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We are industry experts in the design, production & maintenance of ultraviolet disinfection water treatment systems. Based in the North West of England, we serve an international customer base, including many large blue chip organisations and government controlled agencies across a broad range of market sectors, and have supplied thousands UV systems worldwide. Our advanced, award winning technology and a wealth of industry experience and technical resources allows atg UV to provide effective, cost efficient and bespoke solutions for a vast range of industry needs.

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UV Dose For Disinfection

Calculating The Correct UV Dose for Disinfection

When calculating UV dosage for disinfection, it’s important to understand the science behind it. UV light output at 254 nanometres is known as UVC light (germicidal region). UVC light for disinfection has the ability to inactivate all known microorganisms, bacteria, pathogens, virus and moulds, including chemically resistant organisms, such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia. UV dose is measured in mJ/cm2.  Our UV products are typically sized in two ways: –

1. To provide a minimum level of UV intensity. This sizing ensures that the UV intensity at the furthest location from the UV lamp (UVC light source) is the minimum dose the system will provide. This UV dose is known as a wall dose.

2. An average dose takes into account the wall dose (furthest distance from the UV lamp) and the area immediately in front of the UV lamp where the UV output is greatest. The sizing method calculates an average dose for the system.

Sizing UV Systems and Calculating the Correct Wavelength for Disinfection

Sizing a UV system is based around water quality. For sizing UV disinfection systems, water quality is measured in UVT (Ultraviolet Transmittance). This measures the clarity of the water to ultraviolet light, relative to that of distilled water (taken to be 100%).  Specifically, this property is measured in a quartz cuvette at a fixed UV wavelength of 254 nm.

If the water is of high quality, e.g. borehole water, the UVT will be high – around 95% UVT. If the water is low quality, e.g. river water, the UVT will be low – around 80% UVT. It is important to note that a fall in just a few % UVT can double the amount of UV intensity required to provide disinfection.

UV Dose Measurement: Typical Dose Requirements

Typical Application Typical UVT % Normal Required Dose
Drinking Water 90% – 95% 16 mJ/cmRED – 40 mJ/cmRED
Waste Water 50% – 80% 10-40 mJ/cm2 Wall Dose
Swimming Pools 94% 60 mJ/cm2 Average
Aquaculture 85% – 90% 320 mJ/cm2 Average
Rain Water Harvesting – Irrigation 80% – 85% 150 mJ/cm2 Wall Dose
Rain Water Harvesting – Process 80% – 85% 30 mJ/cm2 Wall Dose
Process Water – Towns Mains 90% 30 mJ/cm2
Make-up Water – Towns Mains 90% 30 mJ/cm2
Cooling Loops 70% – 90% 16-30 mJ/cm2


The use of UV light has now become standard practice in a vast range of industries, including municipal drinking water and wastewater treatment, industrial process and manufacturing, offshore and marine and aquatics. Ultraviolet disinfection systems are used to ensure water is free from harmful organisms and is a proven, regulated and environmentally friendly technology.

In order to provide the best Ultraviolet system to suit your needs, the following variables are required to accurately size a UV system for a specific application. The following information is helpful but not essential to providing a quotation:

  • Flow e.g. 150 m3/hr
  • Application e.g. Drinking Water / Waste Water / Swimming Pools
  • Water Source e.g. Borehole / Surface Water / Final Effluent
  • UVT (Ultraviolet Transmittance) e.g. 90% UVT
  • Details of pre treatment e.g. Filtration
  • Intended use e.g. Irrigation / Drinking Water / Process Water
  • Known biological challenge e.g. Cryptosporidium reduction
  • Known dose standard e.g. 30 mJ/cm2 minimum / 60 mJ/cm2 average
  • Treatment Cycle e.g. Single pass treatment or re-circulation

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