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Best UV Water Purifier Systems of 2023

Scott Winfield
Last Updated on
by Scott Winfield

UV water purifier is a water filtration device that uses ultraviolet light to remove viruses and bacteria by damaging the nucleic acid in their DNA. Bacteria, viruses, and microbes contaminates a water source, especially underground aquifers, from human, animal, agricultural, or industrial waste seeping through rocks and soil.

The best uv light water filter of 2023 is the Springwell UV Purification System, which uses powerful ultraviolet light to kill 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and microbes in water.

In this article, we’ll discuss several uv water treatment system options with their pros and cons.

UV Water Purifier Comparison Chart

SpringWell UV Water Filter and Purification System
  • UV power: 30mj/cm2
  • Flow rate: 15 GPM
  • Lamp replacement: Once every year
  • Operating water temperature: 36 – 104 Fahrenheit
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Kind Water Systems UV Water Purification System
  • UV power: 30mj/cm2
  • Flow rate: 15 GPM
  • Lamp replacement: Once every year
  • Operating water temperature: 36 – 104 Fahrenheit
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Acuva ArrowMAX 2.0 UV-LED Water Treatment System
Best Point-of-Use UV Treatment System
  • UV power: 16mj/cm2
  • Flow rate: 0.52 GPM
  • Lamp replacement: Once every year
  • Operating water temperature: 39 – 109 Fahrenheit
  • Warranty: 1 year
Aquasana Rhino
Best Well Water Filter + UV Purifier Combination
  • UV power: 40mj/cm2
  • Flow rate: 14.7 GPM
  • Lamp replacement: Once every year
  • Operating water temperature: 40 – 90 Fahrenheit
  • Warranty: 5 years
Best UV Light Filter for Small Houses
  • UV power: 30mj/cm2
  • Flow rate: 9 GPM
  • Lamp replacement: Once every year
  • Operating water temperature: 36 – 104 Fahrenheit
  • Warranty: 10 years for the UV chamber, 3 years for the electronic components, 1 year for the filter
Bluonics 55W 110V 34 MNTP UV Sterilizer
Best Budget-Friendly UV System
  • UV power: Not provided by the manufacturer
  • Flow rate: 12 GPM
  • Lamp replacement: Once every year
  • Operating water temperature: 35-100 Fahrenheit
  • Warranty: 1 year

List of UV Water Filtration Systems:

1. SpringWell UV Water Filter and Purification System

SpringWell UV Water Filter and Purification System
  • UV power: 30mj/cm2
  • Flow rate: 15 GPM
  • Lamp replacement: Once every year
  • Operating water temperature: 36 – 104 Fahrenheit
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Pros
  • At 30mj/cm2 ultraviolet power, it’s ideal for purifying well water
  • 15 GPM flow rate makes it suitable for households that have one to six bathrooms
  • System head allows you to monitor the state of the filter as well as water
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Slightly expensive
  • Might require a sediment filter for optimum efficiency

If you’re an avid follower of WaterDefense, you probably already know that SpringWell is our preferred brand in the water treatment niche. That’s because almost all of the products in their extensive catalog are strongly built, effective, and come with a lifetime warranty. The SpringWell UV Water Filter and Purification System is no exception!

Thanks to its strong ultraviolet light that emits a minimum constant of 30mj/cm2 power, it can kill 99.9% of the most common pathogenic contaminants like E. coli, cryptosporidium, and giardia.

What we love about this model is that it does the job with a 15 gallons per minute (GPM) flow rate, which puts it among the strongest UV filters available – ideal for houses with up to six bathrooms.

Like all other SpringWell water treatment devices, the UV Water Filter features an electronic system head that allows you to monitor the filtration process. It also informs you how many days are left until you need to replace the lamp or when the water has too much turbidity for the UV light to penetrate enough to kill pathogenic organisms. In the latter case, for instance, the system head warns you that the water might not be safe for consumption.

All SpringWell products have lifetime warranties, and the SpringWell UV Water Filter and Purification System is no exception. So long as you change the UV lamp following the warnings of the system head, this model can serve you a lifetime.

However, if your well water has too much turbidity or too much sediment, you might need to install a sediment filter before the UV device to ensure optimal performance.

Lastly, the quality and robust features come with a high price. Considering everything the unit offers, the price is expected and reasonable, although probably not suitable for those on a budget.


2. Kind Water Systems UV Water Purifier System

Kind Water Systems UV Water Purification System
  • UV power: 30mj/cm2
  • Flow rate: 15 GPM
  • Lamp replacement: Once every year
  • Operating water temperature: 36 – 104 Fahrenheit
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Pros
  • At 30mj/cm2 ultraviolet power, it’s ideal for purifying well water
  • 15 GPM flow rate makes it suitable for households that have one to six bathrooms
  • System head allows you to monitor the purification process and warns you about the lamp life
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Might require a sediment filter for optimum efficiency

Though not as popular as SpringWell, Kind Water Systems has been lowkey producing some of the best American-made water treatment products for a while. Albeit a bit more expensive than the SpringWell, the Kind Water Systems is a testament to the brand’s quality standards.

Like the SpringWell device, the Kind Water Systems UV purifier produces a minimum of 30mj/cm2 ultraviolet light. Thanks to the powerful light, many of the pathogens that could cause a waterborne endemic, like coliform bacteria and giardia, die before they end up in your drinking water supply.

The Kind Water Systems is no slouch when it comes to flow rate either. With a 15 GPM operating flow rate, it can provide bacteria- and virus-free water for your whole family as long as you have one to six bathrooms, another trait it shares with the SpringWell model.

It also has a system head with a LED display that allows you to monitor the purification process and warns you when it’s time to replace the UV lamp.

Kind Water Systems’ lifetime warranty on purchase is just the cherry on top.

What we particularly like about it is that the package features a microbiological destruction chart that lists all known pathogens found in water. Thanks to this list, you might learn how many megajoules of ultraviolet power you need to kill the specific pathogen haunting your water.

Of course, the downsides of the SpringWell apply to the Kind Water Systems as well. It requires a sediment pre-filter for optimum efficiency, and it’s one of the most expensive items on our list.


3. Acuva ArrowMAX 2.0 UV-LED Water Treatment System

Acuva ArrowMAX 2.0 UV-LED Water Treatment System
  • UV power: 16mj/cm2
  • Flow rate: 0.52 GPM
  • Lamp replacement: Once every year
  • Operating water temperature: 39 – 109 Fahrenheit
  • Warranty: One year
Pros
  • It’s a portable, under-the-sink model
  • Affordable
  • The product package features a smart faucet
  • It has its own pre-filter
  • Its advanced pre-filter is equipped to handle dangerous contaminants like lead, and VOCs
Cons
  • 16mj/cm2 UV dosage is ineffective against some bacteria and viruses
  • Pre-filter needs replacing once or twice a year
  • 0.52 flow rate might not be enough for the drinking water needs of large families
  • Only one year of warranty

The Acuva ArrowMax is a unique UV unit in the sense that it’s one of the rare and excellent point-of-use UV systems on the market that are also portable.

However, its portability doesn’t take anything away from its efficiency. The unit is effective against not only bacteria and viruses but also heavy metals and volatile organic compounds, thanks to the inclusion of an advanced pre-filter.

The SpringWell and the Kind Water Systems we reviewed above were point-of-entry systems, which are supposed to be installed on the main incoming water line to your household. The Acuva ArrowMAX, on the other hand, is a point-of-use system, with a smart faucet that goes under your kitchen sink and only purifies the water from that particular faucet.

The fact that it’s under-the-sink equipment means you’ll only have one faucet with clean water, but that’s not necessarily a downside, as you mainly need clean water for drinking. What’s more, since it’s a portable device, you can easily uninstall it from your kitchen sink whenever you need it elsewhere and install it in your RV, cottage, or summerhouse.

What we enjoyed in the Acuva ArrowMAX is the built-in pre-filter of the device. Unlike with the SpringWell or Kind Water Systems, you don’t need to pay extra money for a pre-filter to ensure maximum performance. The Acuva pre-filter easily eliminates aesthetic impurities, sediment, chlorine, lead, and volatile organic compounds with a 99% removal rate.

However, certain aspects of the Acuva ArrowMAX make us like it less than our top two products.

First, it only emits 16mj/cm2 of UV, a dose that is not enough to kill halobacteria or polioviruses.

Second, you’ll need to replace its pre-filter once or twice a year for the unit to continue operating smoothly, adding to its long-term costs.

Furthermore, its 0.52 GPM flow rate is quite humble compared to the above products, and it won’t be enough to meet your needs if you have a bigger household.

Lastly, its one-year warranty is poor for a complicated UV system with a pre-filter.


4. Aquasana Rhino Well Water with UV

Aquasana Rhino Well Water with UV
  • UV power: 40mj/cm2
  • Flow rate: 14.7 GPM
  • Lamp replacement: Once every year
  • Operating water temperature: 40 – 90 Fahrenheit
  • Warranty: Five years
Pros
  • The state-of-the-art UV lamp is the strongest on our list with its 40mj/cm2 power
  • The well filter makes sure that the UV lamp can operate with maximum effectiveness
  • The filtration process is thorough
  • 14.7 flow rate is a good fit for small and large households alike
Cons
  • Bulky
  • Expensive
  • Filter replacements will add up to long term costs
  • 5-year warranty isn’t ideal

First, let us tell you that the Aquasana Rhino Well Water Filter with UV Purifier is the most expensive product in this article, but this shouldn’t put you off because it’s also the best combination of well water filter and UV purifier available on the market. Its UV purification is as strong as it gets with a 40mj/cm2 UV lamp, and its well water filter is simply crème de la crème.

In the Aquasana Rhino, the water filtration takes place in four main steps:

  1. The water from your private well must first go through a pre-filter. This pre-filter takes care of sediment particles, like dirt and clay, which might obscure the line of ultraviolet rays and decrease the efficiency of the UV filter.
  2. The water enters two well water filter tanks situated on top of each other that house activated carbon media that remove chlorine, herbicides, pesticides, turbidity, and VOCs from water. This unique dual-tank design also ensures that the incoming water flows downwards and upwards, increasing contact time between the filtration media and water for a more comprehensive filtration process.
  3. A post-filter eliminates remaining sediment or turbidity from the water.
  4. Lastly, the UV purifier kills bacteria and viruses with an impressive 40mj/cm2 UV dosage.

Are you worried that the long and thorough filtration process means you’ll get a low water flow rate? Don’t be, as the Aquasana Rhino can provide 14.7 gallons of pure water per minute, which is more than enough to accommodate the water needs of even large families.

Yet, there’s one thing you’re well justified to be worried about: space. As all those fancy filters take too much space, the Aquasana Rhino is a bulky device, and if you’re already short on space, it might not be an ideal choice.

Lastly, the Aquasana Rhino is the most costly item on our list by far, especially considering that you’ll need to replace its three filters once or twice a year. Also, it only has a 5-year warranty, which is not ideal for an expensive device with many bits and pieces.


5. Trojan Technologies Viqua VH200 UV Light Filter

Trojan Technologies Viqua VH200 UV Light Filter
  • UV power: 30mj/cm2
  • Flow rate: 9 GPM
  • Lamp replacement: Once every year
  • Operating water temperature: 36 – 104 Fahrenheit
  • Warranty: Ten years for the UV chamber, three years for the electronic components, one year for the filter
Pros
  • Ideal for small houses and families with its 9 GPM flow rate
  • 30mj/cm2 UV dosage is more than enough to kill common pathogenic bacteria, and viruses
  • More compact than standard UV purifiers
  • Affordable
Cons
  • 9 GPM flow rate is not ideal for large families
  • 3-year warranty on electronic parts is modest
  • The system head is not great at visual assistance

If you have a small house or a small household, you don’t need to go and pay extra for flow rate options you won’t use. In your case, we recommend the Trojan Technologies Viqua VH200 UV Light Filter. Despite its 9 GPM flow rate, this filter emits 30mj/cm2 of UV light, which is enough to kill the most common bacteria found in well water, like fecal coliform and giardia.

Another feature of the Viqua VH200 we like is that, unlike other UV filters that are long (most of them are more than half a meter) and narrow, this filter is thicker yet short, with only 45 centimeters in length, which makes it easier to fit in small spaces.

Like the SpringWell and the Kind Water Systems, the Viqua VH200 features a system head that informs you how many days are left until the UV lamp needs replacing. However, unlike the other two products, this system head doesn’t allow you to monitor anything else. It doesn’t visually warn you when the time to replace the lamp comes either, but it does emit an audible signal.

Lastly, Trojan Technologies offer different warranty options for distinct components. For instance, the UV chamber has a 10-year warranty, but the electronic pieces of this filter are covered for only three years. The UV lamp has a one-year warranty, but that doesn’t mean anything because you need to replace it once every year anyway.


6. Bluonics 55W 110V ¾” MNTP UV Sterilizer

Bluonics 55W 110V 34 MNTP UV Sterilizer
  • UV power: Not provided by the manufacturer
  • Flow rate: 12 GPM
  • Lamp replacement: Once every year
  • Operating water temperature: 35-100 Fahrenheit
  • Warranty: One year
Pros
  • One of the most affordable UV systems on the market
  • 12 GPM flow rate is suitable for small and average families
  • It will destroy most common bacteria and viruses found in well water
Cons
  • The manufacturer doesn’t provide data on the power of the UV light
  • Quite long at 36” (almost a meter)
  • Only one-year warranty

The best UV purifiers on our list, such as the SpringWell and Kind Water Systems Water models, cost more than $1,000. But what if your well water isn’t particularly rich in bacteria and viruses, and you just want to take preventive action? In that case, you don’t need to make that big of an investment — the Bluonics 55W 110V UV Sterilizer at $277 will be the best fit for you.

Of course, the affordability of this particular UV sterilizer doesn’t necessarily mean it’s less effective than other products. Like any decent UV filter, the Bluonics 55W 110V eliminates the most common bacterial threats, including E. coli, most subspecies of salmonella, and cryptosporidium.

Another common concern with affordable units is the flow rate. Fortunately, that’s not a concern with the Bluonics UV Sterilizer. The twelve gallons of water it can sterilize within a minute will be enough for any small or average family/household (one to five bathrooms).

However, there was one thing we disliked about this system: neither the website nor the instruction manual of the Bluonics UV unit gives any information about the power of its ultraviolet light.

Additionally, the unit is 36”-long, which means it’s almost a meter. So, if your incoming water line is full of frequent twists and turns, its installation might not be as straightforward as the Trojan Technologies Viqua’s.

Lastly, the Bluonics UV Sterilizer comes with only one year of warranty. Compared to the five other models we reviewed, that number is underwhelming.

Factors to Consider in a UV Light Purifier

Here are the most important factors to consider in a UV light purifier:

  • UV dosage
  • Contaminants removed
  • Flow rate
  • Ease of Installation
  • Warranty
  • Price

Now, let’s see what these criteria mean, why they’re essential, and how the products on our list compare to each other on these fronts.

UV Dosage

The power of an ultraviolet lamp is measured in how many megajoules (mj) of energy it can apply per one-centimeter square (cm2). It’s the most important criterion for a UV filter for well water because more powerful UV lamps kill more bacteria and viruses — it’s that simple.

For instance, an ultraviolet lamp requires 27mj/cm2 of energy to destroy poliovirus, one of the most dangerous viruses, as it can lead to paralysis and death. A unit with a minimum UV emittance of 30mj/cm2, like the SpringWell filter, is able to eliminate this virus, but a 16mj/cm2 model, like the Acuva ArrowMAX, won’t.

In that sense, the best unit for UV dosage is the Aquasana Rhino Well Water Filter with UV Purifier with its 40mj/cm2 ultraviolet power. While the Acuva ArrowMAX is pretty humble with its 16mj/cm2 ultraviolet lamp, we don’t have any verified info on the strength of our budget-friendly choice, the Bluonics UV Sterilizer.

UV Light Water Purifier and Filter SystemsUV Dosage
SpringWell UV Water Purifier30mj/cm2
Kind Water Systems UV Water Purifier30mj/cm2
Acuva ArrowMAX Water Treatment System16mj/cm2
Aquasana Rhino Well Water Filter with UV Purifier40mj/cm2
Trojan Technologies Viqua VH20030mj/cm2
Bluonics 55W 110V UV SterilizerNot provided by the manufacturer

Contaminants Removed

As explained in the section above, the strength of an ultraviolet lamp determines the amount and types of pathogens a UV system removes. But that’s not all.

Two models on our list, the Acuva ArrowMAX and the Aquasana Rhino, come with pre- or post-filters, which makes them effective against other contaminants too.

On top of that, since UV lamps require water to have minimum turbidity and sediments to penetrate and kill pathogens, including pre-filters that eliminate turbidity and sediments is crucial for a UV unit to work as intended.

In this aspect, the Aquasana Rhino and Acuva ArrowMAX take the cake with pre-filters that remove many common well water contaminants like herbicides, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds, as well as aesthetic impurities like color, taste, odor, and sediments.

On the other hand, the SpringWell, Kind Water Systems, Trojan Technologies, or Bluonics models don’t have any such feature.

UV Light Water Purifier and Filter SystemsContaminants Removed
SpringWell UV Water PurifierBacteria and viruses
Kind Water Systems UV Water PurifierBacteria and viruses
Acuva ArrowMAX Water Treatment SystemAesthetic impurities, turbidity, chlorine, VOCs, herbicides, pesticides, lead, bacteria, and viruses
Aquasana Rhino Well Water Filter with UV PurifierAesthetic impurities, turbidity, chlorine, VOCs, herbicides, pesticides, lead, bacteria, and viruses
Trojan Technologies Viqua VH200Bacteria and viruses
Bluonics 55W 110V UV SterilizerBacteria and viruses

Flow Rate

The flow rate indicates how much water a particular UV system purifies in a given period of time; it’s measured in gallons per minute (GPM). For crowded households, it’s a specifically important aspect, as it affects the flow of water at the faucets inside the house.

Most of our reviewed models easily provide water for households with one to five bathrooms.

However, the best-performing are the SpringWell and Kind Water Systems UV purifiers with their 15 GPM flow rate.

On the other hand, the Trojan Technologies Viqua VH200, with its 9 GPM flow rate, is a bit humble compared to the others but is still an excellent option for small to medium families.

Lastly, the Acuva ArrowMAX unit is a standout product with its 0.52 GPM flow rate. However, this isn’t concerning. Unlike the other options on our list, this particular unit isn’t a whole-house unit that produces pathogen-free water for all faucets, it’s an under-the-sink model that aims to provide drinking water for only one tap.

UV Light Water Purifier and Filter SystemsFlow Rate
UV Light Water Purifier and Filter SystemsFlow Rate
SpringWell UV Water Purifier15 GPM
Kind Water Systems UV Water Purifier15 GPM
Acuva ArrowMAX Water Treatment System0.52 GPM
Aquasana Rhino Well Water Filter with UV Purifier14.7 GPM
Trojan Technologies Viqua VH2009 GPM
Bluonics 55W 110V UV Sterilizer12 GPM

Ease of Installation

The ease of installation determines whether you need to call a professional plumber to install a particular product. As most UV systems need to be installed directly on the incoming water line in a home, our advice is to employ the services of professionals even if you’re a die-hard DIYer.

Yet, not all the products we recommend are equally complicated regarding installation. For instance, the Acuva ArrowMAX is a small under-the-sink unit. Any DIYer with a bit of plumbing experience should easily be able to handle its installation just by following the installation manual provided by the manufacturer.

The Aquasana Rhino is at the other end of the scale. Since this particular system is an ensemble of a pre-filter, well water filter, post-filter, and UV purifier, its installation requires an experienced and dexterous plumber.

UV Light Water Purifier and Filter SystemsEase of Installation
SpringWell UV Water PurifierModerate
Kind Water Systems UV Water PurifierModerate
Acuva ArrowMAX Water Treatment SystemEasy
Aquasana Rhino Well Water Filter with UV PurifierDifficult
Trojan Technologies Viqua VH200Moderate
Bluonics 55W 110V UV SterilizerModerate

Warranty

Warranty is a complicated aspect when it comes to UV purifiers as it rarely pertains to the main component of these units, namely the ultraviolet lamp.

As all ultraviolet lamps have a lifespan of one year and you need to replace them once a year, manufacturers rarely mention them in the scope of the warranty. If they do, the warranty on UV lamps is almost always only a year.

However, that’s not the case for the system head that allows you to monitor the purification process and warns you when to replace the UV lamp or an error occurs. Also, the casing of the lamp and its power connection are two other essential aspects usually covered under a warranty.

If you want a warranty for them, the lifetime warranty options of the SpringWell and Kind Water Systems UV purifiers are the best option.

The warranties on the Acuva ArrowMAX and Bluonics pale in comparison, as they only last a year.

Before we move on to the table, we should warn you that UV purifiers have very specific working conditions regarding water hardness, turbidity, and temperature. As these are crucial aspects that directly affect the performance of a UV system, it’s best to carefully read the product’s instruction manual to avoid accidentally voiding your warranty.

UV Light Water Purifier and Filter SystemsWarranty
SpringWell UV Water PurifierLifetime
Kind Water Systems UV Water PurifierLifetime
Acuva ArrowMAX Water Treatment SystemOne year
Aquasana Rhino Well Water Filter with UV PurifierFive years
Trojan Technologies Viqua VH200Ten years for the UV chamber, three years for the electronic components, one year for the filter
Bluonics 55W 110V UV SterilizerOne year

Price

It’s always worth considering the price of a UV purifier before finalizing a purchase, as you don’t want to invest in a unit you don’t necessarily need. This is especially true if you don’t have a preexisting problem that needs an immediate response and if you only want to install a UV system as a preventive measure.

That said, our list has an item for every budget.

If you want a high-end product, you can’t do better than the Aquasana Rhino, but as it’s a combination of different filters, it’s also the most expensive UV system on our list at $1,399. The Bluonics UV Sterilizer, on the other hand, is the most affordable product on our list, costing only $277.

UV Light Water Purifier and Filter SystemsPrice
SpringWell UV Water Purifier$1,000.90
Kind Water Systems UV Water Purifier$1,106.10
Acuva ArrowMAX Water Treatment System$549 – $599
Aquasana Rhino Well Water Filter with UV Purifier$1,399
Trojan Technologies Viqua VH200$649
Bluonics 55W 110V UV Sterilizer$277

Important: Please note that the table shows prices as of 02/08/2023, the time of writing this guide and that the prices are subject to change.

The Most Common Well Water Pathogens

Well water is prone to pathogenic contamination because it’s common for agricultural, human, and animal waste to seep through soils and rocks and end up in underground water sources.

As a result, bacteria found in human and animal waste, like coliform bacteria (especially its subspecies of Escherichia coli), giardia, cryptosporidium, salmonella, legionella, and many different types of viruses, can be present in the private wells of many households.

Now, let’s discuss these pathogens, how they end up in well water and their associated health risks.

Coliform Bacteria

Coliform bacteria are one of the most common bacteria on Earth, and are found in water, rocks, and soil. By themselves, they present no health hazards.

However, coliform bacteria have a specific subspecies known as fecal coliform. Fecal coliform bacteria live in the intestines of humans and animals and can be released into the environment, including water sources, through human and animal feces.

The Escherichia coli variation of the fecal coliform bacteria is especially harmful and can lead to many symptoms like:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps

If the contamination is on an alarming scale, the symptoms and subsequent health effects might get even more severe:

  • Bloody urine
  • Dehydration
  • Pneumonia
  • Meningitis

Giardia

Giardia is one of the most common parasitic pathogens found in the United States. Like coliform bacteria, giardia can contaminate water sources through human or animal feces.

They have some very similar symptoms as well:

  • Diarrhea
  • Smelly gas
  • Smelly and floating poop
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

People who have tested positive for the presence of giardia in their body are diagnosed with giardiasis. Children and people with weak immune systems are especially vulnerable to this parasite.

Cryptosporidium

Cryptosporidium is another commonly found pathogenic and parasitic microorganism responsible for many waterborne disease outbreaks in the United States and worldwide. Even the states with some of the cleanest water in the US, like Oregon, or countries with the best water in the world, like Sweden, aren’t completely safe from contamination.

The symptoms of cryptosporidiosis are similar to the symptoms of E. coli or giardiasis:

  • Watery diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss

And similar to giardiasis, children, elderly, and people with weak immune systems are more likely to get cryptosporidiosis.

Salmonella

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), even in the United States, salmonella causes more than a million infections, 25,000 hospitalizations, and 400 deaths every year. Although most of these infections occur through food (packaged food, eggs, and so on), there’s still a likelihood that some bacteria can find their way through water sources through human or animal waste.

Once digested, salmonella bacteria leads to:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Severe fever

While most people recover from salmonella infection after a week, you should still take it seriously, especially if you have a weak immune system.

Legionella

Legionella is a common bacteria found in soil and water sources. When water sources are not properly decontaminated, they might end up in municipal water supplies, like in the case of the Flint water crisis, and lead to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

People with compromised immune systems due to pre-existing health conditions, like cardiac or lung diseases, are more prone to experiencing its many symptoms that include:

  • Coughing
  • Breath shortness
  • Severe headache
  • Fever (also referred to as Pontiac fever, in this particular case)
  • Muscle pain and aches

Although legionella doesn’t pass from human to human, it’s still best practice to decontaminate the water source or prevent this bacteria from ever ending up in your drinking water supply by installing a UV water purifier.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we will answer some of the most common questions about UV water purifiers.

Do I need to install a UV water purifier for my private well?

Yes, it’s best practice to install a UV water purifier for a private well. This advice applies to any well, whether or not it’s already contaminated.

Even if your well is not infected with bacteria and viruses, and you’re taking good care of it, there’s no guarantee that it will remain safe. As we said earlier, these pathogens find their way into underground water sources by seeping through soil and rocks, so a UV purifier can help you prevent them from ending up in your drinking water.

How do I test my well water for bacteria and viruses?

There are many home water testing kits available online, some of which show the presence of bacteria and viruses in your water. Also, bacteria and parasites like coliform will give your water a cloudy color and slimy feel.
However, the best way to test for bacteria, viruses, microbes, or other common contaminants is by sending a water sample collected directly from your well or one of your faucets to a water testing laboratory certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In return, you’ll receive a detailed sheet that lists which pathogens and contaminants are present in your water, at what levels, and whether their levels align with the drinking water standards set by the EPA.

Of course, this process will cost you a sum, and it’ll take a bit of time for the lab to provide you with a thorough analysis. So, if the reason you want to test your water is your suspicion about bacterial or viral contamination, you shouldn’t drink any water from your faucets until you receive the results. In such cases, we recommend you stick to bottled water – specifically, spring water, if possible.

What are the water quality requirements for a UV water purifier to work effectively?

UV water purifiers require the incoming water to be up to a certain standard since the ultraviolet light needs to penetrate the water without an obstacle to kill all the pathogens inside it. Although these standards ultimately depend on the manufacturer and the strength of the UV unit, it’s best if the following values are met.

Turbidity: <1 NTU (nephelometric turbidity unit) – Turbidity simply refers to the clarity of the water. If the water isn’t clear enough, i.e., if it doesn’t have turbidity below 1 NTU, the ultraviolet rays won’t be able to kill all the bacteria and viruses.

Water hardness: <7 GPG (grains per gallon) – Water hardness signifies the calcium and magnesium content inside a body of water. Since these minerals are solids, their presence will block ultraviolet rays from reaching pathogens hiding behind mineral molecules.
Manganese: 0.05 ppm (parts per million) – Manganese is known for showing up inside water in the shape of black sediments. Due to its color and solid state, if the incoming water is manganese-rich, it’ll be a big obstacle to ultraviolet light.
Iron: 0.3 ppm – Similar to manganese, iron obstructs ultraviolet rays.
Tannins: 0.1 ppm – When they surpass the 0.1 ppm threshold, tannins don’t only present a solid obstacle before the ultraviolet rays, but they also change the color of water, thus increasing its turbidity, rendering the UV lamp ineffective.

The water analysis you’ll receive from a certified lab will inform you about all of these values. If they are higher than recommended, you might want to consider solutions like water softeners for well water (especially if the water hardness levels are too high) and well water filtration systems.

What do I need to install a UV water purifier?

Installing a UV water purifier is not as complex as installing, say, a whole house water filtration unit, so if you have some former experience in household plumbing, you can handle it with the help of the following tools:

Wrenches
Screw drivers
Relevant connector fittings (in line with the instructions of the manufacturer)
Pipe cutter
Teflon tape
Extra pipe (same size with the current incoming water pipe)
Flexible tubing

Which UV Water Purifier is the most powerful against pathogens?

The most powerful UV lamp belongs to the Aquasana Rhino at 40mj/cm2 of power. Due to the strength of its UV lamp, this combination of well water filter and UV purifier will kill more bacteria and viruses than most, if not all, its competitors.

However, the answer to this question depends on the pathogen you want to eliminate from your water and how many megajoules per cm2 are needed for this pathogen to be destroyed.

For instance, if you’re looking to kill common bacteria and parasites like most strains of salmonella (10 mj/cm2), cryptosporidium (4mj/cm2), giardia (2.3mj/cm2), and legionella (9.4mj/cm2), all the products on our list will do the job.

However, the salmonella typhimurium strain, which causes typhoid fever, requires 50mj/cm2.

We should note here that this particular strain is rarely found in drinking water sources in the United States, and we only mentioned this as an example.
Furthermore, viruses and bacteria that are even rarer and have more complex structures, like adenovirus (requiring at least 100mj/cm2), might even survive the strength of the Aquasana Rhino.

What is the average price of a UV water purifier?

The average price of a UV water purifier is $600. However, the average price of the models in our article roughly equals $839, mostly due to the Aquasana Rhino, a combination of a well filter and UV purifier.

Of course, these prices also depend on the type of UV purifier. For instance, while an under-the-sink unit, like the Acuva ArrowMAX, is on the more affordable side of the scale, a combo system like the Aquasana Rhino or a high-end whole-house unit like the Kind Water Systems Water model will easily cost more than $1,000.

Lastly, we should note that you need to replace the UV lamps of these units once a year. Depending on the manufacturer, these lamps might cost $50 to $150, adding to the long-term costs of your UV filter.

Conclusion

Private wells are prone to contamination by bacteria and viruses as these pathogens can sneak into underground water sources through human or animal waste. UV purifiers are one of the best ways to eliminate them from your drinking water supply, especially if you get your water from a well.

To that end, the SpringWell and Kind Water Systems UV purifier models, albeit a bit costly, are the best whole-house units you can find on the market, thanks to their flow rate and UV power. If you want an under-the-sink model, the Acuva ArrowMAX, with its own pre-filter, should be your go-to product.

For those who don’t want to shop separately for a well water filter and UV purifier, the  Aquasana Rhino emerges as the best option with its 40mj/cm2 UV lamp and 14.7 flow rate.

If you’re in the market for a decent and affordable purifier that’ll provide safe and clean water for small to medium families, the Trojan Technologies Viqua VH200 and the Bluonics UV Sterilizer are options worth exploring.

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Scott Winfield
Scott Winfield
My name is Scott Winfield and researching and writing about water filters and other strategies to purify water has become my full time passion in recent years. I'm glad that you found our site and you can look forward to authoritative and well researched content here to help you get the best in water.
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