What is a Boil Water Alert?A Boil Water Alert is issued when disease-causing pathogens are detected, in order to protect you from water that is or will become unsafe to consume. There are more than 151,000 public water systems in the USA, and at any moment a handful of them can be under advisory. EPA regulations are responsible for the safety of your water. They ensure that municipalities conduct regular testing, proper maintenance, appropriate filtration, and disinfection of water before it’s piped out to your faucet. Give yourself peace of mind by adding an ultraviolet disinfection system from Atlantic Ultraviolet Corporation® to your home or business. Also known as UV-C water purifiers, these systems are engineered to reduce risks associated with water contamination. UV-C is a rapid, safe, and chemical-free disinfection method that can eliminate much of the hassle involved when a Boil Water Advisories are issued.
From 2012 to 2014, there were 20,978 Boil Water Advisories gathered from the 50 U.S. states.
Situations that Cause Contamination and Trigger Boil Water AdvisoriesAging Infrastructure is a common cause of Boil Water Advisories. Most of the country’s pipes and water systems were designed and installed over 100 years ago. Time and environmental changes allow dirt and gravel around the pipes to settle, causing them to develop small fissures and cracks. Shifting pipes then lead to water main bursts, pipe corrosion, and fitting disintegration — all of which provide contaminants a path into the water source. Many of the reasons for contamination being able to enter a water supply could be interrelated. All too often, aging facilities do not have the resources to maintain quality when a breach occurs. Contaminants enter the water management filtration, and disinfection systems, at a rate higher than treatment can accommodate.
Of the 20,978 boil water advisories recorded from 2012 to 2014 in the U.S., 53.06% were issued due to a water main break or leak, 14.11% due to low pressure, 13.87% due to confirmed microbiological contaminants, 11.92% due to an unknown cause, and 7.05% due to scheduled maintenance.
Causes from outside the water management facility:
- Sewer overflow and poor waste management that infiltrates into aqueducts and aquifers
- Flooding and storm runoff combines fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, animal feces, and other impurities with the reservoir or aquifer
- A Waterline or water main break creates a loss of pressure
Causes at the water management facility:
- Water samples that show the presence of E. Coli, fecal indicators, or other bacteria
- Backflow issues and low water pressure create suction of impurities from outside the pipes into the water
- Interruption of treatment that could either be abrupt due to a storm or power outage, or scheduled such as during facility maintenance
- Inadequate disinfection is discovered
- Indication of Cryptosporidium or Giardia presence
Primary Reason for U.S. Boil Water Alerts from 2012–2014
The Effects of Boil Water Advisories
At home, a Boil Water Advisory is a nuisance — requiring you to rearrange your routines in order to make sure everyone has safe water.
If you own or operate a business, not taking the proper precautions during a Boil Water Alert could result in closed doors and a loss of valuable sales.
In hospitals, medical facilities, nursing homes, and any industry that cares for people, water that is pure and safe means life or death.
3 Possible Water Treatment Options During a Boil Water AlertWhen a Boil Water Advisory is issued, you have three options to consider: boiling, chemical treatment, and UV-C disinfection.
If boiling, the EPA and CDC recommend you bring the water to a rolling boil for 1 minute (3 minutes at elevations greater than 2,000 meters, or 6,561 feet). Then, allow the water to cool thoroughly before use.
If choosing chemical disinfection, use unscented, plain household chlorine bleach. Proper precautions must be taken to avoid overdosing and chemical mishaps.
UV-C is automatic and chemical free. Unlike boiling and chemical disinfection, it allows personal hygiene, dish washing, food and beverage prep, and cleaning to take place as usual during a Boil Water Alert.
Infection Concerns with Boil Water AdvisoriesA Boil Water Alert will remain in effect until water testing Indicates that water quality is back in line with EPA safety regulations. Different sets of circumstances are behind every advisory. Unless it’s pre-scheduled for facility or pipe maintenance, there is no way to know how long it will last. Contaminations that trigger Boil Water Advisories can pose minimal to severe health risks. Since harmful pathogens are often invisible to the naked eye, water may appear perfectly normal coming out of the tap.
Although the U.S. has one of the safest drinking water systems in the world, there are an estimated 4–32 million cases of acute gastrointestinal illness (AGI) per year from public drinking water systems.
In 2017 alone, there were 6,939 deaths from 13 water transmittable diseases. Of these, 7% were caused by ingested fecal waste in their water.The pathogens listed below can cause a range of symptoms including headaches, nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Elderly, young, pregnant, and immune-compromised people are at the highest risk for significant health complications and even death.
Eradicating these pathogens is critical when a Boil Water Alert is activated:
With UV-C Disinfection, Avoid the Hassles of Boiling Water During an AdvisoryUltraviolet technology has been recognized for decades as a safe, powerful, rapid, and chemical-free method of disinfection. Germicidal ultraviolet lamps, known as UV-C lamps, emit ultraviolet rays at 254 nanometers. This level is lethal to virtually all bacteria, virus, and cysts, including the pathogens listed above.
The Keys for Successful UV-C DisinfectionIn order to effectively disinfect your water, you’ll need a quality constructed system, the correct installation, consistent maintenance, and a properly-sized system for your water volume. Successful disinfection depends on unobstructed ultraviolet wavelengths through the water, and the appropriate dose of UV light needed in order to eradicate the particular organisms. For UV-C to virtually eliminate pathogens, the water must be clear and free of sediment. When selecting a UV-C water disinfection system for your home or business, consider your disinfection goals, proper evaluation of your water volume, and whether you want continuous or intermittent purification. Small purifiers can operate between 1 and 1,200 gallons per hour. Larger ones can provide 25,000 gallons per hour or more. Our UV Application Specialists can help you determine the proper system to keep your water safe at all times — including during Boil Water Advisories.
The Keys for Successful UV-C Disinfection
|Quality Constructed System|
6 UV-C Water Disinfection Product Lines by Atlantic Ultraviolet Corporation®
Bio-Logic® Ultraviolet Water Purifiers can be installed in small spaces (typically a Point of Use application) and have dual rotatable heads, making them ideal for installations with unusual hook ups. The Bio-Logic® Pure Water Pack™ is designed ONLY for Point of Use (typically under a sink) and is equipped with a mounting bracket and dual filtration (sediment and carbon) in addition to the 1.5 gallon-per-minute ultraviolet water purifier. Two options are available for carbon filtration — the 2-micron size removing a longer list of contaminants than the standard 5-micron filter.
MINIPURE® models have a compact footprint for Point of Use installation such as under the sink, water vending machines, small reverse osmosis systems, boats, recreational vehicles and other similar applications. An LED on the ballast — along with an EASY-OFF™ End Cap with clear window plug — provide visual indication of germicidal lamp operation. Models come equipped with an audible alarm integrated into the ballast that alerts you of malfunction. All MINIPURE® UV Water Purifiers come equipped with Stainless Steel Promate™ Wall Mounting Brackets.
Ultimate™ UV-C Water Purifiers are designed for a vertical mount — perfect for POU (point-of-use) or POE (point of entry). Typical applications include homes, laboratories, water vending, etc. Several models are available to handle most small water requirements, fitting easily in spaces that can’t accommodate a horizontally-mounted purifier.
MIGHTY★PURE® can install POU or POE (point-of-entry) and models MP36C (12GPM) and MP49C (20GPM) are available with certification for NSF®/ANSI Standard 55 — Ultraviolet Microbiological Water Treatment Systems. These models offer superior quality and numerous standard features, such as a sight port for viewing germicidal ultraviolet lamp operation.
While any of our SANITRON® models can be used in multiples to allow for growing or changing applications, our SANITRON® S2400C (40 gallons per minute) model was initially designed with the modular design platform in mind — allowing for 80 gallons per minute treatment with two purifiers used together, 160 gallons per minute with four purifiers, and so on. Quartz sleeve cleaning is a simple task with the standard patented Dual-Action Wiper Mechanism. Models S37C, S50C, and S2400C are certified to NSF®/ANSI 61 and 372 — Drinking Water System Component — Health Effects and Lead Content.
The MEGATRON® UV-C Water Disinfection System has a modular design that makes it the perfect solution for a single department or an entire complex facility. Multiple units can plumb together for thousands of gallons per minute of pure water. Standard features include lamp indicator lights, a sight port plug that safely shows UV lamp glow, an integrated drain fitting, a patented dual-action manual wiper mechanism, a GUARDIAN™ Ultraviolet Monitor to alert of lamp malfunction, and a Promate™ Elapsed Time Indicator to display operating time. An optional automatic wiper allows you to program quartz sleeve cleaning with little maintenance.
Need help? Call Our UV Application Specialists at 1-631-273-0500, Mon.–Fri. 7am to 6pm EST.
We will help you determine the right products, and the proper installation method in order to provide the precise ultraviolet dosage for your needs.
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