal Drinking Water

Protecting Public Health

Disinfection is the final, critical step in the treatment of drinking water. If untreated and ingested, drinking water containing harmful bacteria, viruses and protozoa can cause severe, even fatal, health conditions.

UV disinfection inactivates microorganisms, including chlorine-resistant Cryptosporidium & Giardia, and helps to provide water confidence to municipalities around the world. It is often paired with chlorine in drinking water applications, enabling robust, multi-barrier protection.

In fact, by utilizing UV as the primary disinfectant, the required chlorine chemical CT (concentration x time) may potentially be reduced. This can result in reduced concentrations of harmful disinfection by-products associated with chlorine disinfection.

UV Applications for Municipal Drinking Water

TrojanUVSwift disinfecting drinking water at a drinking water treatment plant in the Netherlands

How UV Light Disinfects Drinking Water

Unlike chemical approaches to water disinfection, UV light provides rapid, effective inactivation of microorganisms through a physical process. When bacteria, viruses and protozoa are exposed to the germicidal wavelengths of UV light, they are rendered incapable of reproducing and infecting.

UV light has demonstrated efficacy against pathogenic organisms, including those responsible for cholera, polio, typhoid, hepatitis and other bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases.

TrojanUV Systems for Drinking Water

A photo of a TrojanUVFlex 100 Series chamber


The TrojanUVFlex® is designed with features to make installation and operation simpler, faster and more cost-effective than ever before. Built on the proven TrojanUV Solo Lamp® Technology platform, TrojanUVFlex allows for energy-efficient high-intensity delivery of UV light in an extremely compact footprint.

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A photo of a TrojanUVSwift chamber


The TrojanUVSwift® is a testament to our commitment to providing water confidence. It boasts comprehensive validation at a wide range of flow rates and UV transmittance levels in full compliance with the protocols of the United States Environmental Protection Agency UV Disinfection Guidance Manual.

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A photo of a TrojanUVSwiftSC chamber


The TrojanUVSwift®SC is designed to treat flow rates of 20 gallons per minute (GPM) to 16 million gallons per day (MGD) or 4.5 to 2,525 m3/hr. These compact UV systems offer communities an economical solution for drinking water disinfection.

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Multi-barrier Strategy Using UV Disinfection

New government legislation continues to change the way municipalities look at safeguarding their drinking water. Stringent regulations, such as the USEPA Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (requiring the treatment of Cryptosporidium) and the Ground Water Rule (requiring 4-log virus treatment) in the U.S., often necessitate the use of UV to supplement existing disinfection systems. This treatment strategy is known as multi-barrier protection.

A UV disinfection system is an ideal addition to a drinking water treatment plant’s multi-barrier strategy. It doesn’t create disinfection by-products or impact the taste or odor of the water, and it’s easily integrated into existing treatment processes because it does not alter nor is it affected by water chemistry (e.g., pH).

The combined range of effectiveness when UV and chlorine are used together to disinfect drinking water

In a multi-barrier strategy, UV is most often paired with a chlorine-based chemical disinfectant. UV and chlorine naturally complement each other, as UV is highly effective against chlorine-resistant microorganisms such as Cryptosporidium.

UV is a simple and cost-effective disinfection solution that can be easily retrofitted into existing drinking water treatment plants. The contact time required for the UV process is mere seconds, so the footprint required for treatment is relatively small, reducing the need for large contact tanks and lowering construction costs.

The World’s Largest UV Drinking Water Facility

Municipalities around the world – from rural wells to cities serving millions of people – have installed UV disinfection to help safeguard their water.

New York City is home to the world’s largest UV drinking water facility. There are 56 custom-designed TrojanUV systems installed there and each of them is capable of delivering a 40 mJ/cm2 dose to 40 million gallons of water per day.

A aerial photo of New York City skyline and port

The disinfection requirement, set by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, allows for the delivery of greater than 3-log reduction of Cryptosporidium and Giardia. All told, the facility has the capacity to treat 2.02 billion gallons of water per day.

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Treating Environmental Contaminants in Drinking Water

Increasingly, drinking water supplies are being impacted by the presence of chemical contaminants. Pesticides, nitrosamines such as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), and other micropollutants have all been found in both groundwater and surface waters that act as drinking water supplies.

Fortunately, the UV advanced oxidation process (also known as UV AOP) destroys chemical contaminants in water. TrojanUV advanced oxidation systems have been installed around the world to treat and remediate a variety of environmental contaminants.

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