Colombia – Embracing the UV Water Treatment Movement

Colombia has continually suffered from failing poor water treatment facilities, due to an array of issues with their chemical disinfection process.

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Posted: Tuesday, 21 August 2018

However, they are now embracing change and building their first UV wastewater system in Tolu in an effort to move away from the reliance of chemical treatment facilities, which is widespread in Latin America.

Colombia’s historic water treatment techniques were predominantly a chlorine and chemical based disinfection. One of the issues surrounding this was the odor in Tolu. Public water supply and safety is key when it comes to tourist destinations like Tolu. Therefore there became a problem when the chemical lagoons discharged wastewater and it traveled near the local population leaving a strong unpleasant odour, which in turn contaminated the surrounding area and sea. Due to this, they announced in 2013 they were going to launch the countries first UV installation in Tolu.

The new UV disinfection solution will have a 400 square meter footprint. This is significantly less than the current chemical lagoons, which have a 15,000 square meter footprint. This will make the maintenance and standards easier to maintain. In February 2013 a technical report was published by the Colombian superintendence of public works, within this report, they found 89 plants investigated were not operating to standards. The report found a range of problems; from an inability to reach treatment standards, lack of operational protocols and lack of maintenance.

UV disinfection techniques work by running the water past UV lamps. The intensive UV-C radiation hits microorganisms and changes their DNA resulting in the cell division being interrupted and inhibiting it from reproducing – this results in losing its pathogenic effect. UV light has been proven to destroy 99.99% of all pathogens within seconds whereas chlorination systems need an extended time to meet regulations and have an additional health hazard.

Overall, its great to see Colombia embracing the clear benefits of moving to a UV system for their water treatments.

Here at Alpha-Purify we educate and supply a wide range of UV lamps and Quartz sleeves for water disinfection around the world. To find out more Contact Us.