Iowans take their water treatment seriously —and so they should. The Iowa Department of Public
Health uses a registration system to ensure homeowners get the information they need to select water treatment equipment and that the equipment chosen is certified by a third party.
This approach is helpful because no single type of water treatment system can remove all possible contaminants. Being an agricultural state, common contaminants of concern in Iowa include bacteria and nitrates, as well as naturally-occurring arsenic in certain areas. Now, Iowans have another choice for addressing microbiological contamination, because VIQUA’s PRO10 ultraviolet (UV) system has just been registered for sale in the state.
A new option in whole home water treatment
The VIQUA PRO10 is a whole-home UV system that disinfects the water used at every tap in the house, ensuring no exposure to harmful microbes like bacteria, protozoan cysts, AND viruses. Is this important? It certainly is for the more than 200,000 Iowan households relying on a private well. Well testing records indicate that since 2010, nearly one third (32%) of the wells tested in Iowa were positive for coliforms. This indicates that disease-causing or pathogenic organisms can enter the water supply at any time, making the continuous disinfection a smart water treatment option.
UV disinfection protects your water without adding any chemicals so there is no impact to the taste or smell of your water. Other strengths of this technology, as identified by a The State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa, include low power consumption and minimal space requirements. One limitation noted is some units don’t have a way to notify the homeowner if they are not getting the full disinfection power. Not so with the VIQUA PRO10. Among its many features [link to product page], the PRO10 is equipped with a market-leading flow-meter/UV sensor combination that provides real-time UV dose. All this helpful and important system performance feedback is communicated in a simple LED panel display, giving you peace of mind at a glance.
How does UV compare
Being a whole-home UV treatment system is the first thing that sets the VIQUA PRO10 apart from other registered water treatment systems. Many of those systems, including most reverse osmosis systems (RO), are actually installed at the point-of-use, usually under the sink in the kitchen, so treated water is available only for cooking and drinking. Reverse osmosis can remove dissolved ions, metals like arsenic, lead, nitrates, and pesticides; however, RO cannot be relied on for removal of bacteria and viruses. The effectiveness of the RO system will depend on the type of membrane and overall operating conditions. Another limitation of RO systems is water wastage. It takes large amounts of water to produce usable amounts of treated water. Typically, RO produces 2-4 gallons of reject water for every gallon of treated water. An RO system cannot pick and choose the minerals it removes from the water, so beneficial ones like calcium and magnesium will also be removed. For some people, this mineral-removal also causes a “flat” taste.
Choosing a water softener is a great way to manage those hardness minerals (calcium and magnesium). Water softeners work by ion-exchange and are installed at the point-of-entry, so that all the household water is softened and all pipes and appliances are protected from the mineral build-up. But again, a water softener is no protection against microbes. Water softeners, however, are particularly compatible with UV units, so having the option of both available on the registry provides more flexibility to homeowners.
UV for protection from harmful microbes
With the recent addition of the VIQUA PRO10 to the state registry for water treatment systems, there is an option for Iowans to get chemical-free disinfection for homes and businesses. The VIQUA PRO10 UV system provides whole-home disinfection protecting from bacteria, viruses, and protozoan cysts, and is an important addition to the water treatment arsenal. As always, testing your water and talking to a certified water specialist will be critical in determining which system is best suited to your needs.