Most municipal water treatment facilities in the USA are regulated by their state EPA or other state or federal agency to assure that the water being sent out via the water main delivery system is properly and thoroughly disinfected — with that disinfection usually taking the form of dosing the water with chlorine.
If you clicked to this page after declaring that your incoming water supply is from a municipal or privately owned water treatment facility, you should contact the regulatory body for your state. Whether your tap water is produced by a municipality or a private water company, it must, by law, be disinfected to the point that biological contaminations do not occur. You should not be obliged to incur the expense of disinfecting incoming tap water when the law requires the producing facility to assure proper disinfection.
If the above paragraphs still leave you with a need to address biological (bacterial, viral, parasitic) contaminations in your incoming water, read on…
Typically, those who click to this page are served by a private or communal well. Whether or not that is the case, you are expressing a very serious water treatment problem — especially if you are left to your own devices to address that disinfection problem. The approach we take is that if your incoming water is contaminated by biological agents, it would be wise to address the disinfection as a POE (Point Of Entry) system so that all the water delivered to your household is disinfected. Water that is contaminated by bacteria, viruses and/or parasites should not be considered “potable” water and you should not come into contact with it for any purpose.
From a practical standpoint, there are three viable approaches to POE disinfection:
- Chlorination — Today, the most practical and easily the safest method to disinfect a well is with a dry pellet chlorinator. ESD recommends the GE Osmonics Autotrol Well PRO dry pellet chlroinator. Of course, that would in itself indicate the need for water filtration “downstream” of your disinfection system. Chlorine is not good for bacteria, viruses, parasites or humans. Chlorination is easily the most common if not the most economical method of disinfecting, but likewise suggests the need for downstream technologies (filtration or reverse osmosis) to take the chlorine back out before it is used for human contact or consumption. [You can back up in this key to check out your options for “chemicals removal” such as would be represented by the chlorine you are introducing to do the disinfecting]. Easily the most practical approach to de-chlorination downstream of a dry pellet chlorinator would be a “whole house” water filtration system as offered by ESD.
- Ultraviolet — Depending on the levels and concentrations and identities of the biological contaminants, your circumstances may indicate ultraviolet disinfection as being appropriate. What a ultraviolet system does is produce modest quantities of ozone (O3), which is a VERY efficient disinfectant — something like 50-times more reactive than chlorine. You should consult with a qualified water treatment professional to determine the most appropriate disinfection system for your economy and circumstances. For POU (under-sink) applications, ESD recommends the unique combination of UV disinfection and water filtration represented by the Watts UV Disinfection System.
- Ozone generation by corona discharge — Ozone is nature’s perfect disinfectant, and generating ozone by corona discharge is the most efficient means to produce it in quantities greater than ultraviolet bulbs can produce. Again, you should consult with a qualified water treatment professional to determine the most appropriate disinfection system for your economy and circumstances. [ESD will soon be adding a residential-scale ozone water treatment system to our product line. Check back soon or post us an email about it.]
The need for disinfection of your incoming water suggest perhaps the most serious type of water contamination. In all such circumstances, shooting from the hip or taking a “one-size-fits-all” approach can not only disappoint, but can result in serious health hazard situations. If you are convinced that you do, indeed, need a water disinfection system, it would be best to consult with a water treatment professional to specify the most appropriate system for your actual and analysed circumstances.
In all such cases, an adequate water analysis must be accomplished to know the type and level of biological contamination to be addressed. If you have not already contracted with an independent lab to do a water analysis, ESD is confident in recommending e-Watertest.com as a trusted and fairly priced water analysis laboratory.
I would invite your call at 1-304-721-8380 to discuss your water disinfection circumstances and to help you determine the most appropriate and cost-effective technology to specify for the job. You are also welcome to post me at firstname.lastname@example.org . ESD offers a free half-hour of consultation for serious initial inquiries regarding problem wells and other water disinfection needs. — Steve Harrison, owner, Environmental Systems Distributing.