The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) recommends that private water well owners should test their water regularly for bacteria as well as other contaminants. Microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses and protozoa, are small and often cannot be seen without the use of a microscope. When a person ingests or is exposed to these microorganisms in large quantities and/or over a certain period of time through water, however, microorganisms can cause a wide range of effects on overall health.

E. coli, for example, which is a member of the coliform bacteria group, has garnered significant attention in recent years. The list of microorganisms that can be present in water, however, is extensive.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies and monitors several bacteria types and viruses found in water through legally enforceable standards. Share this information with customers. For more information, please visit: http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm.

Microbial cysts in water present unique challenges to water professionals, especially those who rely on using limited chemicals for treatment. Giardia and cryptosporidium, which are both microbial cysts, have also been prevalent in the water news in recent years. But these are also just two microbes of many that water treatment dealers must be mindful of.

When it comes to these microbial contaminants, not all are created equal. Bacteria are the easiest to remove because they are subject to destruction. On the other hand, cysts can be a unique challenge because of a protective outer shell.

UV offers an effective solution

To disinfect water, some experts recommend that ultraviolet (UV) systems should be among the first options to consider. Many supporters of UV water treatment promote the fact that this treatment is effective and versatile.

UV technology has been proven to be highly effective and is popular because it destroys about 99.99 percent of all pathogens in the water.

Other benefits of UV treatment include that no chemicals or byproducts are being introduced to the water supply, while it is still a quality choice for disinfecting water by removing cysts, bacteria and viruses.

While selling the benefits of UV treatment to customers in need of disinfecting their water supply, installation, testing and maintenance factors are equally important to customer satisfaction.

For instance, not knowing and maintaining traditional UV light’s UV transmission (UVT) can put customers at risk. When UV light does not have full contact time to treat water, the unit’s capabilities are compromised.

Understand the water’s chemistry as well through regular testing. Certain contaminants can influence the unit’s performance. Iron, for example, in both ferric and ferrous form, can block or absorb the UV light.