National Water Research Institute Publishes Third Edition of UV Water Disinfection Guidelines

National Water Research Institute Publishes Third Edition of UV Water Disinfection Guidelines

As the most recent conference of the International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA) convened on Aug. 12-14, 2012 in Arlington, Virginia, a notable event in UV water technology took place. The National Water Research Institute (NWRI) chose the conference “Moving Forward: Sustainable UV Solutions to Meet Evolving Regulatory Challenges” to release the third edition of the Ultraviolet Disinfection Guidelines for Drinking Water and Water Reuse. NWRI is a non-profit organization that was produced by a group of California water and wastewater agencies in 1991 to collaborate on research projects and activities that promote innovation and solutions to water supply and resource challenges. The original UV guidelines were published by NWRI in 1993.

These widely accepted guidelines were developed by leading engineers and scientists in the field of UV technology, and recently revised by two of its contributing authors: Robert W. Emerick, Ph.D., P.E., of Stantec Consulting sets and George Tchobanoglous, Ph.D., P.E., NAE, of the University of California, Davis. Dr. Emerick was responsible for the first permitted unfiltered drinking water UV disinfection facility in the U.S. Dr. Tchobanoglous is an internationally renowned expert on water and wastewater treatment and substantial waste management.

Among those who peer reviewed the third edition revisions were Karl G. Linden, P.D., of the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Brian Bernados, P.E., of the California Department of Public Health.

This publication is designed for state, federal, and municipal agencies responsible for UV disinfection systems in drinking water and water reuse and water utilities that deploy the technology. Adoption of the guidelines is at the discretion of federal, state, and municipal authorities. Currently, the California Department of Public Health is using theses standards, and so are others across the United States.

Jeff Mosher, Executive Director of NWRI, spoke about the guidelines at the IUVA 2012 Americas Conference. He said, “Because of its advantages, need for UV is growing, based in part on the use of recycled water to meet water supply needs.” Mosher additional, “The UV Guidelines are the most commonly used reference by regulators, water and wastewater agencies, design engineers, and equipment manufacturers to ensure the efficacy of UV installations.”

The 100-page guidelines are obtainable online at The UV guidelines are designed to be dynamic and will be updated as new UV technologies appear. This resource is not a planning manual for design of UV disinfection systems – that is the responsibility of the design engineer and manufacturer. The UV guidelines recommend the use of adequate filtration to remove secondary affluents prior to UV disinfection and do not purport to cover the effectiveness of these types of methods or systems in the guidelines. The guidelines include a standard for measurement of water cleanliness after UV disinfection takes place.

Some, though not all, of the highlights of the new edition include:

– uniform protocol for identify-checking performance bioassays, which replaces velocity profiles

– uniform UV measure-response relationship

– Revisions to Chapter 3: Protocols

– All reclamation systems must undergo tests that demonstrate disinfection is consistent with design intent.

This short introduction to the third edition of these guidelines is intended to spark the interest of experts in the water industry and the public for further review and examination. The IUVA members and supporters were honored that NWRI chose the conference to release this new, noteworthy edition of Ultraviolet Disinfection Guidelines for Drinking Water and Water Reuse.

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